Disability Rights International is the first human rights organization to bring international attention to the millions of children and adults with disabilities locked away in orphanages, psychiatric wards, and other facilities around the world. The organization has conducted investigations in more than three-dozen countries. Their reports have brought world media attention to the rights of people with disabilities.
In recent years, Disability Rights International, or DRI, has especially focused on children, who are most at-risk in institutions. DRI staff have found children tied to their beds and denied medical care. Babies rocking back and forth and gouging their eyes due to mind-numbing boredom and neglect. Most of the children placed in orphanages actually have families. DRI is trying to get governments to help parents keep their sons or daughters with disabilities – and avoid unnecessary placement in institutions.
As a result of their new focus on kids, DRI has launched a Worldwide Campaign to End the Institutionalization of Children. The campaign’s goal is to educate governments, as well as charities and international donors, to support community integration for all children. In this episode of the Visionaries, we’ll travel to the Republic of Georgia, where DRI is following up on a report it released in 2013 following a three-year investigation in that country.