Every year, Public Matters supports a number of organizations pro bono, because we believe that every organization deserves a chance to have its voice heard – to participate in the democratic decision-making process. This applies not only to organizations that have sufficient resources for this, but to all organizations with a societal interest. In this context, we have been supporting UNICEF for some time now, which is committed to the rights of children in the Netherlands.
UNICEF collaborates with the government and other organizations on urgent issues such as the care of refugee children, mental well-being, and proper nutrition, to improve the living conditions of (vulnerable) children in the Netherlands. Public Matters supports UNICEF by reviewing existing lobbying strategies and documents and providing ad hoc advice on ongoing specific lobbying dossiers. With our experience and expertise, we thus contribute to achieving UNICEF’s lobbying objectives in the Netherlands.
Care for Asylum-Seeking Children
One of the specific dossiers currently underway is the care for asylum-seeking children, including the so-called ‘distribution law.’ Last year, UNICEF, together with the Working Group Child in asylum seeker center – policy makers, called for the physical, social, and mental safety of children to be included in this law. It is of great importance for children that, during their asylum procedure, they remain in the same place, are placed near a school, and have access to good guidance and facilities. UNICEF is committed to this dossier.
Vision on Youth in the Coalition Agreement
In addition, UNICEF is calling on political parties and the upcoming new government to clearly indicate in the coalition agreement what its vision is on the upbringing and development of youth and what the government’s responsibility is in this regard. This call is based on the recognition that the government plays a crucial role in supporting the development of children, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF emphasizes that a holistic vision on youth is essential amid challenges such as digitalization, youth care, poverty, and climate change. This vision should ensure that children and young people feel recognized, heard, and involved, and that their rights and well-being are central in policy-making. In this way, UNICEF is committed to sustainable and future-oriented policy.
Pro Bono advice by Public Matters
Public Matters advises organizations on how they can secure a position in the political, public, or administrative arena, and believes it’s important that professional advocacy is not only reserved for, for example, companies, trade organizations, or (semi)governments. From our social commitment, we therefore support various societal organizations annually with pro bono advising.
Also in 2024, we are offering pro bono advice and support again. The deployment of our advisors’ expertise for societal interests is an important part of our CSR policy. Support can be deployed for a wide range of questions. This could, for example, involve advice on public affairs and lobbying activities, strategic communication, stakeholder management, power field analyses & reputation research, or training and workshops.
Interested? Feel free to contact Evi Sonnemans or Valérie Mendes de León.