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End to Institutional Living, Implement Right to Live in the Community

(Brussels) – Serbia’s government should collect and make public the data on Covid-19 infections and deaths inside institutions for people with disabilities, six organizations for people with disabilities and human rights groups said today in a letter…
A room in the Sremčica Home for children and adults with disabilities where 292 persons, including 49 children, with disabilities live. Up to 10 people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch

Ensure Right to Live in the Community, Quality Support Services

(Brussels) – Croatia’s government should end the confinement of children and adults in institutions, five disabled people’s and human rights organizations said today in a letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. Despite some initial progress, the…
Restraints on a bed in a seclusion room for children in a psychiatric hospital

Thousands in Institutions, Not Allowed to Make Own Choices

(Brussels) – Thousands of children and adults with disabilities remain trapped in institutions a decade after Croatia ratified the international disability rights treaty, Human Rights Watch said today. Many more are denied the right to…
A room in the Home for “Mentally Ill Adults” in Osijek, an institution for adults with psychosocial disabilities. Between 2012 and 2016, 172 out of 200 people have been successfully moved into shared flats in the community, with support as needed.

Lack of Meaningful Accountability for Police Violence

(Berlin) – The Armenian government made important steps to improve access to palliative care for people with life-threatening illnesses in 2017 and parliament passed a law on violence in the family, but serious gaps in human rights protection…
Public debate on the law on violence in the family, passed in December 2017.

Long Journey Home for Baby With Disabilities

At her local church in Yerevan, Armenia, Siranush lit a candle and prayed that her daughter would survive the night. Lusine, 22, was hovering between life and death in a nearby hospital after a terrible car crash. As Siranush pleaded for her daughter’s…
Armenia Orphanage Witness - Meri 1

Close Orphanages; Ensure Accessible Services, Education for All

(Yerevan) – Thousands of children in Armenia are needlessly separated from their parents and placed in institutions due to disability or poverty, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should urgently provide community-based…
A boy sits on a swing in the courtyard of an orphanage for children with disabilities, Yerevan, Armenia.

Protesters Face Long Sentences, but Violence Against Them Unpunished

(Berlin) – The Armenian government failed to ensure meaningful and credible accountability for law enforcement officials responsible for excessive and disproportionate force against peaceful protesters, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report…
Demonstrators march peacefully in downtown Yerevan on July 30, 2016.
The day Julija was born should have been a day of celebration for Jasmina and Ivica Čuković, a Serbian couple, who had tried for years to have a baby. But the events following their daughter’s birth in a public hospital in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, left…
Julija Čuković, who spent ten months of her life in an institution, at home in Kragujevac with her parents, where she enjoys to play with her younger sister, also in the photo. © 2016 Zoran Stamenković

Government Should Invest in Community-Based Services

(Belgrade) – Hundreds of Serbian children with disabilities face neglect and isolation in institutions that may lead to stunted intellectual, emotional, and physical development, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Serbian government…
A room in the ward for the “most severely disabled” in Veternik home for children and adults with disabilities. Children are placed in the same rooms as adults and up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch

Government Should Expand Efforts to Transition People from Institutions to the Community

(New York) – The Croatian government should urgently heed the calls by United Nations disability rights experts to improve its disability rights record, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 17, 2015, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with…
Tatjana is 47, but she can’t travel to Austria to visit her daughter without permission from her legal guardian. In fact, she can’t even leave the town in Croatia where she lives without approval. It’s the same if she wants to move to another house, sign…

More Effort on Disability, Asylum and Minority Rights Needed by EU’s Newest State

(Brussels) – Croatia’s European Union (EU) accession on July 1 is an opportunity for the government to show its commitment to safeguard human rights and to properly address outstanding abuses in the country, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter…

Include People with Disabilities in Development Programs Worldwide

(New York) – Governments meeting at the United Nations about the needs of women and children with disabilities should develop a clear plan of action to promote and uphold their rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Among others steps, they should make…

Resolve Overdue Cases of Prisoners With Mental Disabilities

(Kampala) - The Ugandan justice minister should immediately issue orders to release 11 prisoners with psychosocial or mental disabilities who have languished in prison for years without resolution of their cases, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter…

Major Gap Between Treatment and European Aspirations

(Brussels) - Efforts toward European integration for the Western Balkans are hampered by persistent human rights problems, Human Rights Watch said today. In its World Report 2011, Human Rights Watch documents human rights concerns in Bosnia and…

Living with Disabilities in Uganda

As told by Shantha Rau Barriga Edna seemed shy, rounding her shoulders protectively over her baby. She was breastfeeding, and I could see the burn scars on the top of her head. Despite her initial self-consciousness, she told us her story, starting with…

Government Should Heed Recommendations by EU, UN and Fulfill Promises

(Brussels) - Croatia should carefully study the assessments of its human rights record expressed by the United Nations and the European Union on November 8 and 9, 2010, and accept and carry out their recommendations, Human Rights Watch said today. The UN…

People With Intellectual and Mental Disabilities Segregated Despite Government Promises

(Zagreb) - Thousands of people in Croatia with intellectual or mental disabilities are forced to live in institutions that strip them of their privacy, autonomy, and dignity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Croatian government has…

Government Needs to Protect Their Rights, Ensure Access to Services as North Rebuilds

(Kampala) - Women with disabilities in northern Uganda experience ongoing discrimination and sexual and gender-based violence, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Many are unable to gain access to basic services, including health care and…

Two Years after Landmark Treaty, Many Remain Institutionalized

(New York) - People with disabilities in Croatia still face violations of their basic human rights two years after a groundbreaking treaty on disability rights came into force, Human Rights Watch said today. Croatia was among the first countries in the…