Families Find A Way: Children with disabilities in war-torn Ukraine

Disability Rights International (DRI) and our affiliate Disability Rights Ukraine (DRU) have, over a ten-year period¹, documented the human rights concerns of more than 100,000 Ukrainian children – with and without disabilities – placed in congregate settings and left to grow up segregated from families and society in orphanages, boarding schools, psychiatric facilities, and other institutions.

New DRI Report - Families Find a Way: Children with disabilities in war-torn Ukraine

DRI asked more than 500 brave and courageous families living in Ukraine what they are now experiencing during the war and what they need. These interviews provide a blueprint of the change that must occur – by governments, donors, policymakers, caregivers, and communities during the war and recovery process. We must hear their stories and listen to their voices.

The disabled Ukrainians facing a lifetime of mistreatment and abuse – BBC News


Warning: Viewers may find some images in this report distressing.

BBC News has gained access to institutions in Ukraine where widespread abuse and mistreatment of disabled people has been uncovered. Around 100,000 children and young people live in these institutions, which pre-date the war with Russia. Human rights investigators say Ukraine should not join the European Union until it closes these institutions. The Ukrainian government has promised a series of reforms over the past few years, acknowledging that its system of institutionalisation needs to change.

Human Rights Bulletin Protection and Safety of Children with Disabilities in the Residential Institutions of War-Torn Ukraine: The UN Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization and the Role of International Donors

This bulletin considers the situation of children with disabilities in Ukraine, who at the time of the onset of the armed conflict were living in institutional care. DRI investigations have revealed that despite abundant inter- national assistance, the government of Ukraine and international relief agencies have failed to ensure the safety and protect the lives of these children within institutions – or to ensure their safe return to families in the community.

Residential Care Controversy: The Promise of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to Protect All Children

Conflicting interpretations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) send mixed messages on the safety and legitimacy of residential care, resulting in the replacement of large institutions with smaller ones often called ‘residential care’ or ‘group homes.’ This article demonstrates how the family inclusion mandate of General Comment No. 5 is rooted in the ‘human rights model of disability,’ fundamental to equal protection under the CRPD for all children with actual or perceived disabilities. The article proposes solutions to ensure full implementation of both the CRC and CRPD.

Action Steps to Protect Children and Adults with Disabilities During COVID-19 Pandemic

Given what DRI has already documented in dozens of countries - the close quarters where people are detained, the lack of opportunity for social distancing or quarantine, as well as inadequate staffing, habilitation and medical care - thousands of children and adults with disabilities are at immediate risk.  The infection of any person placed in a facility or staff member means a high risk of death for anyone at that facility.

Alternative Report by Mexican Civil Society Organizations Submitted to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

This report is submitted to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter “The Committee” or “CRPD Committee”) for the working group of the pre-session 12, which will be held from September 23 to 27, 2019, to determine the list of issues for the CRPD Committee’s evaluation of Mexico.