Influencing Governments

Canada’s government can be a powerful champion for children’s rights, health and well-being. Decisions made in Ottawa can help care for and protect children around the world – including those living in the most dangerous places. That’s why influencing government policy is such a critical part of our work.

Influencing Governments

Canada’s government can be a powerful champion for children’s rights, health and well-being. Decisions made in Ottawa can help care for and protect children around the world – including those living in the most dangerous places. That’s why influencing government policy is such a critical part of our work.

Influencing Governments

Canada’s government can be a powerful champion for children’s rights, health and well-being. Decisions made in Ottawa can help care for and protect children around the world – including those living in the most dangerous places. That’s why influencing government policy is such a critical part of our work.
Because World Vision works in nearly 100 countries, we have our finger on the pulse of the issues threatening children.
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Child Protection
After ten years spent advocating to eliminate child labour from the supply chains of Canadian companies, we made important gains in 2021.
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Powerful youth voices from around the world are influencing our government’s international development priorities
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  • 21,678 people were involved or trained in community-level advocacy and social accountability activities aimed at holding their governments responsible for the provision of basic services.
  • 37 Citizen Voice and Action documents and plans of action were created, equipping social accountability groups to accomplish their goals.
  • 2,622 service-providers and institutions have improved performance capabilities because of additional equipment, capacity or budget.
  • 520 community groups engaged in Citizen Voice and Action activities, calling on their governments to deliver the basic services that have been promised.
Results of World Vision Canada's projects between October 2020 and September 2021,
in partnership with Global Affairs Canada and other institutional donors

Our approach
At World Vision, our advocacy work for children is passionate, persistent – and multi-faceted. One of the main ways we help is by advocating with the Canadian government, urging them to prioritize the world’s most vulnerable children. 

We help the Canadian government understand the situations children are facing and how it can best make a difference. We press for laws, policies and programs which both meet children’s needs, and protect their God-given rights. We’re persistent in our work to see these changes happen. And we hold governments accountable to following through on their plans.

World Vision has an office in Ottawa, just down the street from Parliament Hill. From there, we can:
  • be nimble in responding to breaking developments, seizing opportunities to champion children whenever possible
  • focus on influencing government policy through meetings with the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, public servants and official government committees.
  • leverage our voice by joining with like-minded partners and coalitions to engage government
  • conduct research into complex issues, prepare recommendations for future policies and programs and advocate for the prioritization of children
  • be present for high-level events, like federal budget announcements, to speak up for children’s needs with the media 
Here in Canada, World Vision advocates with our government to create policies and support programs that:
  • empower and protect children from the worst kinds of harm: violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect
  • ensure that children and mothers can avoid deadly diseases and enjoy good health
  • provide children with the skills and tools they need for a bright future: education, empowered communities and supportive families
  • create the maximum impact from our aid dollars, directing them toward the world’s most fragile places
The advocacy and policy work we do in Ottawa is a force multiplier for child well-being and complements our programming efforts in the field. Our local presence in nearly 100 countries around the world helps us identify the specific needs – and provides the evidence – that drives our advocacy work here in Canada.

We work to see that Canada’s government is making sound decisions in its global affairs. This includes choices around programs, trade, diplomacy and funding. We want to see support and respect for the well-being of children around the world in each of these areas.

As part of our work with communities overseas, we empower leaders and parents with tools on how to advocate with their own local governments. We teach them about existing laws, so they can advocate for their enforcement. For instance, most countries have policies protecting children’s education. But what if the government has provided no teachers for the community? That's why local-level advocacy is a central part of our community development programming.

For communities around the world, knowing their country’s laws, their children’s rights, and the ways to act can make all the difference moving forward. This empowerment is part of what makes change sustainable, long after World Vision leaves an area.
Our work in the halls of power would be empty without our work for children in the communities and countries where they live. That’s where we gain a clear understanding of how children’s rights are violated and their needs overlooked. It’s where we see firsthand how neglecting and exploiting children can devastate their lives. And it’s how we come to understand the barriers in place when families try to speak up.

This evidence drives our proposals for change to Canada’s global policies. We engage children as decision-makers and change-agents, bringing their voices into policy discussions and sharing their stories with government. And the impact of our development and advocacy work is a powerful example of how the right kind of programming can change lives. 
At any given time, we are actively engaging the Canadian government on several fronts.

We’re currently advocating for the creation of legislation requiring Canadian companies to report publicly on any measures they’re taking to check their global supply chains. How do we know that no children were exploited as labourers, to produce the goods bring sold here Canada? What about forced labour, with trafficked workers? The Canadian public deserves to know so they can make ethical purchasing decisions. 
Similar legislation has been passed elsewhere, in the United Kingdom and the state of California. It has proved to be effective in driving positive corporate change to promote children’s rights, and providing consumers with better information to help them make ethical purchasing decisions.
We’re also currently pressing the government to commit to predictable increases to its financial commitments to international development. We know that ambitious goals require ambitious financing: if Canada is going to do its part in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, it will require new levels of effective, targeted investment into key priority areas.
One powerful example is our work for women and children’s health, on which we partner with a coalition of other NGOs. We’re asking Canada’s government to use their influence to improve the health of mothers and babies. Through a combination of focused programing and Canada’s commitments of nearly $5 billion dollars (leveraging nearly $50 billion from other countries), the results have saved the lives of countless children.  
Increasingly, we are focusing our health advocacy efforts on the world’s most fragile places. Women and girls affected by conflict, crisis and displacement are those whose health and rights are most vulnerable, yet they are without adequate health systems and support. By sharing our evidence base about the programs and innovations that work best in fragile contexts, and calling on the Government of Canada to focus its efforts in these hardest to reach places, we promote the well-being of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable women and girls.
World Vision is also working with the government to find ways to provide much needed family planning and reproductive health programming, especially for adolescent girls. Educating women about the importance of family planning could prevent as many as 1 in 3 maternal deaths and improve the survival rate of children.
We’ve joined forces with policy makers to support children affected by the conflict in Syria. Here are practical ways to expand access to education and child protection, as well as promoting youth engagement and empowerment across the region.
Every year, more than $34 billion in products are imported into Canada from regions known for child and forced labour. Are companies even checking? We investigate 44 companies importing such products and give our recommendations.
Consumers, civil society and investors need better information and want to see increased action from companies to address the risks of child and forced labour in their supply chains.

Ways to help Influence Governments

Be part of the 1000 Day Journey.

Get a rare glimpse into the world of development work as we partner with the Canadian government to improve the lives of moms and children in 5 different countries.

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Join us in the fight to end child slavery

Visit our No Child For Sale campaign website.

Every day, millions of children go to work in dirty, dangerous and degrading jobs. Join us in the fight to end child slavery.

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Discover where we work


Where We Work

Together with your support, we are bringing about real change for children, families and communities in more than 50 countries.
From Canada to the world. With love.

children walking through brush