The justice for Magdalenes campaign
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O'Rourke, Maeve. (2015). The justice for Magdalenes campaign. In Suzanne Egan (Ed.), Implementing international human rights: Perspectives from Ireland. Dublin: Bloomsbury.
In February 2013, the Taoiseach1 issued a State apology to survivors of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries “for the hurt that was done to them, and for any stigma they suffered, as a result of the time they spent in a Magdalene Laundry”.2 Four months later, the government announced an ex gratia restorative justice scheme, which it promised would offer the surviving women lump sum payments, State contributory pension payments, wide-ranging health and community care and the assistance of a Dedicated Unit in exchange for their agreement not to sue any State body or agency with respect to their time in a Magdalene institution.3 These measures, although insufficient to meet all of the State’s human rights obligations regarding the Magdalene Laundries, 4 represented a significant shift in government policy towards this group of institutional abuse survivors.