UN disability expert tells Moldova to close institutions

Catalina Devandas Aguilar ©UN Photo Mark GartenYesterday, Catalina Devandas-Aguilar – the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability – presented her preliminary findings following an eight-day visit to Moldova. Her main message to the government was simple: Moldova must “take immediate action to close its institutions”.

During her visit the Rapporteur met with civil society and governmental representatives. She visited residential institutions and acknowledged the government’s efforts in inclusive education. However, she was “appalled” at the “unimaginable conditions of neglect” and “inhuman treatment” in psychiatric and social care institutions. She called for people to be evacuated out and for the institutions to be closed.

This echoes recommendations in a report published this year by four UN agencies and MDAC. The report documented deplorable human rights violations in psychiatric institutions, where violence and abuse are prevalent, and where treatment is often inexistent or inadequate. The report estimates that 2,500 people with disabilities permanently live in such institutions, segregated from the community. Please send an email to Valeriu Streleţ, the Moldovan Prime Minister, urging him to close institutions and get people the supports they need to live in the community”. Please send your message via this website.

Moldova has obligations under international law to prevent and remedy abuse, and eradicate institutionalization. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires Moldova to develop community support services that enable people to live in the community. Watch a video of the Special Rapporteur’s initial findings. 

 

 

 

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