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
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 a global girls’ rights movement
Combining evidence-based advocacy with bold, impactful campaigning and communications, we will contribute to Plan International’s global movement for girls’ rights so that girls in developing countries can learn, lead, decide and thrive.
In addition to supporting equality for girls in all the policy, advocacy, communications and funding work of our office, we will undertake three key initiatives that specifically aim to contribute to transformative change for girls: promoting girls' leadership and empowerment, working with girls' rights networks, and raising girls' voices in the decisions which affect them.
Ensuring all children have the education and skills they need to succeed
Inclusive education and skills are the cornerstones of children’s rights, and lay the foundations for sustainable development. Without access to quality education and completion of the full secondary cycle, the transition to adulthood and the access to the labour market will be challenging for many young people.
Yet worldwide, more than 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.
Securing more, better, pro-poor aid, with a focus on girls
While the EU (European Commission and EU Member States) remains the world’s largest donor, pressure on the development and humanitarian aid budget has never been greater. Despite the increasing needs, donors, including the EU, are reducing and refocusing their aid budgets, with some European Member States pushing strongly against robust and pro-poor official development assistance.
We will therefore 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, pushing for annual and multiannual EU budgets which are age-sensitive and gender transformative.