Girls' rights are human rights: Positioning girls at the heart of the international agenda

The girls' rights platform

Girls continue to face violence and discrimination all over the world. International policy must be strengthened, so that girls are not left behind. This platform aims to facilitate this, positioning girls at the heart of the international agenda.

About the Platform

Plan International has developed this Girls’ Rights Platform to help NGOs, young activists, diplomats, UN agencies, and academia bring girls from the margins to the centre of the international agenda. This platform offers a number of innovative tools, including the world’s most comprehensive human rights database, training tools for girls’ rights advocates, and a UN debate tracker to hold States to account.

By making these powerful resources available, Plan International hopes to increase the visibility of girls’ rights, build a wider movement in support of them, and push back against regressive trends that have stifled progress for girls. We recognise that millions of girls are disproportionately disadvantaged in education, health, work, and family life—particularly in the world’ poorest countries. When factors like poverty, ethnicity or disability intersect and where gender stereotyping and unequal power relations prevail, girls’ disadvantage is magnified.

Yet, international law does not adequately reflect girls’ plights. New research from Plan International reveals the extent to which international law overlooks girls’ rights, effectively rendering girls invisible. Rarely are girls mentioned as a specific demographic in international law and where they are, there is a failure to fully reflect the barriers that they face. Too often girls are falling between the dominant agendas of women’s and children’s rights. Gender-neutral and age-neutral approaches are shaping international law-making, shifting attention away from girls.

International policy must be strengthened, so that girls are not left behind. The Girls’ Rights Platform serves as a one-stop shop for information on girls’ rights to help change this. The database facilitates access to more robust terminology on girls’ rights that has somewhat fallen out of use, but which could help advance the case. It helps to safeguard negotiated achievements and to improve legal language. The platform is also a hub for training to help build knowledge and understanding of girls' critical issues, while the debate watch tool monitors various UN debates and keeps track of States’ positions related to girls’ rights and gender equality in an effort to increase transparency, identify trends, and hold States to account.

Contact us

  • Plan International United Nations Office in Geneva
  • 1 Rue de Varembé, 5th floor
  • 1202 Geneva
  • Switzerland