Just caught this documentary on iPlayer. It's a followup to the 2007 documentary "Bulgaria's Abandoned Children" which reported the human rights violations of children abandoned to the state in Bulgaria. Some of the footage is absolutley horiffic, emaciated, malnourished, insitutionalised children obviously in pain being ignored by the people who are paid to care for them. Their disability often ignored, labeled "disabled" and assigned either "bed ridden" or "not bed ridden". Those who are bed ridden spend their day lying on their backs, often in pain, only ever receiving human interaction when being fed or having their clothes changed. Those who arnt bed ridden appear to spend their day sitting on a potty or a chair, rocking backwards and forewards, never speaking (many of them have never learned to) and unable to walk from malnourishment, again the only interaction they get is when they are being spoonfed. Medical conditions, rashes, bedsores, infections and even broken bones are ignored by the staff. The staff nurse rubs cream on one kids feet, whislt doing her best to ignore the obvious break in the childs leg, the obvious source of her screams. Some of the kids are admitted with relativley minor disabilities, deafness, blindness, mild autism. However, years of institutionalisation and lack of any education negates any chance of them ever leading a normal life. Instead they become like the others, malnutrition, emaciation, brittle bones which snap and are left untreated, never learning to walk, never learning to speak, never learning to feed themselves, left to spend their days rocking on the potty, day after day.... until they move on or die. I cant understand how an apparently civilised country which is a member of the european union can (or in the recent past has) allowed children to be treated like this. I spoke with two bulgarian friends on this subject tonight and both seemed to be totally apathetic to the plight of these children because they were "freaks", surplus to requirement, a waste of oxygen, unproductive members of society. They didnt understand and wernt prepared to debate the fact that disabled people can successfully be productive members of society given the right care. So maybe its a cultural thing, that said most of the problem seemed to be the kids "look gypsy/roma" so maybe its because they arnt ethnic bulgarian kids that no one seems to care. They were also very defensive about me talking about it, claiming that I thought I was "morally superior" because I think that people with a disability shouldnt be consigned to an institution. The only thing they wanted to say was that the carehome is now closed and everythings fixed, apart from the other 59 homes and the other 3100 children just like them... i guess its all sorted. If you get a chance to watch it, do. It really does open your eyes to what some people have to put up with, the hand that some people are dealt. I can understand that not all countries can offer their citizens the same level of care as other, economically better off countries but for a progressive, civilised country which seems to rank high on all the polls regarding human rights and standard of living it appals me children would be kept in such conditions. UNICEF and Amnesty International amongst many other charities are doing all they can for kids in places just like these, my heart goes out to the ones that couldnt cling on long enough or the ones who have passed the critical stages of child development, who can now never learn what its like to be ....essentialy human. http://warehousesofneglect.civiblog.org/ has a few other cases and info about the treaties Bulgaria ratified and failed to uphold.