Home / Standing Up / Youth Rights Advocacy Tips

Youth Rights Advocacy Tips

What are some good tips for youth rights advocacy?

Based on the steps for youth rights advocacy, below you will find some top tips. Some may be more relevant to you than others, so feel free to reflect and think about some of your own tips based on your situation and experience.


  1. Be clear about what you want to achieve: set clear aims and goals and ensure that your actions are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
  2. Use research to support your advocacy: look for any existing data or information that supports your advocacy aims and make use of it to strengthen your argument. Where these do not exist, you may want to consider including data collection as part of your advocacy work, particularly if it would have an impact on achieving your
  3. Put young people at the center: make sure young people are in the driving seat at all stages, advocating for their own rights. Provide a safe environment where young people can express themselves freely, learn from each other and be empowered to become effective advocates by developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes
  4. Work collaboratively through inclusive partnerships and coalitions, in particular protection networks: bring together a broad-based coalition of actors that support and strive towards the same or similar goals, including from other sectors and social movements. Be inclusive of different actors and young people from different walks of
    life. Ensure that you have a few focal points for emergency contacts and to report any threats or attacks that you face as well as to get assistance protecting yourself.
  5. Mobilize political, institutional and high-profile support: build support for your cause, and bring political and institutional actors on board. Identify any high-profile or influential figures that can help attract support, such as celebrities.
  6. Develop clear and consistent messaging: communicate about your objectives and work in a clear, consistent way. The same message can be communicated in different ways, so adapt the message to the main audience you are trying to reach at a given moment. Use online platforms effectively if they are widely available in your context
    and be strategic about reaching out to the media if you plan to do so.
  7. Be creative, innovative and flexible: think about different and new ways to raise awareness and build support for your advocacy goals. Be open to change and adapt your activities based on what is most effective, likely to mobilize the most support and contribute towards the impact you are trying to achieve, but without compromising to a
    point where the activities or objectives would not bring any added value.
  8. Be patient: change doesn’t happen overnight, so make sure to acknowledge and celebrate even the small, incremental steps that bring your advocacy goals closer to being a reality.
  9. Reflect on, evaluate and learn from your advocacy: think about the key messages you take away including what you learnt from others, and how you can use this knowledge to improve your future advocacy.
  10. Stay safe and take care of yourself: ensure that you will not put yourself in danger or risk of harm as a result of your advocacy; be prepared and inform yourself about where you can go or who to turn to in case you face threats, intimidation or harassment. Avoid having a high level of visibility or public exposure if the situation is getting intense and keep a low profile for some time. Consider the impact your advocacy may have on your mental health and be prepared to set your boundaries and respect them. And finally, one more bonus tip:
  11. Have fun! Advocating for your own rights can be exhausting, frustrating and in some cases even dangerous. At the same time, it can be an empowering experience and an opportunity to meet like-minded people while developing a wide range of skills.

Staying Safe

How can I stay safe and be protected while defending my rights?