Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
These images show scared and crying children tied to radiators and beds in psychiatric institutes in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
They were made public by local media MP in the Sarajevo Canton Assembly, Sabina Cudic, who revealed shocking details about the treatment of minors in the ‘Care of Children with Developmental Disabilities’ institution which is located in Pazaric, near Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The video was unveiled in front of local media and politicians causing heated debate across the country.
The photos show that the children ‘s hands are tied behind their backs, and Cudic said that many children spend most of the day and all night in such a position and that such treatment results in physical injuries and worsens their existing mental health issues.
At the press conference, Cudic stated: “This situation can be called modern slavery. The Institute has 149 employees, including 27 economists, and 47 sick children.
“At night, only one caregiver is employed who is often a non-skilled person.
“As a result of these methods, many children have serious health problems, in addition to the obvious trauma that you can see.”
She then asked the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Ministry of Health to appoint a medical team that will audit the diagnoses and introduce regular medical check-ups for the children.
This is not the first time allegations about this institution where made to the government. On October 17 however when it was first revealed that the problems at the institute in Pazaric government officials had rejected the criticism.
After the pictures and video made public, hundreds of citizens gathered today in front of the Federation of BiH Government building in Sarajevo, seeking an emergency response by the authorities in relation to the tied up children.
One of the mothers at the protest stated: “The state gave me nothing. The system does not work. We have struggled for years to get a daycare centre but they don’t give it to us. And why? To make more money for them. Every state has a daycare centre, every city has a daycare centre.”
She then added that for 17 years she has neither a physical therapist nor a speech therapist to work with her child with disabilities.
After the today’s session, the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced that they had created an official task force that will need to verify all allegations regarding the situation at the Institute for the Mental Care of Disabled Children Pazaric within seven days.
The task force will start collecting the findings immediately and they will then report back to MPs.
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