Child Friendly Cities Initiative

The International Secretariat for Child Friendly Cities was created at the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence in September 2000. The Secretariat aims to coordinate the growing number of activities emerging from the global Child Friendly Cities Initiative, following the commitments made at the Istanbul City Summit in 1996. By distilling and sharing information on initiatives to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in cities, the Secretariat supports municipal authorities in their efforts to address those rights.
In many countries, decentralization means that responsibility for the well-being of children - in terms of health, education, and child protection - is being shifted from central to municipal governments. This is a real opportunity to implement the CRC at the local level where children live and where they have more chance of taking part in decision-making. Mayors and municipal authorities are powerful allies in implementing the CRC, but they must be equipped to intervene for children in a child-rights framework. The International Secretariat focuses on three areas:
- Data gathering and field research;
- Information exchange;
- Networking.
It aims to:
- Develop a clearinghouse for information on child-rights implementation at the municipal government level through enhanced data-gathering and field-based research developed with global and local partners;
- Distil lessons learned from advanced local agendas for children and share this information with municipal authorities, UNICEF offices and other stakeholders through the CFC database and networks of partners;
- Strengthen local and regional CFC networks to support local efforts and extend the outreach of the global CFC Initiative, UNICEF and other UN agencies, research and academic institutions, cities' associations, NGOs, children's groups and experts;
- Involve the network of Mayors and other local authorities in The Global Movement for Children and Say Yes for Children campaign to consolidate local government support;
- Publish and spread the results of research studies, as well as ongoing case studies on the CFC in Italy and the Philippines, to disseminate CFC methodologies;
- Promote CFC approaches, using the data collected and the cases documented;
- Share information with partners worldwide though the CFC website, meetings and publications.

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