Update: ABC’s “Good Morning America” ran a story today with video taken during MDRI’s visits. The story–with the MDRI footage included–is here. “I don’t blame the staff, I blame the authorities,” the MDRI official tells ABC.
It’s about time Romania’s orphans returned on the international media scene.
Today, The New York Times printed a story about a report issued by the DC-based nonprofit, Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) on the state of Romania’s abandoned children–a well-known and somewhat deserved stereotype. “[T]housands of children in government-run institutions are still living in conditions that are little changed from a decade ago,” writes the Times, summarizing the MDRI investigation.
Romanian officials said this is part of a smear campaign to derail Romania from joining the European Union in January 2007. They also say the data in the report is old. MDRI visited hospitals in Braila and Timisoara over the course of the last year with the latter visit occuring in February 2006.
I don’t believe there’s an anti-Romania conspiracy (a conspiracy also at fault for having Steaua face Rapid in the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup).
After all, if the children are doing so much better and the hospitals are rising to European standards, why the hell does the President of Romania go to Austria to be operated on for a herniated disc?!?
The full MDRI report is available here.