The European Union is one of the world's largest and most influential development and humanitarian actors, and influencing its policies, programmes and actions has the potential to positively affect the lives of hundreds of millions of children in developing countries.
We have a bold ambition, to advance children's rights and equality for girls in the EU's external action. Through our actions, we will contribute to ensuring:
100 million girls
Achieving results for children
In order to deliver the results we seek for children in a changing world, we will push the EU to do more, and do it better.
We will do this by focusing on three priorities:
Contributing to the girls’ rights movement at EU level
Children and young people must have the ability to determine their own futures, but around the world they still struggle to make their voice heard. Combining evidence-based advocacy with bold, impactful campaigning and communications, we work to strengthen Plan International’s global movement for girls’ rights so that girls in developing countries, particularly the poorest and most marginalised, learn, lead, decide and thrive. In collaboration with a network of gender champions, we aim to shift traditional power relations and challenge discriminatory social norms to enable children and young people, in particular girls and young women, the confidence and power to take action on issues that matter to them and shape the decisions that affect their lives.
Securing more and better aid, with a focus on girls
While the EU remains the world’s largest donor, pressure on the development and humanitarian aid budget has never been greater. We strive to ensure the EU allocates sufficient resources to meet its commitments to sustainable development and poverty reduction and the realisation of children’s rights. In particular, we push for annual and multiannual budgets which are age-sensitive and gender transformative.
Ensuring children have the education and skills they need to succeed
Education and skills are the cornerstones of children’s rights, and lay the foundations for sustainable development. Yet worldwide, 600 million 15-24 year olds – mostly girls and young women – are not in school, employment or training, and are at greater risk of entering unstable, low-paid jobs or having no work at all. With natural and man-made crises and conflicts increasing year on year, the past decade has also seen a concentration of out-of-school children in crisis and conflict affected countries, with 75 million children in 35 such countries denied their right to education. We therefore work with the EU to support young people, in particular girls and young women, to gain the education and skills they need to succeed in life and make a decent living, and push for the EU to show continued leadership in ensuring children in conflict and emergency settings are educated in safety, holding it to account on its financial commitments to education in emergencies.