Speed Reads


J.K. Rowling calls for an end to orphanages

In an op-ed for The Guardian on Thursday, J.K. Rowling writes that it's time we "left orphanages to fairy tales."

Rowling called for a closure of all of the world's orphanages, which hold roughly eight million children across the globe. According to Rowling, most children in orphanages "have parents that could care for them," but the children have been removed from their parents, often because of poverty.

"The idea of any child being taken from their family and locked away, all too often in atrocious conditions, is particularly poignant at this time of year," Rowling writes. "For children in institutions, life too often resembles the darkest of Grimms' fairytales."

Rowling founded the charity Lumos, named after a Harry Potter spell, to raise awareness about orphanages. In her op-ed, she writes that Lumos has helped reduce the number of children in institutions by 54 percent in Bulgaria and has increased the number of foster-care parents. She believes the world could eliminate all of its orphanages by 2050.

"The solution is not pretty murals, or comfier beds, or teddy bears," Rowling writes. "The solution is no institutions."

Read Rowling's moving essay over at The Guardian.