May 8, 2014 – Washington, DC – This morning, the Chicago Tribune published an Op-Ed by Disability Rights International (DRI) Executive Director Eric Rosenthal calling for urgent international action to protect the 85,000 children detained in Ukraine’s orphanages. Instead of funding the orphanages that segregate children from society, DRI is urging the United States and other international donors to support programs to help families who wish to keep their children out of institutions.
Child with bruised eyes sitting on a couch looking into the camera
US aid has helped build and rebuild orphanages around the world. That’s a well-intentioned mistake that should not be repeated in Ukraine. (Photo: Eric Mathews, DRI, Ukraine 2013)
The truth is,” Rosenthal states in the Op-Ed, “support for orphanages now makes future reform even harder and may end up perpetuating segregated service systems… Most heartbroken mothers and fathers would do anything to keep their children if they received the tiniest amount of support.” There are 10 million children in orphanages around the world. DRI is calling for a ban on international funding to build or rebuild orphanages. Donors– governments, churches and individuals– need to support families, not orphanages. Click here to read today’s Op-Ed in the Chicago Tribune.