Child Friendly Cities Initiative
During 2017-2019 UNICEF Sweden started a pilot project together with five municipalities in Sweden to adapt and develop the methodology to the conditions of Swedish municipalities. In 2020 we launched CFCI as a strategy to support municipalities with the implementation of the CRC.
Today we have three recognized municipalities and one new candidating.
In 2020 the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC) was also incorporated into Swedish law. This action places new and higher demands on the country’s municipalities to implement the Convention. The CFCI model offers a way for municipalities to engage with the Convention in a very cross-cutting and holistic way across all government.
Municipalities in Sweden are responsible for providing a significant proportion of all public services. They have considerable degree of autonomy. Municipalities play a decisive role in children’s lives and childhood. It’s the place where they go to preschool, school, they have their football team, their bike lanes and much more so therefore the local level is unique and of decisive force to ensure strong supportive environments for each child to thrive and grow to their full potential.
The work aims to integrate and mainstream the child rights perspective in all parts and at all levels of municipal work, not only in school and social services, in each of the participating municipalities. Systemizing the integration of children’s rights through good governance and management so it doesn’t become a job just for people with passion about children.
It also aims to create synergies between the work being done by the municipal government, civil society, and the private sector. CFCI supports municipalities to work with prevention, promotion and also facing situations here and now, so that the child rights perspective is included and children and young people’s voices are seen and heard in all contexts where they are affected.
The method follows a clear process with concrete goals that are followed up and evaluated. Local coordinating groups have been established in each municipality to lead the process and these groups have establishing their baseline assessments. The thematic areas in CFCI vary from municipality to municipality. The overall focus of the initiative is the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and ensuring the right of all children to equal living conditions, inclusion, education, child protection; participation; recreation and sports and access to services.