GENEVA: A UN committee said on Thursday (Apr 14) that the lives of about 2.7 million people with disabilities are at risk in Ukraine, citing reports that many are trapped or abandoned in their homes, care centres and orphanages without basic supplies or medicines.
"The Committee is deeply disturbed that the fate of people with disabilities in Ukraine is largely unknown," it said in a statement sent to journalists. "People with disabilities have limited or no access to emergency information, shelters and safe havens, and many have been separated from their support networks, leaving them unable to respond to the situation and navigate their surroundings," it continued.
The Committee of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is made up of independent experts that monitor the implementation of a 2006 convention. Russia is among the governments that have signed and ratified it, a UN website showed.
Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians in Ukraine.
The Committee did not say exactly how it had obtained the reports about those who were trapped. However, it noted that few people with disabilities were among those internally displaced or who had reached Ukraine's borders as refugees, "indicating that many of them have not been able to flee to safety".