Advocacy is acting, speaking or writing to promote, protect and defend the human rights of people. Advocacy involves promoting the interests or cause of someone or a group of people. An advocate is a person who argues for, recommends, or supports a cause or policy. Advocacy in all its forms seeks to ensure that people, particularly those most vulnerable in society, can:
Have their voice heard on issues that are important to them
Defend and safeguard their rights
Have their views and concerns genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives
“Advocacy is making your voice heard,
and also about helping people find their voice.”
Self-advocacy means you know your rights and responsibilities, you speak-up for your rights, and you can make choices and decisions that affect your life. Self-advocacy helps to empower you, to speak-up for yourself and decide what YOU want.
In individual advocacy. a person or group of people concentrate their efforts on just one or two individuals. According to the group Advocacy for Inclusion “Advocacy is having someone to stand beside you if you think something is unfair or that someone is treating you badly and you would like to do something to change it.”
Systems advocacy is about changing policies, laws or rules that impact how someone lives their life. These efforts can be targeted at a local, state, or national level. The focus can be changing laws, or policy.