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Advancing Childen’s and Youth Rights: Learning and Future Directions

Around the world, children and young people, especially from marginalized or minority groups, are subjected to violence, conscripted as soldiers, and forced into work or marriage. When their human rights are violated, children have little access to justice. The Fund for Global Human Rights offers community-based and youth-led groups the support they need to build their power and change the world.

Since 2006, the Fund has supported frontline children’s and youth rights groups around the world. Initially, we focused only on children’s rights abuses occurring in conflict zones. But as the Fund grew, so did our scope of work—today, we support more than 40 children’s and youth rights groups in conflict and non-conflict areas alike.

We’re excited to share our new five-year strategy for advancing children’s and youth rights through 2027. Based on a comprehensive external review as well as consultations with children and young people, grantees, and partners, our Children’s and Youth Rights Program is opening an exciting new chapter.

Learning and Future Directions

Over the next five years, the key themes of our work with children and youth will be: (1) building power and agency among children, young people, and their movements; (2) addressing the root causes of violence, especially against girls, with an intersectional lens; and (3) enabling access to services and economic empowerment opportunities.

Our Children’s and Youth Rights Program team engaged with children and young people to explore their perspectives on current issues, and understand how we can better support the incredible work they’re doing. Young people surveyed noted that many issues that directly impact them—like inequality, social exclusion, sexual abuse, and racial injustice—were all amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also expressed concern about systemic problems like growing gender inequality, environmental collapse, and climate justice.

“Young people have innovative and creative responses to the challenges we face in our communities, from unemployment, to violence against women and girls, to the climate emergency. But too often, their voices and contributions are not taken seriously—or even persecuted for speaking up,” says John Kabia, who leads the Children’s and Youth Rights Program at the Fund. “By resourcing work to build power, agency, and movement of young people, we hope to contribute to promoting the meaningful participation of young people in making the change they want to see in the world.”

The Fund is expanding our work with children and young people across issues and to more countries. Subscribe to follow along and stay tuned for more exciting updates from our Children’s and Youth Rights Program.