NGO slams treatment of disabled children in Russian orphanages
Nearly 30 percent of Russian children with disabilities live in state-run orphanages, though most of them have at least one living parent, as whenever a child with a disability is born in Russia, health care workers pressure parents to give up their newborn baby to an orphanage, HRW said in a 94-page report released Monday.
Once in the system, children with a variety of disabilities such as cerebral palsy, schizophrenia, Down’s syndrome and the specific Russian “diagnoses” of “debility” or “idiocy” are barred from opportunities to learn — including learning how to walk, the report said.
The findings are based on visits by HRW researchers to 10 orphanages in six of Russia's regions, and more than 200 interviews with parents and with current and former wards of the institutions, the report said.
In eight out of the 10 orphanages, researchers found children of all ages confined to cribs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and banned from getting up or using a wheelchair, even if the children were capable of learning to walk, the report said.
Read The Moscow Times story here.