KIEV, Ukraine – An international rights group says growing numbers of disabled children in Ukraine are being condemned to life in orphanages and institutions blighted by neglect and abuse.
Disability Rights International said in a report published Thursday that Ukraine is expanding its orphanages and children's homes, going against a global trend toward helping the disabled to integrate into society.
The group said it found over the course of a three-year investigation that children in institutions in Ukraine are exposed to physical and sexual violence and live in danger of being trafficked for sex, labor and pornography. DRI president Laurie Ahern said children with disabilities are the often the worst-abused and the majority languish in institutions their whole lives.
Estimates for the number of Ukrainian children in care vary from 82,000 to 200,000.