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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

Freedom of Information, Bedford Borough Council

Thank you for your e-mail requesting information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

 

We will proceed with the request which we received today. It is our
intention to have the information delivered to you as soon as possible
otherwise within the statutory 20 working days.

 

In consideration of the request, which may be subject to any exemptions/
exceptions the Council may rely on to refuse the request, some of which
are absolute and some of which only apply where the public interest in
maintaining the exemption/exception outweighs that in disclosing the
information.

 

 

Please note that should you be requesting information under the
Environmental Information Regulations although we provide free access to a
wide range of information through our website, access to any public
registers which we hold and for inspecting information at our offices, we
are allowed to charge you a reasonable fee for providing certain
information.  If applicable, we will issue you with a fee notice.  This
will detail the tasks involved in responding to the request, and
associated costs.  Further information is available on the EIR page of
Bedford Borough Council’s website at the following link:

 

[1]http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_de...

  

 

Please note that once a response has been forwarded to you an anonymised
summary of all requests appear on the Bedford Borough website at the
following link:

[2]http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_de...
Our current practise is that the information will be available to view on
the web for 2 years.

 

Any future correspondence you may have with the Council in relation to
this matter should be emailed to [3][Bedford Borough Council request email] .

 

Any emails containing personal or sensitive data will be sent as ‘secure
e-mails’.  In order for you to access a secure email you will be asked to
create an account and log into the Council’s secure e-mail reply service. 
If you do receive a secure email there will be instructions explaining how
to do this.

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_de...
2. http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_de...
3. mailto:[Bedford Borough Council request email]

Andrea Bechtle, Bedford Borough Council

Bedford BC - OFFICIAL-Unsecure

 

Dear Maciej Wójtowicz

 

Request pursuant to Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request No.13420

 

I refer to your recent enquiry for information held by the Council under
the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Under the
provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the authority must state
whether or not the information exists and I can confirm that we do hold
the information you requested which has been answered below. 

 

Please find your request and our response below: 

 

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.
Very small number of Ancient Egyptian remains only – no human remains
within scope of this query (non-European ethnological human remains).

 

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

Nil return

 

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?
Nil return

 

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.

 

Nil return

 

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

 

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

 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. For
further information regarding Re-use of Public Sector information please
see link below.  If for whatever reason you are unhappy with our response
to your application you are entitled to pursue any dissatisfaction through
the Council's Internal Review Procedure.  Pursuant to Section 17 (7) of
the Act the procedure provided by the Council for dealing with complaints
about the determination of this request for information is the Council’s
FOI Complaints Procedure, a copy of which can be obtained on request or is
set out at:

[1]http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_de...

 

Yours sincerely

 

Andrea Bechtle

FOI & EIR Officer - Environment

Bedford Borough Council

Room 336, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK429AP

(01234) 718243 (ext 47243)
‘Bedford Borough Council - Working with our partners to make the borough a
better place to live, work and visit.’

 

 

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