This is a joint statement by the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Ukrainian children with disabilities. They express concern about the thousands of Ukrainian children with disabilities who were living in residential institutions and have been evacuated from war zones to Western Ukraine or to other countries, as well as those who have remained in unsafe areas. In particular, they draw attention to children with high support requirements who are negatively affected by institutionalization.
"We support the effort of the Ukrainian Government to ensure evacuated children do not go missing, are not adopted by persons in other countries, and will return to Ukraine once the war is over. In this regard, we note the moratorium on inter-country adoption under the conditions of Martial Law," said Mikiko Otani, Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
However, they assert that the Ukrainian Government regulation stipulating that all children evacuated from institutions - within Ukraine or to other countries - must remain together in those groups, results in the continued institutionalization of children. Often, these children are housed in overcrowded and understaffed facilities that cannot provide them with adequate care while also exposing them to harm.