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Advocate for Children

Anyone can be an advocate.

It’s as simple as telling your friends about an issue that you are passionate about.

Or, go a step further and urge your lawmakers to take action.

Partner with us as we speak up for children in poverty who are vulnerable to serious threats like child trafficking and deadly yet preventable diseases.

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!

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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 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.

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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!
 

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?

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.

Take action with us

Contact your representative to voice your support for the All Girls Count Act. Use our call form to look up your representative’s number, view a suggested call script, and log your call so that we know you took action with us.

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You can bridge the gap between the children and families in need and those who have the power to change their situation and diminish their poverty. Here’s how:

  • Pray. Lift up children and families in difficult circumstances.

  • Speak up. Amplify the voices of vulnerable children by communicating with your lawmakers.

  • Donate. Give a gift to help bring sustainable change to children and families in poverty.

Listed below are several ways you can advocate for and support children vulnerable to exploitation and preventable disease.

And 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.

Pray

  • 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.

Speak Up

Donate

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

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.

The PROTECT Act

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.

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