Infanticide and Abuse: Killing and confinement of children with disabilities in Kenya

This report is the product of a two-year investigation by Disability Rights International (DRI) into institutions and orphanages across Kenya. DRI visited twenty one children’s institutions – both public and private – in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi and rural and coastal communities. There were approximately 3,400 children in the facilities investigated by DRI.

The report describes the "egregious human rights violations" perpetrated against children with disabilities in Kenya, particularly those who are confined to institutions and "orphanages." 

"The situation in institutions for children with disabilities is dire," says the report. "DRI found children with disabilities in overcrowded and filthy conditions, children spending lengthy time in restraints and isolation rooms, overall lack of staff and untrained staff, neglect, and the withholding of medical care – treatment is readily available, yet children with disabilities are intentionally left to die. Children with disabilities – if they survive childhood – will likely spend their adult lives in institutions – death will be the only way out."

"Although children with disabilities are at serious risk of abuse in institutions, all children locked away and forgotten are likely to be emotionally, physically and/or sexually abused. DRI has documented severe neglect, physical and sexual abuse, and torture in Kenya."

"By supporting orphanages rather than parents," continues the report, "many of whom are desperate to keep their children – donations are effectively splitting families apart and leaving children exposed to neglect, abuse, and trafficking. In Kenya, DRI found orphanages supported by thousands of dollars through mission trips and volunteers."

The report includes recommendations to stop the killing, torture, and abuse of children with disabilities in Kenya, including supporting at-risk families "so that no child is placed in an orphanage or institution of any kind."