About Youth Advocate Program International, Inc.

In brief we…

  • promote the creation, implementation and enforcement of international legal norms and protections for youth.
  • research, develop, and disseminate publications on critical international youth issues, and serve as an education and information resource for individuals, organizations, and agencies throughout the world.
  • design, coordinate, advise, conduct, participate in and support meetings, seminars, and conferences to raise awareness, educate, train and generate effective responses to harms confronting youth.
  • nurture the positive potential of young people, enabling them to become their own best advocates.

In more detail…

The Youth Advocate Program International, Inc. (YAP International) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It established its headquarters and advocacy center in Washington, DC in 1996. YAP International’s mission is to promote and protect the rights and well-being of the world’s youth, giving particular attention to children victimized by conflict, exploitation, and state and personal violence.

YAP International works to prevent and eliminate the worst forms of child labor, the use of children in armed conflict, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and the practice of incarcerating children as adults. We help to protect and ensure rights and services for children affected by war, exploitation, homelessness, environmental threats, statelessness, discrimination, HIV/AIDS, and for refugee and internally-displaced children. We provide voice and visibility for vulnerable children everywhere and promote their participation and empowerment in building tomorrow’s world.

Committee Participation

In order to do its work effectively YAP International seeks alliances and works through partnerships. It has served on numerous national and international child rights and protection committees. It also served as the coordinating agency for the US Campaign against the Sexual Exploitation of Children.

The following is a list of the national and international committees/coalitions on which we have served or currently serve. We are also in the process of developing additional relationships to expand our efforts in providing feedback, sharing information, serving as advisors, assisting with program development, supporting campaigns, and offering our general assistance upon request, and as needed.

As a result of our knowledge and expertise, we are often asked to help organizations and agencies to assist them in strategy development, planning, and general consultation.

Past Service on Committees/CampaignsCommissions

  • Child Labor Coalition (CLC) – National/International Legislation Sub-committee
  • Department of Labor (OSHA) Teen Worker Editorial Board
  • Global Campaign on Education (GCE) International Advisory Committee to the Child Welfare League of America
  • International Advisory Committee to the Fair Labor Association International Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (UK)
  • International Initiative against the Trafficking of Children * Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition NGO Committee on UNICEF
  • NGO Global Forum Orphans and Vulnerable Children Taskforce U.N. Study on Violence against Children
  • North America Consultation Committee *
  • U.S. Campaign against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children *
  • U.S. Campaign for the Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child *
  • Executive Steering Committee (as Committee Chair) – Education and Research Committee – Youth Participation Committee *
  • U.S. Campaign to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers *

* co-founding member

 Direct Service Programs

While YAP International is primarily an advocacy organization, it believes that it is more effective when it is closely linked to practitioners providing direct services to at-risk youth and families. YAP International’s founder, Mubarak Awad, also founded the National Youth Advocate Program that serves more than 2000 children and families as well as the California Youth Advocate Program where innovative youth violence prevention programs are in development.

Currently we are also exploring youth peace-building programs in a number of conflicted areas including Pakistan and Cyprus and among certain refugee communities in the United States and school-based interchanges and virtual classrooms focused on the environment and global commons.

Among YAP International’s services is a program of which known as CANEI (Constant and Never Ending Improvement) which applies principles of restorative justice, literacy and spirituality to helping aggressive, defiant and violent youth (Learn more about CANEI). The Youth Advocate Program International is looking to expand a variant of this program that can be delivered inexpensively in a variety of settings, giving greater emphasis to spiritual development, and is exploring the application of its principles to youth who have been victimized or have perpetrated violence in other regions of the world.

Resources, Consulting Services and Publications

YAP International has produced nine monographs, numerous resource papers and a series of curriculum modules and we are in the process of gathering resources for additional publications.

YAP International staff and the members of its Board of Senior Advisors and Consultants bring decades of experience in youth and family services, peace-building, conflict resolution and youth advocacy. They are available to provide presentations, training, consultation and program development assistance to interested organizations and communities. For schools and teachers YAP International provides curriculum modules, and general information to anyone in need.

Photo credit: Meena Kadri

Photo credit: Meena Kadri

New Developments/ Organizational Links

YAP International has undergone a period of consolidation and limited activity. In its reemergence, one of its goals is the creation- together with its partners including the American University’s Center for Global Peace-of a Center for Peace and Youth that will emphasize collaborative activities and programs and will host web-based dialogue on key youth-related issues. It will give special focus to reducing violence by and against youth and on addressing the causes and consequences of youth connected violence locally, nationally and internationally. The Center will work to this end through specialized program design and development. The Center also plans to launch as a collaborative venture the Program for Global Youth Empowerment, focused on strengthening the role of young people as change agents in building civil society and the quest for opportunity, justice, and peace.