No Way Home: The Exploitation and Abuse of Children in Ukraine’s Orphanages

Eric Mathews
Eric Rosenthal
Laurie Ahern
Halyna Kurylo
Disability Rights International
Publication Year:
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
No Way Home: The Exploitation and Abuse of Children in Ukraine’s Orphanages

Published by Disability Rights International, this report documents the exploitation and trafficking of institutionalized children in Ukraine. Whilst UNICEF estimates that there are 82,000 children living in institutions, other advocacy groups have suggested that the number is far greater. This problem has been exasperated with Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, leading to more children disappearing or being abandoned by these institutions that were supposed to protect them. In these institutions, Disability Rights International has found that the children face sex and labour trafficking, sexual abuse, physical abuse, forced abortion and lack of community support. Many children who graduated from orphanages are often forced onto the streets while facing substance abuse among other issues. Nevertheless, there are many international parties that still donate to these institutions, perpetuating these problems. Disability Rights International urges the enforcement of human rights to protect vulnerable children while adopting stricter regulations to prevent abuse and trafficking. They also recommend Ukraine to provide more support for adults who have graduated from orphanages so that they could more easily integrated into society. At the same time, they also recommends international parties to redistribute funding to support urgent human rights issues and assume a more proactive role in supporting these children.

No Way Home: The Exploitation and Abuse of Children in Ukraine’s Orphanages is a product of a three-year investigation by Disability Rights International (DRI) into the egregious human rights violations perpetrated against nearly 100,000 children – with and without disabilities – who are left to grow up segregated from society in orphanages, psychiatric facilities, residential boarding schools, and other institutions.

This report presents findings on: segregated system of services, abuse in institutions, institutionalization and human trafficking, and the role of international aid. 


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