2.4 Why advocate for child rights?

Children’s rights in the UN Convention and the African Charter have been ratified in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia and are reinforced by the national laws of those countries. However, children continue to experience violations of many of their rights – within the family, at the community level, and through policies and laws at the level of local and national government. There is, therefore, a role for advocacy at all these levels. By doing effective advocacy, you can bring about key changes in local practice but also sometimes at the higher levels of policy and legislation that will have a lasting impact on children’s lives. It is possible to apply a child rights approach to advocacy on any local or international issues that affect children, such as education, health, protection or livelihoods.

Children often lack powerful advocates. They cannot vote, and have little influence with policy makers. It is important, therefore, that those people who work with and for children, and those who understand their lives, take responsibility to advocate for changes to improve children's lives.

You may already have performed an advocacy role in your work but if not can you think of an example from your experience where you could have taken up an issue raised by a child to act as an advocate?

2.3 What is advocacy?

2.5 Who can be an advocate?