Washington, DC - October 28, 2010 - In countries throughout the Americas, Disability Rights International (DRI) has documented some of the most egregious violations of the human rights of children with disabilities. Because of their disability and a lack of community services, these children are abandoned to a lifetime of institutionalization - in orphanages, psychiatric hospitals, or social care homes - where they are isolated, abused and neglected, and left to grow up without the love and care of a family.
We are working to bring about the day when no child with a disability is placed in an institution anywhere in the world. To this end, DRI has launched the Worldwide Campaign to End the Institutionalization of Children.We believe that, with the support of human rights bodies, international donors, development organizations, and human rights advocacy groups, we can bring about the fulfillment of this goal within ten years.
As part of this campaign, DRI filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an organ of the Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS is an international organization of countries throughout the Americas with the ability to observe and analyze the enforcement of international human rights law throughout the Americas. The petition was granted, and tonight DRI will testify at a hearing about the human rights abuses of children with disabilities in institutions. DRI Executive Director, Eric Rosenthal, and DRI Mexico and Central America Programs Director, Sofía Galván Puente, will testify. Also testifying will be Raquel Jelinek of Inclusion Interamericana and Maria Veronica Reina of the Global Partnership on Disability and Development. This hearing is an enormously important means of bringing attention to this issue.
The hearing will be broadcast live on the web. Click to watch tonight at 5:45 PM (EST).