An expert panel has recommended that the Northern Ireland Executive establishes a public inquiry to investigate the experience of women and girls who were sent to mother and baby institutions in Northern Ireland.
It was also recommended that a redress scheme would be established for the victims immediately.
Over 10,000 women and girls were sent to the facilities between the 1920s and 1990s.
This is an important day of acknowledgement recognising the suffering and pain inflicted on mothers and children in Mother and Baby Institutions, Magdalene Laundries and Workhouses.
I am committed to doing all in my power for victims of this abuse.
This must never happen again. pic.twitter.com/hTRbynq5I4
— Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) October 5, 2021
There have been countless allegations of abuse within the centres.
In January, the Taoiseach Micheal Martin made a formal state apology to the victims and survivors of Mother and Baby Institutions in Ireland.
Micheál Martin told the Dáil that basic kindness was not shown to vulnerable women by either church or state.
A Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Facilities found the harsh treatment of unmarried mothers was "supported by, contributed to, and condoned by, the institutions of the State and the Churches" - but that some of the institutions offered a 'harsh refuge' when many families provided 'no refuge at all'.
It revealrf there were around 56,000 unmarried mothers and 57,000 children in the mother and baby homes and country homes investigated by the Commission, mostly in the 1960s and 70s.