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Orphan Facts and Statistics

There are over 143 million orphans in the world today. - UNISEF

123,000 new orphans registered in 2007
According to data from the Health and Social Development Ministry, more than 730,000 children in Russia either have no parents or have been abandoned by their parents. Of this number about 200,000 of them live in orphanages and boarding schools. In 2007, 123,000 new orphans were registered by the state with 120,000 of them being placed with extended family members, adopted or placed in foster homes. According to the state database, more than 160,000 children are waiting to be adopted. International adoptions have been hampered by recent legislation. As of March 2007, only 20 organizations had received accreditation from the government to oversee international adoptions. In 2007, 9,000 Russian children were adopted by foreign families. More than 4,000 of these went to the United States. Statistics cited from the article "Russian Orphans" By Svetlana Osadchuk in the May 19, 2008 edition of the Moscow Times.

Russia's abandoned HIV children, 2006
Russia has one of the fastest growing AIDS epidemics in the world, with 100 new infections every day. Increasingly, women and their infants are being affected.

IBIS report on Birth Defects, 2006
10% of children in orphanages have birth defects indicative of prenatal exposure to alcohol. According to standards of Modern Developmental Pediatrics children in Ukrainian orphanages are receiving care that is far from ideal.

UNICEF Report on Poverty and Abandonment of Children in Ukraine 2005
More than 100,000 children are thought to have been surrendered to orphanages due to poverty. - The number of children living on the streets has risen steadily over the past decade, creating urgent problems in human trafficking for forced prostitution, forced labour and sexual exploitation.

Report on HIV/AIDS in Ukraine, 2004
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Ukraine increased from 2% of total infections in 1997 to 13% in 2001. Many of these children are surrendered to the orphanage system.

“On the state of the children in the Russian Federation”, 2003
4 million Russian children were born out of wedlock in the last 10 years. 400,000 illegitimate children were born in 2002, a 40 thousand annual increase over the previous year.

Committee on the Rights of The Child in Ukraine, 2002
Children in orphanages lack food, medical care, and suitable facilities. Mortality in orphanages is dramatically high. They have been called "death houses". At the beginning of 2000 it was determined that the financial situation of institutions for children with special needs had worsened and most of these children would be denied education.

The CoMission for Children at Risk, 2002
About 15,000 Russian orphans leave orphanages each year, once they are 16 to 18 years old. Of these, 5,000 are unemployed, some 6,000 are homeless, around 3,000 resort to crime, approximately 1,500 commit suicide, and roughly half the girls are forced into prostitution.

Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, 2000
After leaving their orphanages:

  • 50% - fall into a high-risk category
  • 40% - become drug users
  • 40% - commit crimes
  • 10% - commit suicide

  • European Children's Trust, 2000
    Over forty million children in the former Soviet Union are living in "genuine poverty".

    Human Rights Watch, 1998.
    Orphans in Russia - of whom 95 percent still have a living parent - are exposed to shocking levels of cruelty and neglect. Infants classified as disabled are segregated into "lying-down" rooms, where they are changed and fed but are bereft of stimulation and lacking in medical care.

    Of a total of more than 600,000 children classified as being "without parental care", as many as one-third reside in institutions, while the rest are placed with a variety of guardians. Thousands more are temporarily quartered in various public shelters and institutions under police jurisdiction simply waiting for an available space in an orphanage.

    Thousands of children are abandoned to the state at a rate of 113,000 a year for the past two years, up dramatically from 67,286 in 1992. The evidence gathered reveals several systematic disadvantages imposed on young Russian orphans, which violate their fundamental rights to survival and development, and place them in a underclass.
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