Democracy, Rights and Governance

Save the Children’s mission to ensure children are healthy, educated and safe, relies upon addressing the legal and policy barriers to children’s rights and well-being and shifting more funding and decisions to children and communities in the countries where we work. Save the Children has decades of experience working on governance issues focused on three areas, all of which rely on the participation and expertise of children themselves:

  • Good governance for children – ensuring laws, policies and resources work for children’s rights and well-being;
  • Monitoring child rights – ensuring accountability for children to exercise their citizenship to effect social and political change; and
  • Investment in children – advancing public spending that directly benefits children, such as on social protection, health, education, child protection and children in emergencies.

We advocate for the U.S. government to support strong local civil society, including children and young people, and provide the funding, capacity-sharing, and access that will allow them to hold their government and other international institutions to account for upholding children’s rights and the delivery of social programs to improve children’s lives.​

Our aim is to shift power in foreign assistance to children, communities, and other local actors, to enable locally-led and child-led development. Locally-driven solutions are more effective and sustainable, and children have the expertise, energy, and ideas to improve development outcomes. To that end, children should be consulted in policy and programmatic decisions affecting them and their communities. But as children often cannot vote, they require specially tailored public platforms and child-friendly versions of transparent information, as well as training with civic education for the skills to hold their governments accountable for fulfilling their rights.

Leah lives in a Palestinian camp in Lebanon. She is a member of a Child Rights & Governance group at a Save the Children supported education center.

Leah, 14, lives in a Palestinian camp in the south of Lebanon. She attends a Save the Children supported education center where she is a member of a Child Rights & Governance group. Leah is a champion of children’s rights, in particular girls rights within her community.


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