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Girls' rights platform

Girls' rights are human rights: 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.


Reaffirming girls' rights as human rights

An in-depth study of the status of girls in the international human rights framework

Through reviewing over 1,300 international policy documents and identifying existing references to girls and their rights in the international human rights framework, this study considers whether the international community adequately addresses girls’ lived realities in international instruments and makes recommendations to strengthen and advance girls’ rights.

Key findings


Reservations to international treaties are statements in which States can place conditions on their ratification of a treaty. Allowing States to make reservations encourages ratification, but can also weaken the human rights protection of the treaty. Governments should be urged to withdraw their reservations, including those limiting girls’ rights.

Girls’ rights are human rights. Yet, millions of girls continue to struggle to claim their rights. Rarely are girls mentioned as a specific demographic in international law and where they are, there is a failure to fully reflect the particular barriers they face. In order to remedy this, States, UN Agencies and civil society must identify the realisation of girls’ rights as an objective in itself and attach greater importance to empowering girls throughout their life-cycles.

Although there are a number of international laws that safeguard the rights of all human beings, very few specifically mention girls. Yet however you cut and slice the data, whichever sources of information you choose, girls remain the largest excluded group on the planet. Girls take a hit on both fronts: their gender and their age, and play second fiddle to boys in education, work, health and family life. Add poverty, ethnicity and/or disability into the mix, and this problem is magnified. Still not convinced? Just stop a second, and take in these statistics.


Get an overview of the world’s most comprehensive searchable human rights database, which includes over 800 previous HRC resolutions to provide diplomats and civil society representatives with easy access to agreed language,


Through reviewing over 1,300 international policy documents and identifying existing references to girls and their rights in the international human rights framework, this study considers whether the international community adequately addresses girls’ lived realities in international instruments and makes recommendations to strengthen and advance girls’ rights.