Disappeared and Abandoned: Mexico’s Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities is the product of a year-long investigation and collaboration between Disability Rights
International (DRI) and the Comisión Méxicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH). From August 2009 through September 2010, DRI and the CMDPDH investigated psychiatric institutions, orphanages, shelters, and other public facilities that house children and adults with disabilities.
This report documents violations of the rights of people with disabilities under the new United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and other human rights
treaties ratified by Mexico.
The investigative team documented a broad array of human rights violations against people with disabilities and found that many people are forced to live their entire lives in institutions in atrocious and abusive conditions. This report concludes that Mexico segregates thousands of children and adults with disabilities from society in violation of CRPD article 19 which guarantees the “right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community with choices equal to others.”
The primary reason for institutionalization is Mexico’s lack of community-based services to provide the support necessary for individuals with mental disabilities to live in the community. People without families who are willing or able to support them are officially referred to as abandonados, and they are relegated to languish in institutions without hope for return to the community. Children with disabilities may have loving families. But without support, many parents of children with disabilities have no choice but to place their children in institutions.
Authors: Eric Rosenthal, Erin Jehn, Sofía Galván.
Investigators: Laurie Ahern, Elizabeth Bauer, Will Hall, Alison A. Hillman de Velásquez, Ana Yeli Pérez, Mercedes Torres, José Ángel Valencia Orozco, Elizabeth Zorrilla.
First Edition: 2010