In cases Human Rights Watch documented, many children with disabilities ended up in orphanages because healthcare workers pressured their parents to give them up, claiming that children lacked developmental potential or that parents would be unable to care for them. The lack of adequate and appropriate education, access to rehabilitation and health care, and financial and other state support in many communities in Russia also affected parents’ decisions to place or keep their children in institutions.
Within orphanages, Human Rights Watch documented the segregation of children whom staff deemed to have the most “severe” disabilities into so-called “lying-down” rooms, where they are confined to cribs and often tied to furniture with rags. Many of these children received little attention except for feeding and diaper changing. Many children in these settings are rarely if ever given the chance to leave their cribs, interact with other children, or go outside. The practice of placing children with certain types of disabilities in “lying down” rooms is discriminatory and should be ended.