NEW YORK — Human Rights Watch (HRW), the New York-based humanitarian organization, in February released a report on the fate of children in Armenian orphanages, especially those who are mentally or physically handicapped.
The report pointed out two problems: first, many children end up in orphanages because of the parents’ financial situation. Second, most children with physical or mental handicaps never get out of the system.
According to Jane Buchanan, the associate director for Europe and Central Asia for HRW, “Parents are often compelled to make a decision because they have no other option. Whether it is just with respect to a child with disabilities or basic social support, it is not available in the community. [They end up] behind the walls of these institutions. They [parents] make decisions they shouldn’t have to make.”
Buchanan said that the government is responsible for the care of those children and that they provide no alternatives for indigent parents.
“The situation of children with and without disabilities” is dire, she said.