There were an estimated 100,000 children in Ukraine’s institutions before Russia’s war on Ukraine which began in February 2022. In 2015, Disability Rights International published its report “No Way Home: The Exploitation and Abuse of Children in Ukraine’s Orphanages” about the horrific human rights abuses in institutions for children in Ukraine, warning about the particularly vulnerable situation of children caught in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. It noted that some children have been moved to other parts of Ukraine, while others disappeared into Russia. It set out a number of recommendations, including that international funders should support the closure of children’s institutions and the establishment of family-based services. Today, seven years after, the consequences of the inaction of the international community is visible, with children from Ukraine’s institutions at risk both within Ukraine and abroad.
This webinar is co-organised by the European Network on Independent Living – ENIL and Disability Rights International on the occasion of the 5th May – the European Independent Living Day. This year – designated the European Year of Youth - the day is dedicated to children and young people with disabilities. Therefore, these organizations want to use it to raise awareness about the situation of children with disabilities from Ukraine’s institutions. In addition to the current risks, they plan to discuss what should happen during post-war recovery. This includes the role that international relief agencies and funders should play in ensuring that children from Ukraine’s institutions are not abandoned, abused, exploited or further segregated from society during the conflict -- have a safe place to return to, within families, and outside institutions.
15:30 – 15:45 The work of international organisations to address the situation of children in institutions – including children who have been evacuated Mariya Yasenovska, European Disability Forum Marlee Quinn, Global Protection Cluster and Humanity & Inclusion
15:45 – 16:00 Preventing re-institutionalisation of children during the post-war recovery – the role of international funders and recommendations for action Eric Rosenthal, Disability Rights International Jonas Ruskus, Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities