Child and Youth Friendly Municipality Initiative
Children at the heart of the community
Children and youth are entitled to the rights set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, but not all of them have equal opportunities. Politicians at various levels often state that children are our future. But what real action should accompany these words? How can work become more effective, not only for the future but also for the present? To what extent are the decisions of the Government and society protecting the interests, meeting the needs and taking into account the voices of children and youth?
With the initiation of decentralization reform, a window of opportunity has emerged for local child and youth policies in Ukraine. UNICEF has developed an effective tool to help local authorities implement mechanisms to protect the interests of children and young people: the "Child and Youth Friendly Municipality" initiative.
The Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) is a UNICEF-led initiative that supports cities and villages to realize the rights of children at local level.
The Initiative was launched in 1996 and now covers 3,000 municipalities in 38 countries. The initiative was launched In Ukraine in 2018. Over 170 municipalities have expressed their willingness to join the initiative. By 2020, 27 municipalities with a total of over 9 million residents had received technical support from UNICEF (and 17 have been granted the intermediate candidate status).
Joining the initiative is a major step for a community. It is accompanied by the signing of an official memorandum with UNICEF. The municipality has to develop a comprehensive situational analysis and propose a costed action plan for how it will change the situation for children for the better. The ultimate goal for a city or community is to receive the official status of a Child and Youth Friendly Municipality.
CFCI is not business as usual. The official status is granted for real results and tangible progress for children and young people at local level.
For more details on how to join and implement the Initiative, please follow the link.
Municipalities receive strong support and investments to build democracy and achieve equality for children and youth at the local level. Communities become a part of a global network of municipalities for mutual support and experience exchange.
NGOs working for the child and youth rights receive opportunities to cooperate extensively with local authorities.
Local businesses that invest in social wealth and respect for child rights are assisted to achieve stability and sustainable development and management. In addition, the businesses receive respect and recognition.
CFCI is also a network that brings together government and other stakeholders, such as civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, media and - most importantly - children themselves who want to make their cities and communities more child-friendly.
What is a child and youth friendly municipality?
This is a city, town or community that is systematically working to become a place where children and youth:
- Are protected from exploitation, violence and abuse.
- Have a good start in life and grow up healthy and cared for.
- Have access to quality social services.
- Experience quality, inclusive and participatory education and skills development.
- Express their opinions and influence decisions that affect them.
- Participate in family, cultural, city/community and social life.
- Live in a safe, secure and clean environment with access to green spaces.
- Meet friends and have places to play and enjoy themselves.
- Have fair chances in life, regardless of their ethnic origin, religion, income, gender or ability.
What to find out more?
If you want to join the initiative, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications' consultant of the initiative - email@example.com