Northern Ireland: Mother and Baby Home public inquiry hails a step towards truth and accountability


The investigation must be able to access files and witnesses on a cross-border basis – Amnesty

Amnesty International welcomed the decision of the Northern Ireland executive to launch an independent public inquiry into the Mother and Baby and Magdalene Laundry facilities in the region and its commitment to implement all other recommendations of the Independent Truth Recovery Panel.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Program Director, said:

“We welcome the executive’s commitment to implement all of the panel’s recommendations, including an independent program of public inquiry and redress.

“Working with the survivors of Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries, Amnesty first called for such an investigation ten years ago and the actions now being taken reflect our long-standing calls for accountability and redress.

“Women in Northern Ireland have told Amnesty that they have suffered arbitrary detention, forced labor, ill-treatment and the removal and forced adoption of their babies, all human rights violations. These are serious questions that deserve serious investigation.

“Above all, the investigation which must be established by legislation of the Assembly must have the power to compel witnesses and documentation. Immediate engagement is needed with the Irish government to ensure that this can be done on a cross-border basis, as many relevant institutions and archives are based in the Republic of Ireland, beyond the scope of Assembly legislation.

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