As the world’s leading independent child rights organisation, Save the Children is committed to persuade and challenge those with power and influence to make a better world for children.
What is advocacy?
For Save the Children, advocacy is defined as “a set of organised activities designed to influence the policies and actions of governments, international institutions, the private sector and civil society to achieve positive changes for children’s lives”.
Advocacy is a long term process that starts in the field with the voices and priorities of children and whose goals can be achieved through a combination of different approaches, including working closely with decision-makers, lobbying, or raising public awareness of an issue. Advocacy is also, crucially, about making sure that policies designed to benefit children are put into practice.
Child participation in advocacy
Save the Children is enabling children and young people to have a voice in the issues that affect them and their peer group worldwide. Children have a unique voice – they talk about issues clearly and simply. They also cut through technical jargon and are not interested in politics. They just want things to change. Decision-makers do not usually come into contact with children so when they do, they often find it refreshing, and they take notice of what children say. Girls and boys in many different situations around the world have organised themselves to take collective actions and to promote and support their rights. They have succeeded in making their parents, local communities, media, local and national governments, and the international community aware of their concerns, priorities and solutions.
In order to further children’s rights at the international, pan-European and pan-Africa level, Save the Children has established four Advocacy Offices, based in Addis Ababa, Brussels, Geneva and New York. The role of the Advocacy Offices is to work at the global level for policy change that will benefit children, targeting the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, and their regional bodies.