Vinnytsya city and UNICEF host the first national Child Friendly City Forum
Vinnytsya/Kyiv, 27 November, 2012 - Today the first National Forum of Child Friendly Cities was held in Vinnytsya organized by UNICEF in partnership with the Vinnytsya City Council. Delegations from different cities of Ukraine, foreign guests and government representatives participate in the Forum. Participants have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and establish cooperation with a wide range of organizations working to change the lives of children for better. Moreover, the participants discussed the prospects of creating an association of child friendly cities in Ukraine.
In Ukraine the Child Friendly City Initiative has been implemented since 1996 by UNICEF in partnership with NGOs and municipalities. This initiative is a practical realization of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child at the municipal level, under the guidance of local authorities and the participation of children themselves. Currently, 17 Ukrainian cities joined the initiative. The forum in Vinnytsya became an important platform for discussion about successful projects and exchange of experiences.
"Today Vinnytsya is one of the city-leaders in protecting children’s rights and realizing youth and children’s right to participate in decisions that affect them. I hope that other cities will follow this example and join the initiative to become more friendly to Ukrainian children "- said UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Yukie Mokuo. She also thanked Vinnitsa mayor Vladimir Groisman for the joint organization of the Forum, where different cities were able to share best practices and show a lot of effective methods of working with children.
‘Vinnytsya: a friendly city to children’ programme has been successfully implemented since 2009. It was developed based on UNICEF experience, which had been combined with local initiatives and ideas. The local strategy was elaborated based on this document and is a part of the Strategic Development Concept "Vinnytsya: 2020."
Besides adults, children also participate in the Forum, representing cities that have already joined the initiative, namely Vinnytsya, Simferopol, Evpatoria, Gorlovka, Sarny, Korosten, Ripky, Sumy, Shostka, Bilopillia, Trostyanets, Krolevets, Romney, Lebedyn, Chervonograd, Drohobych, Zhovkva, and also those cities that wish to become more child friendly in the future – namely, Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Sevastopol. Among the guests at the forum there are representatives of the State Institute for Family and Youth Policy, Ministry of Social Policy, Presidential Ombudsman for Children's Rights, representatives from the Foundation for developing local governance. In addition, Deputy Ambassador of Austria in Ukraine Johannes Aigner, representatives from European Network MDD and other international programs related to municipal development and human rights as well as scientific institutions take part in the meeting.
At the Forum the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Ukraine Pieter Jan Walters will tell about the European experience on the network of child friendly cities, because the headquarters of that network is located in the Netherlands.
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About UNICEF: UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is the world leader in protecting the rights and interests of children. The Fund operates in over 190 countries to protect and support children from an early age through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses. UNICEF celebrates the 15th anniversary of their presence in Ukraine this year. It opened its office in Kyiv in 1997 following the conclusion of the Basic Cooperation Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and UNICEF. Later, it was ratified by the Parliament of Ukraine providing the basis for relationship and cooperation between the Government of Ukraine and UNICEF aimed at improving the lives of children and families throughout the territory of Ukraine. More info at: www.unicef.org.ua. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Child Friendly City Initiative is a system of local governance, where the main priority is the rights and interests of the child. This initiative is actively implementing the right of every child to express their views and influence the decisions of local authorities that affect them and be a full member of their community.
In Ukraine the Child Friendly City has been implemented since 1996 by UNICEF in partnership with NGOs and municipalities. These efforts are practical implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child at the municipal level, under the guidance of local authorities and the participation of children themselves. In Ukraine, the initiative "Friendly City Child" was launched in 2006 in 3 cities in Lviv region - Chervonograd, Drohobych and Vynnyky and in 3 cities Sumy region – Trostyanets, Romney and Lebedyn. Currently, 17 Ukrainian cities joined this initiative. Its implementation has brought essential results through the development and implementation of local programs for children and the effective use of local budgets. Learn more here: http://www.unicef.org/ukraine/ukr/Mista_Druzni_do_Dytyny_UKR.pdf
Worldwide, there are about 900 cities that strive to become child friendly. Such cities established in 11 African countries, 11 countries in South and North America, 11 Asian countries, 23 European countries and 3 countries in Oceania. The initiative is the most popular in Europe, especially in France (134 cities), Italy (111 cities) and Spain (49 cities).