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Take Action to Help Children

Show Your Support for Prioritizing Children’s Rights


What: Endorse the efforts of PZI’s international coalition to secure a US federal leadership position dedicated to advancing children’s rights. 

Why: To show decision makers that there is a groundswell of support for prioritizing children’s rights and for giving children’s issues a literal seat at the policy-making table

Watch Miriam Abaya, VP of Immigration and Children’s Rights for First Focus on Children, talk about why the US needs a federal leadership position to advocate for children:

Quite simply, the kids are not alright.

Children are a uniquely vulnerable population at risk for many forms of mistreatment and exploitation. They are the largest non-voting bloc in the US, and they rely on others to advocate for them.

We Can Do Better for Children

Children receive a disproportionately small share of government spending, and they have higher rates of poverty than do all adults, including older adults.

Compared to their international counterparts, children in the US face higher rates of homelessness, family separation, child incarceration, food insecurity, educational challenges, adolescent pregnancy, obesity, and HIV. Systemic racism and other forms of discrimination worsen these outcomes for children of color, and disparities have grown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At PZI, we recognize that there’s a relative lack of attention to how the rights of children affect their access to positive social, economic, and environmental determinants of health, and how their health and wellbeing are intricately connected to the health and wellbeing of other people, animals, and the environment.

Image of a Black family paddling a canoe.

Our International Children’s Coalition

In the fall of 2021, PZI convened a series of roundtable discussions to explore ways the US could improve outcomes for children, especially in light of the fact that the US remains the only nation that has failed to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world.

Conclusions from those discussions led to the creation of an international coalition, which PZI co-leads with First Focus on Children and the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.

Our coalition of cross-disciplinary experts pursue a shared mission to advance the rights and interests of children across all levels of government. Central to this mission is the establishment of a US high-level federal office or entity to advocate for children. This could come in the form of a White House office, a cabinet-level position, and/or an independent commissioner.

Our coalition works together to publish and present on this issue and to work with Congress to pass policies that advance children’s rights.

Such work requires consciousness-raising and systems-level change, such as

  • the adoption of a children’s agenda and budget;
  • the widespread use of children’s impact assessments;
  • coordination across agencies and sectors; and
  • ongoing evaluation to ensure government policies, practices, and programs are founded on justice and in children’s best interests.

Children must also have a voice in decisions about their lives, including through surveys, consultations, advisory boards, and complaints mechanisms to hear directly from children and youth about their needs, hopes, and desires.

Only then can we fulfill a collective quest to improve the health and wellbeing of children, families, and communities.

Join us in securing a US federal leadership position dedicated to children’s rights.

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