El fin de la internación de menores en instituciones

BUDAPEST - En septiembre de este año, la fiscalía búlgara inició una investigación por homicidio en torno a la muerte de 238 niños con discapacidad, que habían vivido en instituciones estatales en Bulgaria. Murieron a lo largo de la última década por desnutrición y hambre, infecciones tratables, neumonía, "accidentes" y abandono. De los 238 casos, 149 menores murieron en las instituciones donde vivían en lugar de un hospital, lo que dio la alarma de por qué, al borde de la muerte, no fueron trasladados inmediatamente a una unidad hospitalaria de cuidados intensivos.

El abuso y la negligencia no son exclusivos de Bulgaria. Los sucesivos gobiernos de los países del centro y este de Europa son responsables de una falta sistemática de apoyo adecuado a las familias con menores discapacitados, lo que a menudo tiene como resultado el abandono y la internación en instituciones. Sin una familia o entorno de características familiares que les proporcione estímulo, no pueden desarrollar todo su potencial. Las instituciones causan deterioro en ellos, incluso cuando no hay negligencia ni abusos.

La tasa de internación en instituciones de menores con discapacidad se ha mantenido estable, pero va en dirección a revertirse. En noviembre, los representantes de los estados miembros de la región europea de la OMS se reunieron en Bucarest, donde firmaron la "Declaración europea sobre la salud de niños y jóvenes con discapacidad intelectual y sus familias". La declaración compromete a los gobiernos a mejorar la atención de la salud de los niños con discapacidad intelectual para mejorar su desarrollo a lo largo de la vida, así como la inclusión y participación plena en la sociedad, y establece diez prioridades de acción, que incluyen desarrollar facultades de autonomía en los menores, protegerlos contra el maltrato y el abuso, y transferir la atención de las instituciones a la comunidad.

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