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J.K. Rowling to promote children's rights in Romania

Publication: New Kerala , India
Date: Jan 31 2006 

BUCHAREST : Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling threw her weight behind efforts to help abandoned children in eastern Europe during a two-day visit to Romania , where childcare was crippled by communism.

A new she is helping spearhead will promote reforms of child protcharity ection in the Black Sea state which is eager to banish images of children in filthy vast orphanages that shocked the world in the early 1990s.

''I have been inspired by everything I have seen during this very brief visit,'' the multi-millionaire author said yesterday during a fundraising event in Bucharest .

''Romania is now showing the way in protection of children's rights,'' she said.

The new charity, Children's High Level Group, will promote Romania 's reforms across eastern Europe.

Romania has been struggling to improve children's rights for years, but many observers say the country's weak administration and courts and badly trained or irresponsible officials hinder its reforms.

A 2005 ban on foreign adoptions, part of the reform package, has also drawn criticism as well as praise.

Romania 's two most famous sports stars, gymnast Nadia Comaneci and tennis player Ilie Nastase, together bought a Harry Potter book signed by Rowling during the fundraising event for 2,500 euros 3,060 dollars).

During her visit to Bucharest , Rowling visited the Czech embassy to express concerns about reports she had seen about institutionalised children put in caged beds in the Czech Republic .


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