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Implementation of CRC at the local level: Child Friendly Cities

Research on governance and the implementation of the CRC at the local level is focused on Child Friendly Cities and Communities. In particular, researchers and practitioners have recognized a critical gap in the capacities and modalities of both community organisations and local government institutions to collect and analyze evidence on progress in fulfilling children's rights.

To help bridge this gap, an action-research effort (the Child Friendly Cities Research Initiative) is being undertaken. This aims to improve policy development for children at the local level by promoting awareness of children's rights among stakeholders, mobilising communities and children, and generating data on the situation of children in participating cities and communities. The initiative is intended to yield a package of participatory assessment tools which are designed to be easily adapted to other local contexts and to be used by a variety of actors including children themselves, caregivers, community providers and municipal authorities.

The assessment tools, which have been pilot tested in two countries, are currently being applied in a diverse range of cities and communities in 11 countries: Brazil, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Morocco, Russia, Jordan, Sudan, South Africa, France, Italy and Spain. Throughout the process, a consultative group of researchers has been providing technical support and feedback on the knowledge being generated. Two research workshops were held in Rome (November 2009) and Amman (January 2010) to offer an opportunity for sharing experience and training on the research methodology and tools. Global mapping of data on child-friendliness collaboration has been initiated with DevInfo, a database system established by the UN to monitor progress toward the Millennium Development Goals. A software programme containing 'child friendly' indicators will be developed and tested in a selected sample of countries.

Three main products will be shared and disseminated:
  • - a self-administered protocol, including a set of indicators, for communities and cities to assess their degree of 'child friendliness' (measured in terms of fulfilment of child rights);
  • - an overview of different methods and mechanisms used by different local authorities, and:
  • data on the situation of children in participating cities.

The research initiative is being undertaken in partnership with Childwatch International, a global network of institutions that collaborate in child research to promote knowledge on children's rights and child well-being, and with other offices of UNICEF. Technical coordination of the research is ensured by IRC and the Children's Environments Research Group (CERG) based at the City University of New York, with the support and participation of the Bernard Van Leer Foundation.

Other initiatives underway:

- Desk Review on CFC: in collaboration with UNICEF's Adolescent Development and Participation Section and the Private Fundraising and Partnership, Child Rights Advocacy and Education group in Geneva, a review is being developed to provide a stocktaking of child friendly cities and related initiatives, supported and promoted by UNICEF Country Offices and National Committees.

Read more about the research and Child Friendly Cities


Cities with Children: Child friendly cities in Italy
Publication Publication

Cities with Children: Child friendly cities in Italy

The publication describes the evolution of childhood in Italy and the emergence of a new culture of the city. It analyses the consideration given to the Child Friendly Cities initiative and in particular the attention provided to the child as an active citizen and the role of the city in promoting the participation of young people in decision-making processes at the local level. The study looks at the specific experience of 12 of the more than 100 Italian cities that have adopted this approach, considering planning, budgeting and monitoring plans of action for children and ways through which children’s views are taken into account.
Poverty and Exclusion among Urban Children
Publication Publication

Poverty and Exclusion among Urban Children

The cities of the world are often regarded as hubs of wealth and privilege, but they are also home to hundreds of millions of children for whom poverty and exclusion are a daily reality. Some of these children live on the street; many more live in dangerous, insanitary housing which often lacks the most basic amenities, including clean water and satisfactory sanitation. These urban children rarely have access to adequate services, including schooling, or to safe areas for play and recreation.
Promouvoir la participation des enfants au processus decisionnel democratique
Publication Publication

Promouvoir la participation des enfants au processus decisionnel democratique

Dans cet Insight Innocenti, Gerison Lansdown examine l’article 12 de la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant, selon lequel les enfants ont le droit de participer aux décisions qui les concernent. Lansdown se livre à une étude approfondie de la signification de cet article en tant qu’instrument au service des enfants pour protester contre les violations de leurs droits et agir pour défendre ces droits.