UNICEF welcomes Batumi city decision to join the Child Friendly City initiative
The Child Friendly Cities Initiative encourages local governments to pay greater attention to meeting the rights of their youngest citizens
BATUMI, Georgia, December 3, 2020. One of the largest cities of Georgia – Batumi - has pledged to join 3000 cities and local communities in over 40 countries in the Child Friendly City Initiative (CFCI), supported by UNICEF. A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed today by the interim Mayor of Batumi, Mr. Archil Chikovani and UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Dr. Ghassan Khalil. The Memorandum outlines specific actions needed for Batumi to become part of the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative.
The Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) is a UNICEF-led initiative that supports municipal governments in realizing the rights of children at the local level, using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as its foundation. It is also a network which brings together government and other partners, such as civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, media and, importantly, children themselves who wish to make their cities and communities more child-friendly.
"I congratulate Batumi on becoming the third city in Georgia – after Tbilisi and Kutaisi - to join the Child Friendly Cities Initiative." - Ghassan Khalil
“I congratulate Batumi on becoming the third city in Georgia – after Tbilisi and Kutaisi - to join the Child Friendly Cities Initiative”, says Dr. Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “For a child, living in a child-friendly city means being respected and treated fairly, having their needs heard, having access to quality essential social services, living in a safe, secure and clean environment, and having opportunities to enjoy family life, play and leisure. UNICEF has a close collaboration with the Batumi municipality and will continue to do so, to help the city administration in putting children at the very heart of the city’s agenda”, Khalil added.
The following steps need to be taken by a city to become part of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative: assessing the situation of children in the city; advocacy and awareness-raising of child rights throughout government and society; enacting child-friendly laws and policies and assessing the impact of these on children; developing a city-wide strategic action plan with clear budget allocation and accountabilities for implementation; ensuring children get their fair share of resources; informing and involving children and youth and respecting their views and experiences; recognizing children and youth as partners and as individual human beings, rights-holders and equal, active citizens; cross-sectoral coordination and strategic partnerships to maximize the impact of child-friendly policies and programmes.
Building a child-friendly city is a continuous process. In the following phase, the Batumi city administration will carry out a child rights situation analysis in Batumi. Based on the identified needs, a one-year action plan will be drafted. After approval of the plan, Batumi will become a CFCI candidate city. Only after the successful implementation of the plan and completion of the CFCI Cycle, Batumi will officially be recognized as a Child Friendly City.
In November 2019, a delegation from Georgia, including the deputy Mayor of Batumi Ms Lela Surmanidze, took part in the UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Conference ‘Mayors for Children’ which took place in Athens, Greece. The two-day event focused on strategies for financing local services for children and families, strengthening child health, education and protection services as well as ensuring young people can meaningfully participate in local decision-making processes.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/georgia/