Innocenti Research Centre
CHILD FRIENDLY CITIES
For every child
Health, Education, Equality, Protection
adoption of governance approaches and
participatory urban management that promote the
realization of the rights of the youngest citizens.
Initiative of a Child
What is a Child Friendly City? It is a city, or any
local system of governance, committed to fulfilling
children’s rights. It is a city where the voices, needs,
priorities and rights of children are an integral part A Child Friendly City is actively engaged in fulfilling
of public policies, programmes and decisions. the right of every young citizen to:
It is, as a result, a city that is fit for all. Influence decisions about their city.
Express their opinion on the city they want.
The Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) was Participate in family, community and social life.
launched in 1996 to act on the resolution passed Receive basic services such as health care
during the second UN Conference on Human and education.
Settlements (Habitat II) to make cities liveable Drink safe water and have access to proper
places for all; in UNICEF terms, for “children first.
The Conference declared that the well-being of
Be protected from exploitation, violence and abuse.
children is the ultimate indicator of a healthy
Walk safely in the streets on their own.
habitat, a democratic society and of good
Meet friends and play.
Have green spaces for plants and animals.
Live in an unpolluted environment.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Participate in cultural and social events.
challenges cities to conceive of themselves, of the
Be an equal citizen of their city with access to
services, amenities and quality of life they provide,
every service, regardless of ethnic origin, religion,
in a new way. While there may be illegal
income, gender or disability.
settlements, from a child rights’ perspective there
are no illegal children. All children in cities have the
right to access basic services and enjoy
opportunities for development. This is true whether
they live with their families or alone, in informal
settlements or on the streets. CFCI advocates the
Consistent with the mandate of the UNICEF Innocenti
Research Centre to promote understanding of child
rights, it collects, documents, distils and
International disseminates experience on local strategies to
implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child
and pursue the Millennium Development Goals.
for Child Activities
Friendly The CFC Secretariat focuses on the following
Cities Research, data collection
and distilling lessons learned
With the growth of CFC activities, cities have Collects and processes data, documents
increasingly expressed the need to exchange innovations and carries out field research.
information, share experiences and sort out common Distils lessons learned and promotes good
problems together. Informal exchanges have practices.
gradually developed into networks and regular Makes available information and tools to CFC
An International Secretariat for Child Friendly Cities Manages and shares data through the specialised
was created in 2000 at UNICEF Innocenti Research web-run CFC Database.
Centre in Florence, Italy. Maintains a CFC website in three languages
(English, Spanish, French).
Exchanges experiences North-South
Produces and disseminates publications.
Networks with municipalities, mayors, associations
of mayors, communities, experts and NGOs to
strengthen capacity for the development of local
rights-based agendas for children.
Networks with child/youth groups to empower
young citizens to participate in planning and
decision-making processes for child friendly cities.
Assists in field consultations and programme Initiative. Through the CFC network, data are
development. collected on the role played by cities in the fulfilment
Organises and contributes to international, of child rights, especially child participation and
regional and local meetings on CFC issues. access to services.
CFC Toolkit CFC
UNICEF CFC Secretariat has provided support for the
development of a toolkit for CFC builders. It contains
the following tools:
CFC website in three languages
The CFC Secretariat has provided support for
CFC Database with data relating to programme
the development of a “CFC Framework for Action”
initiatives and key contacts.
to define and develop a Child Friendly City.
Definition of a Child Friendly City.
It identifies the building blocks for a local system of
CFC Framework for Action to implement children’s
governance committed to fulfilling children’s rights.
rights in cities and other local governance systems.
Checklist to guide CFC builders in developing and
Nine Building Blocks to develop a Child Friendly City.
Good practices that document innovations and
successful strategies in Child Friendly Cities.
Key references on the global CFC Initiative.
1. Children’s participation: promoting children’s
Database active involvement in issues that affect them;
listening to their views and taking them into
consideration in decision-making processes.
Data collection and analysis are key activities of the 2. A child-friendly legal framework: ensuring
CFC Secretariat. Field research findings and existing legislation, regulatory frameworks and procedures
data are processed in the CFC Database and provide which consistently promote and protect the rights
a knowledge base for the global Child Friendly Cities of all children.
3. A city-wide Children’s Rights Strategy: developing
Join us and
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a detailed, comprehensive strategy or agenda for
building a Child Friendly City, based on the
Become part of an active group sharing a common
4. A Children’s Rights Unit or coordinating
purpose aimed at making cities child-friendly.
mechanism: developing permanent structures in
Participate in a forum representing a variety of
local government to ensure priority consideration
experiences shaping cities, neighbourhoods and
of children’s perspective.
schools, according to the needs, rights and
5. Child impact assessment and evaluation: ensuring
aspirations of children.
that there is a systematic process to assess the
Enter your project, programme, initiative,
impact of law, policy and practice on children -
publication in the CFC database and make them
in advance, during and after implementation.
available to a global audience.
6. A children’s budget: ensuring adequate resource
Access the services offered by the CFC Secretariat -
commitment and budget analysis for children.
databases, research findings, tools, publications.
7. A regular State of the City’s Children Report:
Contact other Child Friendly Cities around the
ensuring sufficient monitoring and data collection
world through the CFC website.
on the state of children and their rights.
8. Making children’s rights known: ensuring
awareness of children’s rights among adults and
9. Independent advocacy for children: supporting
non-governmental organisations and developing
independent human rights institutions – children’s
ombudspeople or commissioners for children – to
promote children’s rights.
International Secretariat for Child Friendly Cities
UNICEF Tel. +39.055.203.30
Innocenti Research Centre Fax +39.055.244.817
Piazza SS. Annunziata, 12 email@example.com
50122 Florence, Italy www.childfriendlycities.org