“It is My Dream to Leave This Place”: Children with Disabilities in Serbian Institutions

This report, based on 118 in-depth interviews with children with disabilities and their families, disability advocates, staff of institutions, and government officials, documents a range of issues that children with disabilities experience in institutions in Serbia (an aspiring member of the European Union), which leads to multiple violations of their rights. These issues include segregation, neglect, including a failure of guardians to play a meaningful role in the children’s lives, lack of privacy, use of potentially inappropriate medical treatment and failure to provide information about or seek consent for treatment, lack of access to education, limited freedom of movement, denial of legal capacity upon reaching adulthood, among others.

This report also highlights some promising practices for services and supports within Serbia, which should be scaled up to ensure that children are able to live and thrive in their communities.

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