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Newly launched Girls’ Rights Platform reveals that international laws are failing girls

Plan International Canada warns that data shows international laws are failing girls by being blind to their specific needs and realities

February 7, 2018 (TORONTO, ON) – With the launch of a groundbreaking digital initiative – the Girls’ Rights Platform – today, Plan International Canada says that girls are practically invisible in laws and policies worldwide leaving them vulnerable to discrimination and abuse of their rights.

“Millions of girls – particularly in the world’s poorest countries – are disproportionately disadvantaged simply because they are young and female,” says Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada. “Too often girls are left out of international laws that focus on women and children, which rarely address their unique needs.”

Girls rights

The Girls’ Rights Platform is the first of its kind, and includes a human rights database created to help campaigners and policy-makers to underscore and address the unique needs of girls who currently fall in the gap between rights centred on women and rights centred on children. It brings together more than 1,400 international policy documents and allows users to run extensive searches to reveal crucial trends and gaps in global gender equality for girls.

As a result of this data, Plan International is also launching a new research report today – Girls’ Rights are Human Rights – that reveals the extent to which international law overlooks girls’ rights, effectively rendering them invisible. It shows that age- and gender-neutral approaches are shaping international law-making, shifting attention away from girls.

“Our years of research have shown that at all stages of their early lives up to adulthood, girls face the double burden of discrimination. These challenges become even more severe where factors such as poverty, ethnicity or disability overlap,” says Riseboro.

The release of this platform coincides with International Development Week. Plan International Canada is co-leading a panel with Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa Thursday that will bring together local youth, MPs and partners to spark conversation about international development in the #MeToo era and encourage continued action to improve the lives of girls and women on a global scale.

“Good gender data avoids bias and provides information that accurately reflects the real lives of girls and women,” says Riseboro. “Girls deserve the full protection of their governments, and support from their families and communities so they can grow up to reach their full potential.”

Plan International Canada is calling on the international community and all partners to make sure girls are visible and to ensure they are heard. The organization is advocating for a fundamental change in international processes, in order to bridge the gap between women’s and children’s rights where girls’ specific needs are currently ignored.

Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of Plan International Canada, is available for interviews.

About Plan International Canada and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan International is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan International strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Because I am a Girl is Plan International’s global movement to transform power relations so that girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive.

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Media contact:

Kyla Pearson
Plan International Canada
416-920-1654 x350

Angie Torres-Ramos
Plan International Canada
416-920-1654 x244