Dear Sir or Madam

REPATRIATION OF HUMAN REMAINS

I am carrying out some research into the storage, retention and repatriation of non-European ethnological human remains held in UK regional museums or archives some of which are owned, managed or funded by UK local authorities.

To assist with this could you please let me have the following information under the Freedom of Information Act. All of these questions relate to human remains that are under 1,000 years of age. If your organisation is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act please consider supporting this research anyway and providing the information voluntarily. A link to the research will be provided to all contributers when it is published:

1. How many non-European human remains do you have in your collection or collections managed by organisations which you fund or control? If you do not have the exact number then please provide an approximation based on your normal method of counting.

2. How many human remains do you have in your collection which originated in:
a. Canada
b. New Zealand
c. Australia

3. How many requests for the repatriation of human remains have you had from communities, individuals or institutions outside of Europe since the Human Tissue Act 2004 came into force?

4. Of these requests, how many were:
a. Approved in full, with all of the requested remains being returned to the communities/individuals in question.
b. Approved in part with some of the requested remains being returned.
c. Not approved.
d. Still awaiting a decision.

5. For those requests which were not approved please provide a copy of the final decision letter setting out the reasons.

6. How many human remains have you repatriated to their country of origin proactively without receiving a request?

Thanking you in advance for your assistance with this important research project which should help to reconnect numerous Indigenous communities with their lost ancestors.

Yours faithfully

Maciej Wójtowicz

Information Request, Chelmsford City Council

Dear Sir / Madam,

I am sending this email in response to your Freedom of Information Act (2000) request reference IR 6789. Please use this reference in any subsequent contact relating to this request.

Response
Please see a response below each of your questions:

1. How many non-European human remains do you have in your collection or collections managed by organisations which you fund or control? If you do not have the exact number then please provide an approximation based on your normal method of counting.

The Council have no non-European human remains in our collections or collections managed by organisations which we fund or control.

2. How many human remains do you have in your collection which originated in:
a. Canada
b. New Zealand
c. Australia

n/a

3. How many requests for the repatriation of human remains have you had from communities, individuals or institutions outside of Europe since the Human Tissue Act 2004 came into force?

The Council have had no requests for the repatriation of human remains from communities, individuals or institutions outside of Europe since the Human Tissue Act 2004 came into force.

4. Of these requests, how many were:
a. Approved in full, with all of the requested remains being returned to the communities/individuals in question.
b. Approved in part with some of the requested remains being returned.
c. Not approved.
d. Still awaiting a decision.

n/a

5. For those requests which were not approved please provide a copy of the final decision letter setting out the reasons.

n/a

6. How many human remains have you repatriated to their country of origin proactively without receiving a request?

The Council have not repatriated human remains to a country of origin proactively without receiving a request.

Right to Internal Review
If you are dissatisfied with this response or with the way your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to ask for your request to be independently reviewed by the Director of Corporate Services. You should set out your representations in writing explaining why you are dissatisfied with this response or the way your request has been handled and send to [email address]. The review will be conducted in accordance with the Council’s internal review procedure which is published on its website at http://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/node/33297. You will be notified of the outcome of the review as soon as possible and in any event within 20 working days from receipt of your representations.

Appeal
If you should still remain dissatisfied following the outcome of the review, you may apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision by writing to:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 1231113 or 01625 545745

Yours sincerely,

Heather Binns
Information Governance Officer
Chelmsford City Council

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