SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — A Bosnian lawmaker on Wednesday publicly shared shocking photos of children tied to beds and radiators in a public care home outside Sarajevo.
Sabina Cudic of the opposition Nasa Stranka party presented the photos ahead of a session of the parliament of one of the country’s two semi-autonomous parts, the Bosniak-Croat Federation.
Cudic said the photos were taken over the past year in the Pazaric care home for special needs children, and urged the parliament to discuss the issue.
Her initiative was rejected by a majority of lawmakers, but parliament tasked one of its working groups to investigate the allegations and submit a report within a week.
A top European rights watchdog described the revelations as “profoundly shocking” and said the country should ensure that all children with disabilities live in a family setting.
Dunja Mijatovic, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, also called on authorities to launch an “effective investigation into the cases of abuse” at Pazaric, which already facing scrutiny because of suspected financial misconduct by the government-appointed management.
“Authorities should urgently make progress toward the closure of all such institutions and reform of the child care system in line with human rights standards,” Mijatovic said in a statement. “People segregated in institutions regularly suffer from abandonment and neglect.”