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Innocenti Research Centre


For every child
Health, Education, Equality, Protection
The Child
                                                           adoption of governance approaches and
                                                           participatory urban management that promote the
                                                           realization of the rights of the youngest citizens.

Cities                                                     Definition
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,
                                                           Friendly City
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
meetings.                                                  builders.

                                                         Information exchange
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
                                                            and South-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
                                                           for Action
                                                           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
  monitoring activities.
  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.
CFC                                                        Blocks
                                                           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

                                                                                                               Front cover from an original by ALTAN
   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. +
Innocenti Research Centre        Fax +
Piazza SS. Annunziata, 12
50122 Florence, Italy  

                                                               August 2004

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