Dr Maeve O'Rourke Profile picture
Aug 22, 2018 20 tweets 9 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Thread: In 2014, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child examined the Holy See's human rights record. Regarding #Ireland it noted patterns of 'torture and other cruel or degrading treatment' and 'sale of children, trafficking & abduction' #papalvisit tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treat…
UNCRC noted Vatican's failure to investigate the arbitrary incarceration and 'slavery-like' conditions of girls and women in Magdalene Laundries
In addition to providing accountability and redress, the Committee urged the Vatican to take 'all necessary measures to ensure that women and children are not arbitrarily confined for any reason whatsoever in Catholic institutions in the future'.
UNCRC highlighted that Vatican has failed entirely to deal with the forcible removal of thousands of babies from their mothers, notably in Spain and Ireland. A European Parliament mission to Spain last year found 'crimes against humanity' to have occurred europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/149246…
The Committee noted the Vatican's humiliation, silencing and obstruction of victims and witnesses of serious child abuse crimes.
The UNCRC's recommendations regarding child safeguarding and redress were as follows:
As we ponder and debate whether the #Vatican will ever account for its past crimes, let's remember that #Ireland is also covering up and refusing to take full responsibility for its collusion with the Church. The abuse is not 'historic', it is ongoing and we are all implicated.
Most of the evidence provided to State inquiries into systematic abuses remains sealed - not available for use by the police or in the courts. The Statute of Limitations, the costs regime in the Irish courts, and the lack of class action legislation all prevent court cases.
The ongoing Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation is operating in private despite numerous requests for public hearings and refuses to give witnesses a transcript of their own evidence. See section 11(3) of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004.
.@campaignforleo's Department is refusing to release the archive of state records concerning the Magdalene Laundries, collected by the McAleese Committee. See this statement by Minister Frances Fitzgerald last year: kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2017…
In 2017 the UN Committee against Torture reviewed #Ireland's human rights record: tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treat…
and noted that the State had failed to implement many of its 2011 recommendations regarding Church/State abuse.
CAT noted Ireland has not investigated Magdalene abuse & has 'not undertaken sufficient efforts to uncover all available evidence of abuses held by private institutions, nor taken adequate steps to ensure victims are able to access information that could support their claims'
In response the Department of Justice @CharlieFlanagan wrote to the UN this month to say that #Ireland has 'no authority' to ask the Church for its records relating to the Magdalene Laundries tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treat…
What is more, the State @CharlieFlanagan @campaignforleo told the UN this month that the McAleese Report (which, the State acknowledges, did not have a mandate to investigate abuse) displays 'no factual evidence' of torture or ill-treatment or crimes having occurred.
My reading of the McAleese report is otherwise --
(see @maglaundries report to CAT in 2017 for more: tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CAT/S…)
The CAT's examination of Ireland in 2017 also noted that the Mother and Baby Homes Commission is not investigating all aspects of forced and illegal adoption, and that the ongoing inquiry's archives will be sealed. #Stand4Truth
Regarding the inhumane symphysiotomy procedure, the CAT called on Ireland to carry out a thorough and impartial investigation, ensure accountability and provide individualised redress that recognises survivors' human rights.
The CAT's report on Ireland also highlighted the failure of accountability in relation to the endemic sexual, physical and emotional abuse in residential schools.
Final note: acc. to Lindsey Earner-Byrne (Mother and Child: Maternity and Child Welfare in Dublin 1922-60 (2007), p207), in 1967, 97% of babies born outside marriage were adopted. Irish adopted people have no statutory right to their birth certificate or early life/adoption file.
And, crucially, mothers and relatives are being denied knowledge of what happened to their forcibly disappeared family members.

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