Amnesty calls for full investigation in Roma child case
Amnesty International has urged a full and frank investigation into the cases of the Roma children taken from their families and put into state care.
Colm O’Gorman, spokesman for the organisation in Ireland, said responses to reported child protection concerns needed to be proportionate and non-discriminatory.
“There must now be a full and open investigation to find out if correct procedures were applied in both these cases,” he said.
“If it is found that the authorities’ actions were discriminatory, steps must taken to ensure this is not repeated. There must be a public apology to the Roma families for the wrongdoing.”
Mr O’Gorman added: “The eyes of the world are now on Ireland, and the Government must show institutional discrimination will not be tolerated.”
The Roma family of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed schoolgirl removed from them by gardaí supported calls for an independent investigation after tests proved she is their daughter.
A lawyer said they believed the authorities had no proper basis for their action after the seven-year-old was taken into state care for two nights.
A member of the public raised concerns about her appearance compared to relatives in the south Dublin suburb of Tallaght.
DNA results last night proved she belonged to her parents, who maintained she was theirs since she was taken by authorities on Monday afternoon.
Earlier, a Roma family in Athlone were reunited with their two-year-old son, who had been removed and spent Tuesday night in state care.
Amnesty's comments follow the announcement by the Children's Ombudsman, Emily Logan, that she will be investigating the cases.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, in Brussels for an EU summit, said: “Clearly there are consequences to the action but it’s only right and proper that we get a detailed report of what happened here and the balance that was struck between the safety, health and welfare of the children and the law as it stands.”
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