Over the past three years, Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) and Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) have been working in conjunction with global law firm, Hogan Lovells on the Clann Project. Clann: Ireland’s Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data (‘Clann’) was launched to help establish the truth of what happened to unmarried mothers and their children in 20th century Ireland.
The work of Clann is directly related to SASCA’s aims to examine child abuse in institutional settings, as Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes are currently being examined by a governmental Commission of Investigation. You can access a video summarising the Clann project here.Therefore, we have combined the findings of Clann and SASCA’s research in a symposium to set out the findings of the Clann Project (i.e. summarising the factual evidence contained in the 73 witness statements gathered, also discussing the archival evidence gathered, and providing a constitutional and human rights legal analysis of that evidence) as well as the findings of the SASCA research we have conducted in Ireland. The public conference will also highlight the legislative changes that ARA and JFMR want to see in order to give effect to the right to redress for the human rights violations suffered, in line with SASCA’s aims and objectives. ARA and JFMR will present Heads of a Bill that will provide for (a) access to adoption files and birth certificates for adopted people; (b) general personal access to records relating to institutional abuse; (c) relatives’ access to personal records of deceased or disappeared family members; (d) the deposit in the National Archives of state records relating to institutional abuse; (e) the production of privately held records concerning institutional abuse into the National Archives; (f) the amendment of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 to require the deposit of its records in the National Archives; and (g) public access to all records of institutional abuse subject to certain requirements.