Implementing the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) in Sarawak
Kuching South City Council and Miri City Council signed Memorandum of Understanding with UNICEF Malaysia to implement CFCI
Kuching South City Council (MBKS) and Miri City Council (MCC) became the first two cities in Sarawak to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNICEF Malaysia to implement the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI).
CFCI is a UNICEF-led initiative that supports municipal governments in realizing the rights of children at the local level, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The initiative was launched in 1996 to make cities liveable places for all.
“The Convention is a promise made by world leaders, including Malaysia, that they will protect the rights of every child,” said UNICEF Malaysia representative Edgar Donoso. “As the country is recovering post-Covid-19, more attention and resources need to be accorded to children towards building their resilience against future pandemics and other disasters, as well as long-term threats brought by climate change.”
UNICEF Malaysia Social Policy Specialist Adam Ling said, “CFCI is recognition by UNICEF for local councils that have demonstrated their commitment towards the protection of children's rights. It begins with the signing of an MoU (memorandum of understanding), followed by situational analysis and then there will be a plan of action that has to be agreed upon.”
In Kuching, the MoU was signed by Edgar Donoso and Kuching South Mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng. The ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government Michael Tiang, who represented minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
"We hope to see Kuching as a city where children are safe, protected from violence and abuse, and that that they have equal access to essential services like adults," said Michael Tiang.
In Miri, the MoU signing ceremony took place at Miri City Hall with Edgar Donoso representing UNICEF Malaysia and Mayor Adam Yii for the Miri City Council. The ceremony was witnessed by deputy mayor Julaihi Mohamad, acting council secretary Abdul Rahman Taupek, and Ministry of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Sarawak’s representative Jacintha Olivia Mukin.
“The CFCI is relevant to MCC’s current strategic plan meant for the next five years. It will also complement our own initiatives being carried out towards realising our vision of transforming Miri into a vibrant, green, and livable resort smart city,” said Adam Yii.
Kuching and Miri will receive Candidate City Status once the plan of action for the CFCI initiative has been agreed upon. In Malaysia, only one city – Petaling Jaya - has received the Candidate City Status so far. Building a child-friendly city can help local governments and other stakeholders to provide children and youth with a nurturing environment for the full realization of their rights and capabilities.
Learn more about the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI): https://childfriendlycities.org/what-is-the-child-friendly-cities-initiative/