Review Research and Determine What Change is Needed
After investigating and gathering evidence, advocates must carefully review and analyze all of the research results. If the authors of the research or human rights report have made recommendations, those recommendations will likely point out the change needed. In the absence of such recommendations, advocates should answer the following questions: 
  • Where is change needed?
  • What are the important issues facing the constituency?
  • What do the constituents think is the most important issue?

What is the change needed?

  • Define the goals – make them realistic, achievable, and worthwhile
  • Define the objectives
  • Consider the political climate and probability of success
  • How has the problem been addressed in the past, if at all?

Why is the change needed?

  • Create a simple message that all members of the legislative effort can agree on
  • Create a truthful, non-technical message

How will change happen?

  • Who can make the objective happen?
  • How can those individuals be influenced?
  • Who will support you in the effort?
  • Who will oppose you in the effort?
  • ECPAT International (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), an organization dedicated to ending sexual exploitation of children, has created a guide for advocates on strengthening laws addressing child exploitation. The guide focuses on the fact that legal reform must begin with a comprehensive review of the current status of national laws and international legal obligations. ECPAT International’s guide also contains a checklist for legal reform, which can also be read as a checklist of advocacy objectives. The checklist first identifies the international treaties which all states should ratify in relation to child sexual exploitation. The checklist goes on to identify the types of issue-specific definitions that should be included in national laws. The checklist describes the provisions that should be included in national laws relative to sexual abuse and exploitation, child prostitution, child pornography, child sex tourism, and extradition/mutual legal assistance so that national reviews can identify gaps and language that needs to be altered. Finally, the checklist clarifies the importance of data collection as well as establishing, through law, a national infrastructure to punish and track offenders and to support victims. See: Strengthening Laws Addressing Child Sexual Exploitation: A Practical Guide, ECPAT International.