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Children and young people take the lead

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children have the right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.

Supporting opportunities for children and young people to access information and to voice their opinions is integral to Plan's work. In our experience, when children participate – whether developing national policy on child protection or discussing the quality of teaching at school – it results in decisions that better respond to their needs and concerns, contributing to improved development outcomes over the longer term.

Developing skills

Overseas and in the UK, Plan supports children and young people to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to make more informed decisions about their health, education, sexuality, environment and livelihoods.

Plan recognises that certain groups of children and young people face disproportionate obstacles in overcoming poverty and realising their rights.

Girls and young women in particular are supported to ensure that their voices are heard and acted upon. Plan also works with parents, teachers and government authorities, to support them to recognise and respond to young people’s concerns.

A unique perspective

Plan has found that children and young people not only bring a unique perspective to community development work; they can also be counted on to offer the innovative ideas and enthusiasm required to drive change.

For example, in countries such as El Salvador and the Philippines Plan has supported children to take part in advocacy and lobbying on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. This ranges from coordinating risk mapping in their communities to presenting at UN high level meetings.

Child clubs in Kenya have addressed the sensitive issue of HIV and AIDS in an open way, inspiring the adults in their communities to become involved in community efforts to prevent disease spread. Young journalists in Haiti spoke out against domestic violence on their radio show, forcing adults to respond.

Plan also works with schools and youth groups to support young people to link together to learn about and take action on key issues such as girl’s rights and gender equality.

Key publications

Latest News
  • In some parts of Benin, children that are allegedly possessed by spirits are sent to voodoo convents. Their names are changed and they have to perform rituals every day. This can go on for up to eight years, meaning when they leave they've missed out on education
    25-May-16
  • The average woman menstruates for 3,000 days during her life time. Since menstruation is such a big part of a woman’s life you’d expect menstruation to be considered normal and natural. But this really isn’t the case for millions of women in developing nations. This infographic shows the stigma girls and women face every day just for having a period.
    25-May-16
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