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Citizenship, Social Mobilisation and Advocacy in Colombia

Giving children a voice in their communities.

Children receiving birth certificates in Colombia

Plan International Colombia is ensuring that children, adolescents and youth are recognised as citizens in different social environments.

In Colombia, young people generally do not have much information about their rights and are rarely given the opportunity to develop leadership skills.

We want to ensure that young people, especially Afro-Colombians and other vulnerable or marginalised groups, participate more in decision-making and are able to become more actively involved in youth organisations and networks.

One of our initiatives, the Community Hay Festival, is a project that ensures and promotes the active participation of children and adolescents. Young people are connected to all sorts of opportunities during the 4 days of the festival.

Birth certificates help children participate

Without birth certificates, child are often denied their rights and are unable to participate in society. Eight-year-old José lives in rural Colombia, 15 minutes from the nearest town, in a village that is only accessible via a dirt track. Until recently he didn’t have a birth certificate which meant he wasn’t formally enrolled in school.

Plan International Colombia is working alongside the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare and the National Civil Registry to ensure all children, including those from rural communities are registered as part of the Make me Visible project.

As a result, José now has a birth certificate and is formally enrolled in school. Despite having to walk a long distance to get to school, he is happy to be learning. In addition, his parents and other community members now understand the importance of birth registration.