Bakhmut, Vinnytsia and Lviv receive UNICEF’s Honorary International Status of Child and Youth Friendly Community
Bakhmut, Vinnytsia and Lviv are the first cities in Ukraine to receive the honorary international status of a youth-friendly community. The status is granted within the framework of the eponymous UNICEF initiative, aimed at supporting local authorities in the fulfilment of children’s rights. The Ministers awarded representatives of cities on the Day of Local Self-Government.
The Child and Youth Friendly Community initiative has been implemented worldwide since 1996. It has already been supported by more than 3,000 municipalities in 38 countries on five continents.
In Ukraine, the initiative has been implemented since 2018. From the beginning, 170 communities have expressed a desire to join. However, only the most committed were selected to participate.
As of November 2021, the Child and Youth Friendly Community initiative involves 35 Ukrainian cities and communities with a total of more than 9 million residents. Communities in the initiative are implementing plans to improve living conditions for children and youth.
Bakhmut, Vinnytsia and Lviv successfully implemented their plans, passed the evaluation, and as a result, became the first cities in Ukraine to receive the status of youth-friendly communities. .
Representatives of the cities were awarded by Maryna Lazebna, Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine, Vasyl Lozynsky, First Deputy Minister of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine, and Maryna Popatenko, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine.
Obtaining the status is not the ultimate goal. The status is meant to ascertain the progress of communities toward becoming more youth-friendly. Communities must confirm their status every two to three years.
See the award ceremony that took place at the Children 2021 Summit:
A child- and youth-friendly community is a community that works systematically to become a place where youth and children:
- are safe and protected from exploitation, violence and abuse;
- have a good start in life to grow up healthy and fulfil their potential;
- have access to basic services;
- have quality, inclusive and participatory education and skills development;
- express their opinions and participate in decisions that affect them;
- take part in the family, cultural and social life of the city/community;
- live in a clean, unpolluted and safe environment with access to greenery;
- meet with friends and have places to play and relax;
- have equal opportunities, regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, family income, sex or abilities.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.