New Report Documents Worldwide Mistreatment of People with Disabilities: Urges Support for Disability Treaty

September 5, 2013


pdf File Press Release Report on Abuse and Neglect.pdf (118KB) [download]

pdf File Neglected and Abused Abroad.pdf (635KB) [download]

SILVER SPRING, MD (September 4, 2013) - Silver Spring, MD - The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) distributed a report today released by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) that highlighted examples of the severe abuse and neglect of people with disabilities occurring around the world. Some of the stories are extraordinarily shocking:

  • In Ghana, people with intellectual and mental health disabilities are being subjected to severe abuse in psychiatric institutions and so-called "healing" centers. Thousands are forced to live in abysmal institutions with no hope of challenging their indefinite confinement.
  • In Kenya, a 10-year old girl who is deaf is raped then faces institutional barriers in the justice system due to her disability.
  • In Mexico, children with intellectual disabilities are abandoned at a private facility without any identifying information on their diagnosis or even their names.
  • In Paraguay, children were found living in cells, surrounded by walls smeared with feces and floors reeking of urine.
  • In Russia, people with physical disabilities find themselves trapped as prisoners in their own homes due to the widespread physical inaccessibility of Russian cities.

These are only a few examples; many more from many other countries can be found in the report and links within the report.

In response to these horrific violations of human rights occurring worldwide, AUCD calls on the United States Senate to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. "Ratification of this important treaty will put the United States in a stronger position, by having a seat at the table, to help educate, train, assist, and if necessary use diplomatic pressure to work towards securing equal rights and just treatment of individuals with disabilities throughout the world," said Kim Musheno, AUCD's Director of Legislative Affairs. "Frankly, it's embarrassing that the U.S. helped to develop the treaty and then failed to ratify it," Musheno added.

The full report is available on the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities' website.

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs. Through its members, AUCD is a resource for local, state, national, and international agencies, organizations, and policy makers concerned about people living with developmental and other disabilities and their families. AUCD Network members consist of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), 43 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Programs, and 15 Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers (IDDRC). AUCD also engages internationally with individual university-based Centers that are dedicated to research, education, and service for and with people with developmental disabilities. Current international affiliates are in Wales, Israel, South Africa, Spain, and Australia, countries that have all ratified the CRPD. For more information and directory of University Centers, see