Children’s Rights: Advocacy and International Agenda Setting

  • Adrian M. Plevin
Reference work entry
Part of the International Human Rights book series (IHR)


This chapter reflects on advocacy and agenda setting as a tool to exert influence on decisionmakers in the field of international children’s rights. It provides those wishing to promote or resist a certain social change in this field information about its definitions and key concepts. It maps the key entities and their contributions to the advancement of international children’s rights through advocacy and agenda setting. Not only states play an important role as a vehicle of change through legislative or regulatory reform, but also international organizations and civil society. The author describes how advocacy and agenda setting progressed the emergence of the norms of international children’s rights in the aftermath of WWl. It is noted that today, thousands of NGOs contribute to the actual implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The author argues that children’s right to be heard has been instrumental in forcing advocates to rethink the ways in which policies affecting children are developed. The chapter ends with some remarks about the shrinking space for civil society, characterized by growing and alarming limitations imposed on NGOs and civil society.



Preliminary remarks: Stahili Foundation (Stahili) is a non-profit organization which helps children living in residential care institutions regain their right to family by strengthening family-based care and sustainable development. Alongside its grassroots, community-based projects in Kenya, Stahili hosts a global network of dedicated individuals who make its contributions to children’s rights education, research and advocacy possible. To that end, the author thanks the Lori E. Talsky Center for Human Rights of Women and Children at Michigan State University College of Law, Gillian Kane, Stahili’s Human Rights Officer, as well as Researchers Emily La Mantia, Sarah Vissentin, Jolana Makraiová and Andrea Ng for their invaluable assistance and without whom this contribution would not have been possible. The text has also benefited from the contributions of Mandip Grewal, Rebecca Mazzu and Saskia Wishart and the suggestions, revisions and support of Rob Oliver and Molly Martin. The author owes a particular debt of gratitude to Michelle Oliel, Stahili’s Executive Director, whose vision, passion and wealth of knowledge have guided this project since its inception.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stahili FoundationThe HagueThe Netherlands

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