Thursday, January 17, 2008

BBC reports abuse of children with disabilities

A Jan. 15, 2008 report on BBC World News America showed illegalities in social care homes for children with disabilities in the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic banned the use of cage beds in care homes in 2007, and the BBC investigated reports that cage beds were still in use. The European Union Convention on Human Rights has also banned cage beds. Cage beds are as horrible as they sound. They are a metal cage with a mattress in floor and the children and teens with disabilities stay in them 24/7 it appears. (One teen in the BBC report had been in a cage bed for 12 years.)

As someone who teaches journalism, I am not usually a fan of the overuse of hidden camera reports on TV, but in this case the BBC truly was using them for the greater good. They visited eight care homes in the Czech Republic and found five still using cage beds. The BBC reporter, Clive Myrie, then took his footage to the Czech Minister of Social Affairs, who said he would begin immediate inspections.

You can read Myrie's report at:

One high-profile European, Harry Potter author JK Rowling, has been fighting against the use of cage beds for several years. In 2004 she wrote to the Czech Republic President asking him to ban cage beds, calling them "torture."

Here's an article from Inclusion Daily Express about it:

I hope the American media take note of important stories like this and start investigating problems in U.S. nursing homes for their own news reports.