Aminazine: Big tranquilizer (neuroleptic) commonly administered in Russian orphanages.
CAT: The United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
CIDE: Comité International pour la Dignité de l'Enfant (International Committee for the Dignity of the Child). Swiss-based organization that published a report on several orphanages and juvenile detention centers in St.Petersburg, 1995.
The Commission: Shorthand reference to the state-run Psychological-Medical-Pedagogical Commission, an interdisciplinary board that evaluates the developmental progress of all orphans in institutions around the age of four. The commissions controversial diagnosis effectively channels abandoned children and children with disabilities into state institutions for the "educable" or asylums for the "ineducable."
CRC: U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
CSI: Christian Solidarity International, a British charity that produced a report in 1991 based on an expert investigation into orphanages and internaty in Russia.
Debil: One who is mildly mentally retarded. According to Russian medical references, debily tend to imitate, and can master primary school skills. But they do not develop more subtle intellectual feelings such as duty, and their behavior is often determined by chance and unregulated feelings.
Dom rebyonka: Baby house. Orphanage for infants 0-4 years old, run by the Russian Ministry of Health.
DRMRP: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons.
DSA: Down Syndrome Association (of Russia), an independent nongovernmental organization.
Dyetskii dom: (plural: dyetskiye doma) Children's home, literally. Often used interchangeably with internat to refer to state orphanages in general. The nickname "dyet' dom," and the adjective "dyet-domovskii" are often used pejoratively.
ICCPR: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
ICESCR: International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
Idiot: One who has the most profound degree of mental retardation. Russian medical references describe idioty as "helpless and requir[ing] care and supervision. Speech is absent." They are considered "ineducable." Diagnosis is "idiotia."
Imbetsil: One who has a severe degree of mental retardation (between debil and idiot). Russian medical references say the hallmark of imbetsily is their "inabilityto engage in abstract thought and to be taught in school. Their feelings are extremely primitive." Thus, they are ineducable. Diagnosis is "imbetsilnost."
Internat: (plural: internaty) Boarding institution. Often used interchangeably with dyetskii dom, to refer to orphanages for children five to eighteen years. In this report, unless indicated otherwise, "internat" refers to the institutions for "ineducable" children run by the Russian Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
ISM: International Standards for Medical Treatment, Including Care of the Disabled and Terminally Ill (from the U.N. and the World Medical Association).
Lying-down room: Room(s) in baby houses and psycho-neurological internaty for bedridden children.
NGO: Nongovernmental organization.
Nurse: Training is generally equivalent to nurse's aide in Western medical systems.
Oligophrenia: Mental retardation (from the Greek, "small brain"). Russian medical references indicate that true oligophrenia is hereditary, congenital, or acquired early in life. There are three categories, from mild to severe: debil, imbetsil, and idiot. Applied with a broad interpretation to abandoned infants and young children.
Orphan: Also, "social orphan." Used broadly to include abandoned children with one or both living parents, which is the case for roughly 95 percent of children in state institutions. Some parents have relinquished or been denied parental rights, but a substantial number of children who have run away or been abandoned, have parents who still have legal rights.
Pedagogue: Professional educator, included as personnel category in all state institutions. Some specialize in speech and reading, but the level of skill varies widely.
PME: Principles of Medical Ethics Relevant to the Role of Health Personnel, particularly Physicians, in the Protection of Prisoners and Detainees against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. (United Nations document.)
Psikhushka: Ironic diminutive for "psychiatric hospital," to which misbehaving orphans can be sent for discipline or treatment.
PTU: Pedagogical Technical Directorate (Ministry of Education system). This is a system of vocational training institutions with dormitory accommodation, for school-aged children who have completed at least six years of standard schooling, and left their children's home.
Psychoneurological Internat: Boarding institution for children five to eighteen years of age, deemed mentally retarded, or oligophrenic at the level of imbetsil and idiot, and thus, ineducable. Run by Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
RFC: Russian Family Code.
Rights of the Child: Independent local nongovernmental organization based in Moscow which advocates human rights protection for children.
Rod dom: Maternity ward in a general hospital in larger towns and cities. Many Russian orphans are abandoned in the rod dom shortly after birth.
Sanitarka: (plural: sanitarki) Cleaning person or orderly. Although they are trained mainly as orderlies, they are often the only institutional staff who are responsible for the day-to-day care of children in baby houses and internaty.
Spets-internat: Special boarding institution. The generic term for institutions housing children with a various categories of physical and mental disabilities. Can refer to spets-internaty for "debil," or lightly retarded children (Ministry of Education), and the psychoneurological spets-internaty for children labeled "imbetsil" and "idiot" (Ministry of Labor and Social Development).
U.N. Rules: U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty
Vospitatel: (plural: vospitateli) General caretaker of children. Personnel category includes non-academic teachers in children's homes and vocational training dormitories. Education level of a vospitatel' is usually equivalent to a primary school teacher.
Ukol beznorme: Injection. Colloquial term used by children in internaty to refer to medication, such as tranquilizers, administered without orders from a physician.
WHO: World Health Organization. U.N. agency based in Geneva.