Orphans in Russia face mass abuse
Thursday 17 December 1998
In a report published yesterday, the New York-based organisation says thousands of Russia's 200,000 orphaned or abandoned children are subjected to sexual and physical abuse by staff and older children, undergo hideous punishments, and are kept under a regime of strong sedatives.
The report's author, Kathleen Hunt, said the worst-off were the 30,000 children incarcerated in homes for the disabled. Many, she said, were kept locked in dark rooms, tied down, straitjacketed, orsimply left in their beds permanently.
The report said that staff members encouraged abuse by older children, locked children in freezing rooms for days, made them stand in the snow, and punished would-be run-aways by sending them to psychiatric hospitals. Some children simply died of malnourishment, she said.
Ms Hunt insisted that not all staff she had encountered were unkind to children. "Some of the women looking after them do show compassion and concern," she said, "but they suffer from a lack of training."
She said the abysmal conditions described in the report were not simply the result of Russia's economic collapse, but reflected a prejudice against the mentally ill and the disabled.
Ms Hunt said almost half the 15,000 children released each year from the state orphanages end up homeless. Most of these drift into crime, alcoholism or drug addiction.
The organisation called on Russian officials to stop encouraging parents to surrender disabled children to the state, and urged that children's mental states be diagnosed after extensive observation and not in single sessions, as is the usual practice.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
North Korea executes Kim Jong Un's powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek for 'attempting to overthrow the state'
Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >
£30k - 35k : Charter Selection: Leading property consultancy firm based in Sou...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: My client is a Top 50 Accoun...
£42000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Audit & Accounts - Top 50 ...
£35000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: My client, a very highly r...