Our rights-based approach
We know that children need specialised protection due to their age and evolving capacities. Our rights based-approach supports governments, civil society organisations, communities and families to ensure children grow up in a protected environment.
Guided by Plan International’s Global Child Protection Strategy, our work focuses on four key areas:
- preventing and reducing violence in the family
- ensuring child protection in emergencies
- strengthening and promoting gender responsive child protection services
- promoting children’s access to legal identity through rights-based civil registration.
Identity is important
A fundamental part of protecting children is ensuing their right to a legal identity. An estimated 1.1 billion people around the world cannot officially prove their identity, and 40% of these are children.
When children are officially registered, they are recognised, protected, and provided for through access to lifelong services including health care, education, employment and social welfare.
That’s why we’ve developed OpenCRVS, the world’s first open source, rights-based digital birth registration software — to ensure that all children are registered and receive a much-needed birth certificate that can protect them from early marriage, child trafficking and child labour.
Access our research reports on child protection.
Advocating against child marriage in Nepal
Married at just nine years old, 79-year-old Suwa from Nepal’s Karnali province (pictured second from left), has now become an advocate against child marriage with support from Plan International.
Recalling her own marriage, Suwa tells us that in her community, she was considered to be getting married too late as most girls became brides by the age of seven.
“I had to face social stigma for marrying late. We had no access to information. There were no schools or any other opportunities. In such a situation, the law regarding child marriage was beyond our imagination. We only had the option to follow our ancient rituals and work in the fields,” says Suwa.
Plan International works alongside our partner organisations to raise awareness about harmful traditional practices such as child marriage. Suwa was able to learn more about the consequences of child marriage, child rights and the importance of education after attending training sessions. She now goes door-to-door to ensure that all the children in her community, especially girls, receive an education and are not forced to marry early.
Suwa is just one of more than 7,000 people who’ve attended our training sessions and from this project, 28 child marriages have already been prevented.
Marriage registration: a pathway to protection and empowerment in Bangladesh
Civil Registration and Vital Statistic (CRVS) systems have the power to transform the lives of women or girls. The importance of marriage registration has been recognised as critical to help achieve the Government of Bangladesh’s target of eradicating child marriage by 2041. CRVS can prevent potential child marriage cases by enabling real time age verification when a bride and groom come to register their marriage. A CRVS system can also identify girls who are already married as they register the birth of their baby.
In 2022, Plan International, in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh, conducted a study to analyse and assess the current marriage registration system in Bangladesh and identify recommendations to improve understanding, access and availability of services in urban, rural, and remote locations across Bangladesh.