Reports

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.

DRI Litigation Docket 2023 (Public)

DRI conducts litigation at the national and international level to enforce and expand the right of children and adults to live in the community with choices equal to others. Our cases seek immediate protections from neglect, denial of basic care, violence and trafficking and systemic changes in law and policies to address the root causes of segregation and abuse. See DRI's global docket of cases here.

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.

International Children with Disabilities Protection Act ; S.4982 — 117th Congress (2021-2022)

WASHINGTON – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today were joined by ten of their Senate colleagues in introducing the International Children with Disabilities Protection Act, new legislation to bolster U.S. support for children with disabilities, helping improve the capacity of local disabilities rights organizations and families of children with disabilities around the world to advocate for necessary reforms.

Final Report & Recommendations: Addressing the situation of children with disabilities in residential care as part of the Ukraine response

On 7 July 2022, the Better Care Network (BCN) and Disability Rights International (DRI) organised an event with disability and child protection actors focused on the situation of children with disabilities in residential care in Ukraine (including those children who have been returned to families or evacuated from facilities since 24 February 2022).

Left Behind in the War: Dangers Facing Children with Disabilities In Ukraine’s Orphanages

In late April 2022, Disability Rights International (DRI) brought a team of people with disabilities and family activists, including medical and disability service experts, to visit Ukraine’s institutions for children with disabilities.  DRI visited three facilities for children aged six to adult, and one “baby” home for children from birth to age six.  DRI finds that Ukraine’s children with disabilities with the greatest support needs are living in atrocious conditions – entirely overlooked by major international relief agencies and receiving little support from abroad.  

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.

Still at Risk - Death and Disappearance of Survivors of the fire at Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción

On March 7, 2017, a group of girls, boys and teenagers protested the physical and sexual abuse, rape and trafficking that they were subjected to at the institution Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asuncion (Virgen de la Asuncion), in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Virgen de la Asuncion was a public institution where up to 800 children were detained prior to these protests. The authorities of Virgen de la Asuncion called on the National Police to repress the protests. As a punishment, the girls who had protested were beaten and locked up in a tiny auditorium with a capacity for 26 people standing, without a bathroom and access to water, where they were left to spend the night.

Todavía en riesgo - Muerte y desaparición de sobrevivientes del incendio del Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción

El 7 de marzo de 2017, un grupo de niñas, niños y adolescentes iniciaron una protesta por el abuso físico y sexual, violación y trata a los que eran sometidos en la institución Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción (Virgen de la Asunción), en la Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala. Virgen de la Asunción era una institución pública donde hasta 800 niños se encontraban detenidos antes de estas protestas. Las autoridades de Virgen de la Asunción llamaron a la Policía Nacional Civil (PNC) para reprimir las protestas. Como castigo por haber protestado, un grupo de 56 niñas fue encerrado en un pequeño cuarto con capacidad para 26 personas de pie, sin baño y sin acceso a agua, donde las dejaron pasar la noche.