Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities initiative (SCFM)
The Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities initiative (SCFM), which started in 2014, is a collaboration between the Belize Mayors Association, the Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, UNICEF and UNDP.
The initiative was created to raise awareness and promote activities at the subnational level aimed at implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Its aim is to mobilize local authorities, citizens, children, adolescents and youth to defend and implement policies that ensure the established rights of children, adolescents and youth.
The initiative was instituted in nine municipalities in 2014: the cities of Belize and Belmopan and towns of Benque Viejo del Carmen, Corozal, Dangriga, Orange Walk, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio/Santa Elena, and San Pedro.
The SCFM is tailored to the needs, aspirations and practices of each participating municipality and is adapted to suit all localities. Adapting SCFM is a participatory process involving all concerned stakeholders: local authorities, civil society, experts, communities and especially children and adolescents.
The three main focus areas of the SCFM are:
- Monitoring for the improvement in the lives of girls and boys
- Public participation in social policies and decision making
- Participation and engagement of children and adolescents
The SCFM works towards ensuring the right of every young citizen to:
- Influence decisions
- Express their opinions
- Participate in family, community and social life
- Receive basic services of health care, education and shelter
- Drink safe water and have access to proper sanitation
- Be protected from exploitation, violence and abuse
- Have green and safe spaces for recreation
- Live in a pollution free environment
- Be an equal citizen in their city/town with access to every service, regardless of ethnicity, religion, income, gender or disability