In keeping with one of the guiding principles of the Truth Recovery Design Panel’s, ‘Mother and Baby Institutions, Magdalene Laundries and Workhouses in Northern Ireland – Truth, Acknowledgement and Accountability’ Report, and to ensure central involvement of, and accountability to, victims-survivors and relatives, in November 2021, The Executive Office established a Consultation Forum as a mechanism for ensuring consultation and active participation of victims-survivors in all aspects of the process.
The Consultation Forum functions as a collaborative accountability mechanism to ensure that victims-survivors are central to full implementation of the Report’s recommendations and are kept fully up to date with relevant progress.
The overarching recommendations of the Report are:
– ADOPTION OF GUIDING PRINCIPLES
– RESPONSIBILTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE
– AN INTEGRATED TRUTH INVESTIGATION
– ACCESS TO RECORDS
– REDRESS, REPARATION AND COMPENSATION
There are also a series of 77 supporting sub-recommendations, all of which should be implemented in full.
The Forum is made up of those victim-survivors and their relatives, who can either be directly, or in some cases, are representatives of those with lived experience of Mother and Baby Institutions, Magdalene Laundries, Workhouses and their related pathways and practices, in NI. This includes those living in NI and the Diaspora.
Members with a registered impairment may be accompanied to meetings by an adult supporter, if necessary, to ensure full participation and representation – they should not be there to express their own views, but to help the primary member.
The meetings are held monthly, and to ensure participation of victims-survivors not currently residing in NI, the majority of meetings take place via ZOOM, however, when feasible some meetings take place in person and use a hybrid format to ensure continued participation of those not living in NI.
The meetings have a collaborative agenda, with each meeting lasting approximately 2 hours. Meetings are chaired by an Independent Chairperson and are conducted on the basis of confidentiality, respect and inclusivity.
Avila Kilmurray is the Independent Chairperson of the Consultation Forum and is primarily responsible for facilitating meetings and ensuring that they run effectively and productively in support of the overarching Purpose, Aims and Objectives of the Programme.
Have you or a family member been impacted by a Mother and Baby Institution, Magdalene Laundry, Workhouse or other related Institutions in Northern Ireland, or, impacted by historical adoption pathways and practices, and would like to join the Consultation Forum, please complete the form below.