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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Truth and Reparations for Northern Ireland: A Gender-Integrated Approach

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 10:00am
2255 Rayburn House Office Building


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on efforts to incorporate a gender lens into post-conflict truth and reparations proposals in Ireland and Britain.

The conflict commonly known as The Troubles was a political conflict over the status of Northern Ireland in relation to the United Kingdom and Ireland that began in the late 1960s and lasted three decades. Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the violence that characterized the conflict has declined significantly but not fully disappeared, and consolidating peace has been difficult. Among the issues that are still pending is how to deal with the rights of victims and family members of the more than 3,500 people whose deaths were linked to the conflict. In December 2014, a complementary accord known as the Stormont House Agreement (SHA) was reached that foresaw the creation of an oral archive, an historical investigation unit, an information recovery unit, and an implementation group to review outstanding criminal cases, including extrajudicial killings, that occurred during, and in connection with, the Troubles. But implementation has lagged, and the agreement has been criticized for the absence of a gender perspective.

In April 2015, the Legacy Gender Integration Group was formed to work for the integration of gender into SHA legislation and implementation. Of the 3,500 people killed in the conflict, 90 percent were men, while the majority of those left behind to face the consequences were women. This briefing will feature representatives of the Legacy Group who will discuss why gender analysis matters and offer recommendations for addressing the gender gaps in victims’ access to truth, justice, and reparations.  They will explore how the application of a gender lens and gender principles for dealing with the legacy of the past can improve the design, quality and effectiveness of truth, justice and reparations programs.

This briefing will be open to members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public and the media. For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton (for Rep. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or, or Isaac Six (for Rep. Pitts) at 202-225-2411 or

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Joseph R. Pitts, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC


Opening Remarks

  • Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
    Written remarks


  • Dr. Catherine O'Rourke, Senior Lecturer in Human Rights and International Law and Gender Research Coordinator, Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University
    Written statement
  • Andrée Murphy, LLM, Deputy Director, Relatives for Justice
    Written statement
  • Mary McCallan, Former Advocacy Officer, WAVE Trauma Centres, Advocacy & Casework Service
    Written statement


  • Dr. Leah Wing, Senior Lecturer, Legal Studies Program, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    Written statement



114th Congress