Straightjackets and Seclusion: an investigation into abuse and neglect of children and adults with disabilities in Hungary

This report by the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC) in Hungary contains information collected during visits to Topház between 15 February 2017 and 18 April 2017 by an MDAC team with expertise in law, human rights, disability rights, special education, cognitive science and child protection.

The findings indicate serious abuse and neglect of adults and children with intellectual, cognitive, developmental, multiple and profound disabilities who are living there. The MDAC team saw incidences of torture or ill treatment against residents: people with multiple disabilities inside metal cage beds, seclusion and physical restraints behind locked doors, a young boy in a makeshift straightjacket, untreated open wounds, and indications of malnutrition. The authors conclude that “the conditions, abusive practices and evidence of violence seen in this institution are the result of systemic failings in law, policy, and regulation and a lack of effective and independent monitoring.”