Young people join the municipal government in development of an action plan for Batumi to become a child friendly city
The Child Friendly Cities Initiative encourages local governments to pay greater attention to meeting the rights of their youngest citizens
BATUMI, Georgia, 27-28 January, 2022. Young people living in Batumi municipality participated in discussions about how to make their city more child friendly and how children and adolescents can get involved in the process. Two groups of youngsters were invited to hear about the action plan developed by the city municipality as part of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative, supported by UNICEF.
By signing a Memorandum of Cooperation with UNICEF in 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). The city of Batumi, with support from UNICEF, has taken specific actions as outlined by the Memorandum, needed for Batumi to become part of the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative. Situation analysis of children’s rights and wellbeing in Batumi has been completed. The report documents the most important challenges that children in Batumi municipality face and it develops a set of recommendations regarding measures that the local authorities can implement to become a Child Friendly City.
Based on this situation analysis the working group at the Batumi municipality developed draft strategic directions and an action plan. Before the plan is adopted, it is being discussed with children and youth from Batumi and their opinions will be reflected in the final action plan.
Mayor of Batumi, Mr. Archil Chikovani and UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Dr. Ghassan Khalil met with the young people and welcomed their participation in the process.
''We are glad that Batumi is taking active steps on their way to becoming a Child Friendly City. It is particularly important that children and young people living in the city are informed and involved in this process to share their concerns and to discuss the possible solutions.'' - Ghassan Khalil.
“We are glad that Batumi is taking active steps on their way to becoming a Child Friendly City”, says Dr. Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “It is particularly important that children and young people living in the city are informed and involved in this process to share their concerns and to discuss the possible solutions. UNICEF will continue close collaboration with Batumi Municipality to support in putting children at the very heart of the city’s agenda”, Khalil added.
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.
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 finalize and approve the one-year action plan and 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.
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/