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JK Rowling Intensifies Her Disabled Children's Rights Crusade

Harry Potter author JK Rowling is strengthening her crusade for the rights of mentally ill and disabled children in East European mental hospitals, after setting the cause in motion last year.

Rowling is carrying on her campaign to bring an end to the humiliation of children kept in cages in institutions in East Europe.

The author launched a charity called the Children's High Level Group, which fights for better rights for children in institutions.

Rowling began her campaign last year after reading a description of the scandal in The Sunday Times in 2004, which featured a picture of Vasek Knotek, a young boy in a care home near Prague whose face emerged from a bed encircled by heavy mesh.

In a heart-rending article, Rowling has described the plight of these children and explained why her charity is important.

"Two weeks ago I visited Prague for the first time. It is a city I have long wished to see, though I never imagined that I would be driving past Charles Bridge to visit mentally handicapped and abandoned children, and that nearly all my new Czech acquaintances would turn out to be psychiatrists and social welfare workers working actively to change things," The Sun quoted Rowling, as stating.

The best-seller author revealed that she got in touch with Baroness Emma Nicholson to seek help.

"After writing innumerable letters to anyone whom I thought might help, I made contact with Baroness Emma Nicholson. Together we founded the Children's High Level Group, a charity that seeks to protect and promote children's rights across Europe. Central to our aims is moving children out of institutional care," she wrote.

In the end, Rowling wrote she hoped that Czech Republic, where there were ten times as many young children in institutional care than in foster care, to lead the path for reuniting these children with their families.

"I continue to hop e that the process of de-institutionalisation in Eastern Europe can be led by the Czech Republic, which has the means and the expertise to return future generations of both disabled and able-bodied citizens to loving, family care," she wrote.


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