Charity that travels far !
Charity that travels far !


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About Romania / Country Information / Romanian orphans


Under Nicolae Ceaușescu, both abortion and contraception were forbidden, leading to a rise in birth rates. This increase in the number of births resulted in many children being abandoned.
These children were joined in the orphanages by disabled and mentally ill people. Together, these vulnerable groups were subjected to institutionalised neglect, physical and sexual abuse, and the use of drugs to control behaviour. The conditions in orphanages had declined after 1982, as a result of Ceaușescu's decision to seize much of the country's economic output in order to repay its foreign debt. As the realities of life in Romanian orphanages emerged after December 1989, the reaction outside Romania was of shock at the plight of the orphans, and numerous charities were established. Numerous fund-raising activities have been conducted by various parties, such as the 1990 album Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal, which was compiled by George and Olivia Harrison for AIDS-infected orphans.

In September 2005, Emma Nicholson, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, the European Parliament's rapporteur for Romania, stated "Romania has profoundly reformed [from top to bottom] its child protection system and has evolved from one of the worst systems in Europe to one of the best.

Improving the situation of orphans had been made a condition of Romanian entry into the European Union, but an investigation by BBC journalist Chris Rogers in 2009 revealed that conditions in some institutions are still very poor and large numbers of institutionalised and traumatised people are still held in inadequate conditions, with many apparently having entered the system post-Ceaușescu.


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