Vers la fin de l’enfance placée en institutions

BUDAPEST – En Septembre de cette année, le procureur de la république bulgare a lancé une enquête pour homicide autour du décès de 238 enfants handicapés qui vivaient dans des institutions d’état en Bulgarie. Au cours des dix dernières années, des enfants sont morts de malnutrition, d’infections curables, de pneumonie, « d’accidents » et de négligence. 149 de ces 238 enfants sont morts dans les institutions dans lesquelles ils vivaient plutôt qu’à l’hôpital, ce qui soulève de profondes inquiétudes sur les raisons pour lesquelles ces enfants, mourants, n’ont pas été immédiatement transférés dans un service hospitalier de soins intensifs.

Ces abus et ces négligences ne se cantonnent pas à la Bulgarie. Les gouvernements successifs d’Europe centrale et orientale sont responsables d’un échec systémique, incapables de fournir un soutien adapté aux familles ayant des enfants handicapés, lesquels sont souvent abandonnés et internés. Sans une famille stimulante ou un environnement à caractère familial, ces enfants ne peuvent développer leur plein potentiel. Ces structures provoquent une détérioration chez l’enfant, même là où il n’y a ni négligence ni abus.

Le taux de placement d’enfants déficients en institutions est resté stable mais devrait s’inverser. En novembre, des représentants des états membres de la zone Europe de l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé se sont réunis à Bucarest où ils ont signé la Déclaration Européenne sur la santé des enfants et des jeunes atteints de déficiences intellectuelles et de leur famille (European Declaration on the Health of Children and Young People with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families). Cette déclaration engage les gouvernements à améliorer les soins de santé prodigués aux enfants intellectuellement déficients pour susciter un développement tout au long de leur vie, ainsi que leur insertion et pleine participation dans la société, et établit dix domaines d’actions prioritaires, dont l’autonomisation des enfants, leur protection contre la violence et les abus, et le transfert des soins des institutions vers la communauté.

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