UNICEF welcomes Tbilisi’s 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
TBILISI, Georgia, July 28, 2020. Tbilisi 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 Mayor of Tbilisi, Mr. Kakha Kaladze, and UNICEF’s Representative in Georgia, Dr. Ghassan Khalil. The Memorandum outlines specific actions needed for Tbilisi 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 the Mayor of Tbilisi on their decision to join the Child Friendly Cities Initiative, thus pledging children to be at the very heart of the city’s agenda." - Ghassan Khalil.
“I congratulate the Mayor of Tbilisi on their decision to join the Child Friendly Cities Initiative, thus pledging children to be at the very heart of the city’s agenda”, says Dr. Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “Cities have a profound impact on the daily lives of children, young people and their families. Cities translate national policies into local action and are on the frontline of delivering essential services. For a child, it means getting respected and treated fairly within their communities, having their needs heard and taken into account, 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 stands ready to support the Tbilisi municipality in this process”, Khalil added.
The steps to be taken by a city to become part of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative are the following: 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 Tbilisi city administration will carry out a child rights situation analysis in Tbilisi. Based on the identified needs, a one-year action plan will be drafted. After approval of the plan, Tbilisi will become a CFCI candidate city. Only after the successful implementation of the plan and completion of the CFCI Cycle, Tbilisi will be officially recognized as a Child Friendly City.
In October 2019, a delegation from Georgia took part in the Child Friendly Cities’ Summit in Cologne, Germany, which also marked the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Following the Summit, the Mayor of Tbilisi joined a declaration and committed his support to the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative, aiming to make the city truly fit for children.
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/