Child-friendly Cities and Communities Handbook

A summary of the practices, common challenges and lessons learned



The Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) was launched in 1996 to respond to the challenge of realizing the rights of children in an increasingly urbanized and decentralized world. The initiative works by bringing together local stakeholders and UNICEF to create safe, inclusive and child-responsive cities and communities.

The CFCI has been instrumental in encouraging local governments and other stakeholders to pay greater attention to meeting the rights and needs of their youngest citizens, and ensuring the latter’s participation in local decision making. The initiative operates in more than 3,000 cities and communities around the world and continues to expand every year. This growing interest has increased the demand for enhanced global direction and technical guidance from UNICEF.

This Handbook is a succinct summary of the practices, common challenges and lessons learned. It contains a step-by-step guide to establishing a CFCI, which leaves adequate room for adapting and contextualizing the initiative to local structures, priorities and needs. The Handbook also presents a revisited Framework for Action to guide implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and a set of broad global minimum criteria aimed at streamlining the CFCI globally and providing the basis for the recognition of a Child Friendly City by UNICEF.

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