Studies, Reviews and Research

Abandoned by the State: Violence, neglect, and isolation for children with disabilities in Russian orphanages

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Human Rights Watch

This study, by Human Rights Watch, finds that children with disabilities may be overrepresented in institutional care centers in Russia. In addition, these children report instances of abuse, maltreatment, poor nutrition, poor medical care, and other counts of infringement on their human rights. Human Rights Watch determined that the combination of these practices can constitute inhuman and degrading treatment.  

Although the Russian government passed a resolution in May of 2014 to establish orphanages as temporary institutions whose primary purpose is to place children in families, Human Rights Watch is concerned that children with disabilities will be segregated from their peers without disabilities, and that the resolution does not give sufficient attention to the needs of children with disabilities with regard to adoption, fostering, and access to information on their rights.

Human Rights Watch calls on the Russian government to adopt a zero tolerance policy for violence, ill-treatment, isolation, and neglect of children with disabilities living in state institutions and guarantee children’s rights to food, education, and play.

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