Children in Russian Orphanage Allege Rape

Kaitlin Martin - Human Rights Watch

Seven boys at an institution for children with disabilities in the Chelyabinsk region of south-central Russia have reportedly been sexually abused by staff and visitors at the orphanage, according to this article from Human Rights Watch. The boys are now in the care of foster or adoptive families. The article details the alleged abuse and exploitation of these children at the hands of a visitor to the institution whom they called "Sergei," as well as other visitors and orphanage staff. According to one of the lawyers representing the boys, a suspect has been arrested and the governor has issued a statement promising a thorough investigation.

"A fundamental “flaw” is that children end up in these orphanages at all," says Human Rights Watch. The article continues to explain the risks of psychological and physical violence for children with disabilities in these institutions throughout the country. "ll children have the right to grow up in a family, when possible. All children, including those with disabilities, have the right to live in communities – not isolated in institutions, where they may face the kinds of abuses these seven boys have alleged. At a minimum, children in residential care in Russia do not get the attention, nurturing, and support essential to their physical and emotional development," says the article.