Commissioner urges authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to investigate abuses in the Pazaric institution for children with disabilities

Strasbourg 20/11/2019
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The revelations of abuse in the Pazarić institution for children and youth with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities are profoundly shocking. I call upon the authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to initiate, as a matter of urgency, an effective investigation into the cases of abuse in this institution and bring to justice those responsible for the abuse.

Secondly, the authorities should urgently make progress towards the closure of all such institutions and reform of the child care system in line with human rights standards. People segregated in institutions regularly suffer from abandonment and neglect. As required by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Bosnia and Herzegovina should ensure that all children with disabilities live in a family setting. Where the immediate family is unable to care for a child with disabilities, every effort should be undertaken to provide alternative care within the wider family, and failing that, within the community in a family setting.