Dublin, 15 October 2018
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has welcomed the publication of the Clann Project Report by Adoption Rights Alliance, Justice for Magdalenes Research and global law firm Hogan Lovells, and has called on the State to provide all those separated from their relatives during the 20th century with information about who they are.
Welcoming the Clann Project Report, Executive Director of the ICCL, Liam Herrick, said:
“The Clann Project Report contains extremely important findings regarding the human rights of those institutionalised and separated from their relatives during the 20thcentury because they were part of an unmarried family. The report provides compelling evidence that arbitrary detention, forced labour, forced and illegal adoption, and inhuman and degrading treatment occurred on a systematic basis throughout the network of institutions and agencies that were tasked by the State with ‘caring’ for unmarried families. Most importantly, the Clann Report highlights that human rights violations are ongoing, because people who suffered in the past are still being denied access to their own records and to the administrative records of the bodies involved in running the system.”
ICCL reiterates its previous callfor the Government to provide adopted people with the statutory right to their birth certificate and their early life / adoption file, and to provide statutory rights to information for all others affected by the system of institutional abuses in Ireland.
ICCL has previously said that there is evidence of enforced disappearances having occurred within the system of adoption and Mother and Baby Homes and similar institutions. Enforced disappearance occurs when a person is abducted or detained with the involvement of the State, following which the State refuses to provide information about the person’s fate or whereabouts.
The Clann Project Report is the culmination of a three-year evidence-gathering effort, during which Hogan Lovells lawyers spoke to 164 people separated from their family members through Ireland’s system of institutionalisation and adoption, and sent 77 witness statements to the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.
Dr Maeve O’Rourke, Senior Research and Policy Officer with ICCL, is one of the voluntary co-directors of the Clann Project. She will be presenting today on behalf of ICCL to the Collaborative Forum established by Minister Katherine Zappone, and she will focus on the State’s current human rights obligations in relation to the treatment of unmarried mothers and their children during the 20thcentury.
For media queries:
Sinead Nolan 087 4157162