No Way Home: The Exploitation and Abuse of Children in Ukraine’s Orphanages

Eric Mathews, Eric Rosenthal, Laurie Ahern, Halyna Kurylo - Disability Rights International

This report is a product of a three-year investigation by Disability Rights International (DRI) into the abuses experienced by children - both with and without disabilities - in large-scale institutions, psychiatric facilities, and boarding schools in Ukraine, of whom there are nearly 100,000, according to the report. For children with disabilities especially, says the report, “orphanages are a gateway to lifelong institutionalization in abusive adult facilities.” The report details the grave human rights abuses faced by institutionalized children throughout Ukraine, both before and during the present conflict, including: neglect, inadequate medical care, forced abortions and sterilization, physical abuse, social isolation, electro-shock therapy, and more. The report also highlights the links between institutions and child trafficking and the role of international aid in denouncing and perpetuating institutionalization. The report concludes with guidance for international cooperation, including steps to decrease institutionalized populations worldwide.