An international children's charity founded by Harry Potter creator J.K.Rowling has formed a new research partnership with NUI Galway to help orphaned children worldwide.

"LUMOS" has commissioned the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the university to investigate how families can be reunited.

An estimated 80% of children in orphanages worldwide have living parents.

The aim of the Lumos-NUI Galway partnership is to increase global understanding of why so many children are separated from their families and to investigate the best ways to support families to stay together.

It is hoped the research will transform the lives of children separated from their families and end institutionalised child care worldwide.

The researchers will also evaluate methods of de-institutionalisation.