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Torment not Treatment: Serbia’s Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities

By: Laurie Ahern, Eric Rosenthal, Mental Disability Rights Initiative

This report is the product of a four-year investigation by Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) into the human rights abuses perpetrated against institutionalized children and adults in Serbia. From July 2003 to August 2007, MDRI documented a broad array of human rights violations against people with disabilities, segregated from society and forced to live out their lives in institutions (all observations in this report are from December 2006 through August 2007 except as noted). Filthy conditions, contagious diseases, lack of medical care and rehabilitation, and a failure to provide oversight renders placement in a Serbian institution lifethreatening. MDRI investigators found children and adults with disabilities tied to beds or never allowed to leave a crib – some for years at a time. Inhumane and degrading treatment in Serbian institutions – in violation of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) – is widespread. Children and adults with disabilities tied down and restrained over a lifetime are being subjected to extremely dangerous and painful “treatment” that is tantamount to torture.

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Uploaded on: Apr 28, 2015
Last Updated: Dec 08, 2015
Year Published: 2007
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