In September 2007, the spirits were shaken by a documentary, when it aired on BBC 4. “Abandoned Children of Bulgaria” (directed by Kate Blewett) shows footage from the institution in Mogilino, that may have caused many people’s sleeplessness. We have seen such photos only from concentration camps – children who are literally “skin and bones”, left behind in their physical development due to malnutrition, poor conditions and lack of adequate medical care; who are closed in their world to survive; who are scolded by the staff as a flock; naked on the stairs, who have not felt the breeze outside and have not known what the play is; who have never gone to school; who die in profound misery and who are buried in somebody’s else grave.
However, the footage are not from a German concentration camp in the 1940s, but from a “social establishment” in Bulgaria in 2007 – an institution that is intended to provide services for child’s care and development, not to torture and destroy them physically. Workers there should not act as prison’s guards, but as professionals in the personal assistance.
The shown footage resonate even more ridiculously among the many international pacts that oblige Member States to guarantee the rights and dignity of every living being. Thus, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 states unambiguously that “all men are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Bulgaria back in 1991, specified these rights, stating that every child has the right to receive the necessary treatment, to play with other children, to study, etc. At the same time, it requires the best concerns of the child to be leading of all actions relative children.
How did happen that the group of children – children with disabilities, housed in St.Petka home in Mogilino village, do not have equal rights with their peers, and their highest conserns has been collecting dust in some dark corner for years? What makes possible the existence of such places today? What are the mechanisms that allow such an attitude towards a child? These are the questions we will discuss in this article.
You can download the article from here: THE ROAD TO MOGILINО