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Speak out for the children of Syria

We are facing a lost generation in Syria

Ask your members of Congress to support humanitarian funding.

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Join the World Vision Advocate Network!

We’ll send you monthly updates about issues like human trafficking and child health.

We’ll also alert you to urgent action opportunities.

Sign up today!

Action Center

Join us in urging Congress and the president to take action on critical issues for children, and pray with us for the health and safety of children around the world.

The Girls Count Act will become a law!

Girls Count Act

On June 1, the Girls Count Act was passed in Congress. Congratulations — you made a law!

Thank your members of Congress for supporting the Girls Count Act.

Globally, one in three children — 230 million — under the age of 5 are invisible to their government. Unregistered and uncounted at birth, and without an official name or nationality, these children are denied education and access to health services. They are also more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation, all because they lack a simple piece of paper we often take for granted — a birth certificate.

The Girls Count Act will make it U.S. policy to work with other countries to ensure all children are counted, with a focus on key developing countries where girls are systematically under-counted.

No Child Should Be Used as a Weapon of War

Child soldier prevention

Email President Obama to tell him that you don’t want your tax dollars supporting children as soldiers.

Child soldiers risk injury or death, witness terrible brutalities, may be used as sex slaves or suicide bombers, and suffer extreme emotional and physical abuse. They are deprived of the opportunity for an education and a hopeful future.

Each year, when the president signs the U.S. federal budget, he can make the choice whether or not to include waivers to the Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2008. When waivers are included, it means that the United States will provide military funding to countries that knowingly use child soldiers.

Speak out against this human rights violation.

We Are Facing a Lost Generation in Syria

Syrian refugees

Ask your members of Congress to support full funding for humanitarian and refugee accounts.

For the first time since World War II, the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced people worldwide has exceeded 50 million, yet in the president’s budget request for FY16, lifesaving humanitarian aid and refugee funding was reduced by a staggering 20 percent.

Among the main casualties of the Syrian political crisis are children — making up 5.6 million or half of Syrians in need. It’s about the same number as all the children under 18 in Texas. Children are subjected to the horrors of war, disenfranchised as refugees, and denied education and a safe childhood. What kind of society will evolve in Syria as these children become adults?

Speak Out for Clean Water

Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene

Ask your members of Congress to support funding for global water, sanitation, and hygiene programs.

Globally, over 748 million people do not have access to safe water, and nearly 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. The result is girls not attending school, increased malnutrition and disease, and nearly 1,600 children under 5 dying each day from causes we can prevent.

The total U.S. foreign assistance account is less than 1 percent of the total U.S. budget, with water, sanitation, and hygiene making up a small portion of this spending. However, this small amount will save lives. By providing funding for water, sanitation, and hygiene to the countries most in need, we help improve our national security, make countries more self-sufficient in the future, and reflect our values as a nation.

Send a Note of Encouragement

Note of encouragementSend an email to your members of Congress to thank them for their work.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle share common goals to represent their constituencies well, challenge injustices, and strengthen the United States as a world leader. But political pressures can distract from these goals, including focusing on the needs of children.

With other issues clamoring for their attention, our representatives need moral courage to make difficult decisions that prioritize the poor. Whether or not you voted for them, take a moment to send your members of Congress a note, thank them for their service, and to let them know you are praying for them and the difficult decisions they have to make each day.

Pray With Us

  • Join us in praying for the health of all children. Consider using our Beyond 5 prayer guide to direct your prayers.
  • Pray for children who lack birth certificates. Without this basic registration, children are more vulnerable to exploitation and are often denied basic services like healthcare and education. Pray that countries would take this responsibility seriously and prioritize the registration of their children.


Be sure to sign up to receive our monthly newsletter, filled with updates about issues like human trafficking and child health and urgent action opportunities.


Today, nearly 19,000 children under 5 will die of preventable causes.

Many are newborns in their first month of life. Almost all of these children die of treatable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria.

We Can End Preventable Child Deaths

We refuse to accept that five is a child’s lifetime.

Beyond 5 is our advocacy campaign calling for global action to protect children from deadly yet avoidable diseases.

Visit www.worldvision.org/beyond5 to learn more about the campaign, follow our blog, and sign up to receive updates and alerts for timely action opportunities.

Together, we can help babies and toddlers stay alive to celebrate their fifth birthdays — and beyond. Join us!

Issue: Child Soldiers

No child should have to participate in combat in any way. Child soldiers risk injury or death, witness terrible brutalities, may be used as sex slaves or suicide bombers, and suffer extreme emotional and physical abuse. They are deprived of the opportunity for an education and a hopeful future.

In South Sudan, a brutal civil war is taking place. The number of child soldiers is growing — an estimated 9,000 children are now fighting on both sides.

South Sudan continues to receive military aid from the United States, despite a U.S. law prohibiting such aid to countries that use child soldiers.

Speak Out With Us

Tell President Obama to stop U.S. military aid to South Sudan. Send him an email telling him that you don’t want your tax dollars supporting children as soldiers.

No child should be used as a weapon of war. Take action today: Send an email to President Obama.

Children in Crisis in Conflict-Torn South Sudan

Ahead of the 1-year anniversary of the conflict in South Sudan, World Vision spoke to 160 children about the risks that daily life now holds for children displaced by the conflict. These children articulated the same needs: for the conflict to end, to be able to return home, to be protected from harm, and to return to school.

The report (.pdf) calls upon the international community to ensure that children are protected from exploitation and violence and are able to access safe and free education.

Read more (.pdf)

All Children Count: Birth Registration for All

count-me-in.pngMillions of children remain invisible to their government and unable to fully participate in their communities each year.

They are denied education and health services and are at risk for exploitation, violence, abuse, and underage recruitment into armed forces, all because they do not have a simple piece of paper — a birth certificate.

You can join us in speaking out to ensure that all children are counted and recognized.

Why is Birth Registration Important?

Birth registration is the foundation of child protection.

Why does registration matter? Human traffickers pursue individuals who are vulnerable and powerless. Without a birth certificate, children are an easy target.

Every year, 51 million children are unregistered at birth, leaving them without an official name or nationality. The opportunities children are denied when they don’t have a birth certificate reads like a checklist of what human traffickers look for:

  • Poor? Check.
  • Lack of education? Check.
  • Unable to open a bank account? Check.
  • In poor health without access to medical care? Check.
  • Separated from family with no way to reunite? Check.
  • Age can’t be identified, making a forced marriage easier? Check.

The list goes on.

Birth registration impacts all aspects of a child’s well-being. Lack of birth registration often prevents children from accessing healthcare such as immunizations, enrolling in school, and even receiving inheritance.

A birth certificate helps protect children from human trafficking, child labor, early marriage, underage recruitment, and conscription into military service. If a child is abused, neglected, exploited, or exposed to violence, a birth certificate ensures his or her access to services and justice systems.

What Prevents Birth Registration?

Birth registration is often low on the list of a country’s priorities. Because issuing birth certificates is so simple, it’s easy to overlook or allow to languish.

Sometimes all that’s needed is a nudge or support from the U.S. government to help create a functioning birth registration system.

All Children Count: What Is the Girls Count Act?

The Girls Count Act is a bill that did not pass during the last Congress — but we expect it to be reintroduced during the 114th Congress.

At a time when the international community is working to empower women and girls socially, economically, and politically, a lack of birth registration remains an obstacle to girls (and boys) experiencing life in all its fullness.

The Girls Count Act elevates birth registration in U.S. foreign policy and assistance. It authorizes the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support programs that promote sustainable registration systems, ensure children are able to access social services, and encourage enhanced training in developing countries to address registration.

The act does not call for new spending. These are programs where money has already been allocated. The act ensures that the simple and foundational step of birth registration is not overlooked amid all the other efforts to protect children.

What’s more, these efforts will help strengthen and sustain the work World Vision is doing around the world to ensure that every child is counted and recognized.

Why Advocate


Ad-vo-ca-cy: noun, To take action for another.

Jesus Christ is the model and basis for our advocacy — namely, His identification with the poor, the afflicted, the oppressed, and the marginalized.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. —Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)

As Christians and Americans, we enjoy great freedom in our access to elected officials. By advocating with us, you have the chance to make a meaningful difference by influencing government policy, legislation, U.S. foreign aid, and public opinion.

Whether you participate on your own or with your church, school, place of work, or community organization, advocacy will be a rewarding experience.

Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. —Psalm 82:3-4 (NIV)

How to Get Started

  1. Learn more about an issue you’re passionate about, like child health or prevention of child trafficking.
  2. Contact your elected representatives. We make it easy. You just call or email using our script or form.
  3. When your voice joins with others, those in power listen and enact laws that help the poor and vulnerable. See examples of just laws passed because of advocates like you.


Read about some of the ways we have promoted change, for the better, with your help!

The Water for the World Act

After nearly 18 months of continued advocacy by World Vision supporters, the Water for the World Act was signed into law on December 19, 2014. More than 748 million people in the world are without clean water, and nearly 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation. This law will now put measures into place to help assure that U.S. funds for water, sanitation, and hygiene will go to the countries and communities most in need where there will be the greatest impact — not just places where the United States may have political interests.

Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act

On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2013 into law.  As the largest piece of human rights legislation to pass the Congress, it comprehensively addresses the domestic and international dimensions of human trafficking.

For more than two years, World Vision advocates and others called, wrote letters, and met with their members of Congress to ensure that critical anti-trafficking programs and funding were protected.

The Child Soldier Prevention Act

SIgned into law in 2008,  the Child Soldier Prevention Act was passed to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money will never fund the use of child soldiers abroad.

Some 12,000 citizen advocates contributed to this success by contacting their members of Congress to express support for this bill.

The Northern Uganda Crisis Response Act

Signed into law in 2004, the Northern Uganda Crisis Response Act, supported a peaceful resolution to the decades-long conflict, called on the U.S. to work with the Ugandan government and the international community to provide humanitarian aid and development assistance, and called for increased protection of displaced civilians, particularly women and children.

The U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act

Signed by President Bush in 2003 the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief approved $15 billion for AIDS prevention, treatment and care. Programs funded by the legislation helped prolong the lives of 2 million people infected with AIDS, as well as prevent 7 million additional infections and care for children orphaned and made vulnerable by the disease.

The Clean Diamond Trade Act

Legislation to prohibit the import of so-called "conflict diamonds" — gems mined in African nations that help to fund human rights abuses — was signed into law in 2003.

The bill was designed to choke off a key funding source for rebel groups in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and other nations.


In April 2003, Congress passed the PROTECT Act (Prosecuting Remedies and Tools Against the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003) to provides new tools to protect children from sexual exploitation. The law established the national systems to recover abducted children, included stronger laws to combat child pornography and exploitation, increased penalties for sex offenses against children, and included important enhancements to current “sex tourism” laws.

World Vision advocated for these changes to current U.S. law in order to better protect children from American pedophiles that travel to poor countries to engage in sex with minors.

The Sudan Peace Act

President Bush signed the Sudan Peace Act into law in October 2001. The legislation provided aid to Sudanese citizens, required the United States to monitor peace negotiations, and allowed for sanctions if Khartoum interferes with humanitarian efforts.

Advocacy News and Updates

Here’s the latest news related to the issues we care about.

Congress passes the Girls Count Act

The new law will help ensure that more children around the world are recognized and protected.

Read more

Video: How to change the world

What is Advocacy? Can you use it to change the world? How? Find out all you need to know here!

Read more

World Vision’s Beyond 5 community

Beyond 5 speaks out against injustices that affect mothers and children around the world. Learn more here.

Read more

Blog: Busting the myth of advocacy

To wrap up our “Advocacy 101″ series, we’ll debunk some myths about what advocacy is and is not.

Read more