Institutions and Deinstitutionalization

This page features disability news on Institutions and Deinstitutionalization from the Debrief Library. See also news on other subjects.


Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization commentary and an explanatory video. (Jan, IDA)

UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Guidelines on deinstitutionalization, including in emergencies. “They are intended to guide and support States parties, in their efforts to realize the right of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community, and to be the basis for planning deinstitutionalization processes and prevention of institutionalization.” (Sep, OHCHR) A statement on the guidelines from the Global Coalition on Deinstitutionalization.

Feeding practices of children within institution-based care: A retrospective analysis of surveillance data. “Feeding difficulties are common among children living in institution-based care (IBC), particularly but not exclusively among those children with disabilities.” (Mar, Maternal & Child Nutrition)


People with disabilities in group homes are suffering shocking abuse. New housing models could prevent harm. “This latest report shows 17,000 Australians living in group homes are too frequently subjected to sexual misconduct, coercion, serious injury, abuse and neglect.” (Jan, The Conversation) See also the lack of independent monitoring of group homes (The Guardian).

Damning aged care audit reveals abuse and neglect of residents across the country. (Oct, the Guardian)

Victorian government seizes control of supported care homes over abuse, ‘uninhabitable conditions’ (Jan, SMH)


Going in the wrong direction, “In Carinthia, despite all human rights recommendations, a new residential facility for disabled children is currently being built” (Jan, ENIL)

Disability organisations accuse Austria of misuse of EU rural funds in plans to build a residential facility for children with disabilities. (Nov, Euractiv)

How did people in institutions fare during the corona pandemic? Short animated video comparing independent living solutions to the confinement in institutions. (Youtube, in German with English subtitles, Dec, Unabhängiger Monitoringausschuss)


Joint statement: Stop funding institutions in Bulgaria! (Jan, EDF)


Why there is so much happiness in this long-term care home that doubles as a Grade 6 classroom. (Dec, CBC)

Making the invisible visible: an interview with Megan Linton about the harms of the institutional system, COVID-19, and disability justice. (Aug, Canadian Dimension)

Invisible Institutions Podcast “a new documentary podcast exploring the past and present of institutions for people labelled with intellectual and developmental disabilities” (Invisible Institutions)

Discussion of and key points on Sheltered Workshops and Sub-Minimum Wage Labour 'Workers on average work more than 2 years in sheltered workshops, despite their label of “training programs”.' (Mar, Invisible Institutions)

Warehousing disabled people in long-term care homes needs to stop. Instead, nationalize home care. (Jan, the Conversation)

Czech Republic

Deaths and abuse of people with severe intellectual disabilities and autism in Czechia. “37-years old woman with intellectual disabilities was killed by a staff member of a “care” institution in Czechia”. (Nov, Inclusion Europe)

From hospitals back to life An in-depth feature on pyschiatric institutions. "I've been in the hospital since I was eighteen. I'm eighty-one now." (in Czech but google translate seems to make sense, Jan, iROZHLAS)


Why does Europe keep funding institutions and what can be done about it? (Jan, EDF)

Deinstitutionalising disabled people: making it happen. “Notably absent from the EU countries with a deinstitutionalisation strategy is the entirety of south-west Europe. None of the most populated EU member states—France, Italy, Spain and Germany—has adopted such a document.” (Sep, Social Europe)

Deinstitutionalisation, disability and delay “After a decade of inertia, the EU has made little progress on the deinstitutionalisation of disabled people.” (May, Social Europe)

A Call for Change Role of the European Union funding in supporting deinstitutionalisation around the world. "The EU is in a particularly strong position to promote deinstitutionalisation reforms during the process of EU enlargement. " (Feb, EDF)

Inclusion Europe's 2022 Campaign is to End Segregation.

“The situation of people with disabilities more generally has improved over time. However, this is not true for all people and more limited for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who are more likely to be living in segregated or congregated settings and less likely to be experiencing real inclusion.” (Jan, Inclusion Europe)


I am the director of my own 'institution': the seasonal appeal by Validity shows their own work and “depicts István’s transition to living independently with the support of people he trusts” (Dec, Validity)


‘Not To Be Feared’ Reports from one of Indonesia's last remaining leprosy settlements. (Sep, Disability Justice Project)

CBM kicks off work to improve mental health institutions. (Feb, CBM) Unclear how this fits into a process of deinstitutionalization.


Regulator warned disability services provider over ‘unsafe environment’ in residential homes. (Nov, Irish Times)

Concern over future safeguarding incidents at disability services raised in Donegal review (Apr, The Irish Times)


Freeing Disabled People from institutions in Japan: conversation with Misako Yasuhara. (Feb, ENIL)


Inspectorate sees staggering conditions in an institutional setting with abuse of clients. (In Dutch, Feb, NOS)

New Zealand

Complaints laid after woman found in own faeces, weighing 35kg at a residential care home. (Nov, NZ Herald)

Abuse in Care: “Men raped disabled children, paid staff for access”. Testimonies from a commission of inquiry into institutional care. Further coverage at: 'a prison with no bars' and 'you can't walk away from this'. (Jul, Stuff) Also on NZ Herald: 'hellhole, worse than prison'

Chief Ombudsman scathing of environment at Wakari Hospital ward "We're mixing in this facility – not just patients who are mentally ill and need caring for – but we’re mixing them with those who come from a different forensic stream who have been involved in criminal offending and who are there for a very different reason; it’s not safe." (Feb, 1 News)

He Purapura Ora, he Māra Tipu. A report on survivors of abuse in care, their efforts to restore their lives and hold governments to account. (Dec, Abuse in Care Inquiry)


Horror Behind Closed Doors of Polish Residential Institution. “Women and Girls with Intellectual Disabilities Beaten, Tied, and Locked in Caged Bed” (Jun, Human Rights Watch)


"Now I support others to get out of institutions" speech from Elisabeta Moldovan, gut-wrenching episodes from her time in institution herself, and how she is changing things. (Sep, Inclusion Europe)

South Korea

Grave concern on recent claims in Korea that institutions for disabled people in Europe are models of good practice. (Mar, ENIL)

A column reflecting on deinstitutionalization and the leading politician from the government party who said that “deinstitutionalization is a matter of choice.” (Apr, Hankyoreh)

United Kingdom

Brother, do you love me? The cry for help that sparked a care-home rescue mission. (Oct, the Guardian)

A new book, open access, Deprivation of Liberty in the Shadows of the Institution on how restrictive practices from institutions continued as services were provided in the community. (Mar, Bristol University Press)

My Freedom A retrospective on the 10th anniversary of abuse reported at residential facility Winterbourne View. "My freedom means I go to bed when I want." (Bemix)

The shameful legacy of the Lennox Castle hospital Scotland's largest institutiono for people with learning disabilities, which closed 20 years ago. (Jan, BBC)

United States

Unsafe: Abuse and neglect of Arizona's most vulnerable can happen anywhere (Nov, Kjzz)

At a Remote Mental Health Facility, a Culture of Cruelty Persists Despite Decades of Warnings. (Sep, Pro Publica)

Medicaid's Money Follows the Person has allowed over 90,000 people with disabilities and seniors to move out of nursing homes and back into their communities. But Congress still won’t make the funding permanent. (Aug, 19th News)

Profit, Pain and Private Equity: ‘BrightSpring Health Services, which KKR bought in 2019, says it helps thousands of people with disabilities “live their best lives.”’:

‘But a yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation found that KKR focused on expanding the business even as a crisis mounted in its group home division, where conditions grew so dire that nurses and caretakers quit in droves, a state prohibited the company from accepting new residents, and some of the most vulnerable people in its care suffered and died.’ (May, Buzzfeed News)