Building a Child Friendly City
A Child Friendly City is one which implements the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the local level. The guiding principles of building a child friendly city mirror the overarching principles of the Convention:
The rights of all children are respected, without discrimination of any kind irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
Best interests of the child
The best interests of children are a primary consideration in decisions that may affect them with the government assuring the care and protection necessary for their wellbeing.
The inherent right to life, survival and development
Children have the right to life, with the government committed to ensuring the maximum extent possible, their right to survival and healthy development.
Respect for the views of the child
Children have the right to voice their opinions and have these be taken into account in decisions that affect them.
Guiding principles for good governance:
- Equity and inclusion: A child friendly city aims to create equal opportunities for all children. This entails identifying the most marginalized and vulnerable children, the barriers to inclusion that they face and removing these barriers.
- Accountability and transparency: Building a child friendly city requires clearly identifying who is responsible for each aspect of implementation and holding them accountable. Transparency calls for clarity and openness in the decision-making process.
- Public participation: Building a child friendly city requires having a system in place to facilitate public participation in decision-making to promote local accountability for children’s rights.
- Effectiveness and responsiveness: Building a child friendly city requires that governments undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures to implement child rights to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation. The process is responsive to the needs of the children and families affected.
- Adaptability and sustainability: Building a child friendly city requires a flexible management approach in order to be able to anticipate and respond to changing circumstances and be sustainable over time.