This sculpture is from the Famine Memorial in Dublin. The connection is that during the famine, begging was criminalized and those convicted of begging or food larceny could be sentenced to North American (1717- 1783) and later to Australia (1787-1868) via the Transportation Act of 1718. Though New South Wales had stopped accepting Irish prisoners, other Australian colonies continued acceptance. For example, in 1848, 171 female prisoners and their children left the Grangegorman Female Penitentiary in Stoneybatter and boarded the convict ship the ‘John Calvin.’ It arrived in Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land ( now Tasmania) on 18th May 1848.
On this day, May 22, 1840, the transportation of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished. This is an issue of war crimes from two separate perspectives. First, there is the issue of the forced deportation of Irish; the British identified these Irish prisoners as criminals, yet their "crime" was usually Irish nationalism and the desire for equal rights under the law. Secondly, the forced deportation of Irish and others to Australia increased the British removal of Australian aborigines from their lands.
Under modern International Law:
-the Charter of the Nuremberg Trials (1945) declared forced deportation of civilian populations to be both a war crime and a crime against humanity -Article 49 of Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) prohibits mass movement of people out of or into of occupied territory under belligerent military occupation -United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (1993) states that historical cases reflect a now-foregone belief that population transfer may serve as an option for resolving various types of conflict, within a country or between countries; the agreement of recognized States may provide one criterion for the authorization of the final terms of conflict resolution. However, the cardinal principle of "voluntariness" is seldom satisfied, regardless of the objective of the transfer. For the transfer to comply with human rights standards as developed, prospective transferees must have an option to remain in their homes if they prefer.