Abandoned to the State


1998 - It is seven years since the declining Soviet Union released the last of its most renowned political dissidents, and closed a chapter of notorious human rights abuse in psychiatric hospitals and GULAG prisons. Yet today, in another archipelago of grim state institutions, the authorities of the Russian Federation are violating the fundamental rights of tens of thousands of innocent citizens: children abandoned to state orphanages.

Human Rights Watch has found that from the moment the state assumes their care, orphans in Russia—of whom 95 percent still have a living parent—are exposed to shocking levels of cruelty and neglect. Infants classified as disabled are segregated into "lying-down" rooms, where they are changed and fed but are bereft of stimulation and lacking in medical care. The full story

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