An international rights group said in a report Thursday that growing numbers of disabled children in Ukraine are being condemned to life in orphanages and institutions blighted by neglect and abuse.
Disability Rights International said its three-year investigation found that Ukraine is expanding its pool of orphanages and children’s homes, going against a global trend toward aiding the disabled to integrate into society.
Children in institutions in Ukraine are exposed to physical and sexual violence and live in danger of being trafficked for sex, labor and pornography, the report said. DRI president Laurie Ahern said children with disabilities are often the worst-abused and most languish in institutions their whole lives.
While there are no reliable figures for the number of Ukrainian children living in care, estimates vary between 82,000 and 200,000