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Repatriation of human remains

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Maciej Wójtowicz

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

City of Edinburgh Council

Mr Maciej Wojtowicz

Our ref: 21534

Dear Mr Wojtowicz

Acknowledgement of Request

Subject: Repatriation of human remains

Thank you for your request for information of 07/12/2018 which was received on 07/12/2018. In your request you asked for the following;

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?

I can confirm that your request will be processed under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

You will receive the information requested within 20 working days unless the Council does not hold the information, or there is a reason for it to be withheld. We will write to you in any event. This means we have until 10/01/2019 to respond to your request.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case we will let you know.

If you have any requirements regarding the format any information should be supplied in, e.g. the language to be used, audio, large print and so on, then please let me know.

If you have any queries or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal details. The disclosure log is available at the following link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175....

Further information about your rights and accessing information is available on our website at: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Unit
Level 2:1, Waverley Court, Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel 0131 200 2340
[Edinburgh City Council request email] www.edinburgh.gov.uk

City of Edinburgh Council

Mr Maciej Wojtowicz

[FOI #537771 email]

Our ref: 21534

Dear Mr Wojtowicz

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - Release of Information

Subject: Repatriation of human remains

Thank you for your request for information of 07/12/2018 where you asked for information regarding 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.

Your request has been processed and considered under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and I can advise that our response is nil. We have human remains but these are all local.

To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal details. The disclosure log is available at the following link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175...

Your right to seek a review

If you are unhappy with the way we have dealt with your request, you can ask us to review our actions and decisions by writing to the:

Head of Strategy & Insight
The City of Edinburgh Council
Waverley Court Business Centre 2:1
4, East Market Street
Edinburgh
EH8 8BG or,
Email: [email address]

Please note that your request must be in a recordable format (email, letter, audio tape etc.), and that you have 40 working days upon receipt of this letter to ask for a review. You will receive a full response to your review request within 20 working days of its receipt. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the review, you can ask the Scottish Information Commissioner to review our decision. You must submit your complaint to the Commissioner within 6 months of receiving our review response. The Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9DS
Telephone: 01334 464610
Fax: 01334 464611
Website: www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal
Email: [email address]

Yours sincerely,

Sue Brown
Information Rights Officer

Information Governance Unit
Level 2:1, Waverley Court, Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel 0131 200 2340
[Edinburgh City Council request email] www.edinburgh.gov.uk

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Maciej Wójtowicz please sign in and let everyone know.