There are more than 72 million children in
the United States. While most are thriving, many are suffering from the ill effects
of poverty, lacking health care, not receiving adequate educational opportunities, dealing with neglect and/or abuse, or living
in unsafe environments. Their lives, like all of ours, are impacted both positively and negatively by decisions made
daily in state capitols and city halls across the country. And yet, they can’t speak out themselves. They
need voices to speak out on their behalf (Voices for America's Children, 2003).
What child advocates do:
An advocate typically represents or gives voice to an individual or group whose
concerns and interests are not being heard. A child advocate will try to prevent children from being harmed and may
try to obtain justice.
- Research clearly demonstrates the many benefits of high quality preschool, including:
on standardized achievement tests in reading and math and better reading, language and math skills;
of being held back a grade or placed in special education;
of graduating from high school and decreased likelihood of dropping out of school than non-participants
4. better social skills and peer relations.
- HOW - Work with a broad coalition
of stakeholders to lay the groundwork for a statewide system of preschool for all three- and four-year-old children, including
work on AB 56 (Steinberg), a bill that includes provisions related to preschool for all children.
WHY - Children who have been trafficked face a range of dangers, including violence and sexual
abuse. They are even arrested and detained as illegal aliens – often with little or no access to their parents or other
who are trafficked into prostitution face dangers beyond the physical injuries and trauma associated with multiple sexual
encounters (Free A Child, 2005).
need to show a strong commitment to combat trafficking.
need to be aware of the dangers of trafficking so that they can protect themselves.
- Reintegration and rehabilitation for survivors
WHY - Children work in hazardous conditions – including working in mines,
working with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture or with dangerous machinery.
Millions of girls work as domestic servants and unpaid household help and are especially vulnerable to exploitation
- HOW - Governments need to ensure that all children have access
to compulsory education
- Laws that prohibit child labor need to be in place.
- Children need to be removed immediately from the
worst forms of child labor
- WHY - Children of educated
mothers are more likely to survive and be healthier because of better nutrition and immunization rates.
education may be the single most effective weapon in prevention of HIV/AIDS.
has shown that for every year of schooling, wages for women as well as for men increase by a worldwide average of about 10
percent (UNICEF, 2005).