The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, condemned the abuses of children with intellectual disabilities in Sarajevo's Pazaric institution revealed Wednesday by an MP in the Federation (FBiH) entity Parliament.
“The revelations of abuse in the Pazaric 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,” Mijatovic said.
She called on the authorities to urgently make progress towards the closing all such institutions and reform the childcare 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,” the Human Rights Commissioner said in her statement.
Sabina Cudic who is a member of the FBiH Parliament unveiled shocking photos on Wednesday showing the patients, mostly children, tied to beds and other pieces of furniture in the institution for the protection and care of people with intellectual disabilities Pazaric, near Sarajevo.
Delivering the photos to media outlets, she said this is how the patients spend most of the time which causes injuries and serious deterioration of their mental health.