1. What is a Child Friendly City?
It is a city or a wider local government that is dedicated to realizing children’s rights. A Child Friendly City is the embodiment of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which in practice means the reflection of children’s rights in policies, laws, programs and the budgets. The concept of the Child Friendly City encompasses communities and other methods of local government systems in light of a series of experiences resulting from the CFC Initiative.
In a child friendly city, children are active agents; their voices and opinions are taken into consideration and influence decision making processes. Promoting the wellbeing of children, the following aims are prioritized in Child Friendly Cities:
Access to basic services such as health and education,
Being able to safely walk in the streets alone,
Being able to play with friends and have access to green areas,
Participating in cultural and social activities,
Being equal citizens of a city and having access to all services regardless of ethnic origin, religion, income, gender or disability
For more information: www.cocukdostusehirler.org
2. Why is such a program needed?
Turkey’s rapid urbanization fuelled by rural to urban migration, industrialization and economic growth has transformed the country demographically and economically. Urban population has grown from 25% in 1950s to 75% in 2015 and at present, there are 30 metropolitan cities (World Bank, 2015). In this context, it is essential that the needs and priorities of children – who make up a third of Turkey’s population – must be taken into account in this dynamic and fast paced period of change.
Municipalities have a great role to play in the realization of children’s rights at the local level. It is them who touch the lives of children every day and it is them who shape the living environment of children. Municipalities are closer both to the problem and the solution. They know the specifics of their area and of the population they serve and are the best platforms through which problems can be identified and met with solutions. The Child Friendly Cities initiative taps into the wider acceptance of community participation in decision-making to promote local accountability for children’s rights and is the key is to make the children active agents of change.
The Country Programme Document signed between the Government of Turkey and UNICEF Country Office for 2016-2020 aims at achieving the following objectives, in collaboration with government authorities and other partners:
Equality, social inclusion and resilience building,
Quality data, information and promotion-advocacy for children’s rights,
Gender equality amongst children and adolescents
Wider partnerships for children
The Child Friendly Cities (CFC) Programme means the realization of these priorities at a local level through cooperation with local authorities.
3. What does UNICEF Turkey do within the scope of the Child Friendly Cities Programme?
The first phase of the program was implemented under the national coordination of the Ministry of the Interior General Directorate of Local Administrations, the Turkish Union of Municipalities, the United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and Western Asia Section, the World Local Governments and Democracy Academy and with the financial support of IKEA and the UNICEF Turkey National Committee in 2014 and 2015. The catalogue of outputs can be accessed here.
In the second stage, which will be implemented within the scope of the 2016 – 2020 Country Programme, the CFC Programme will aim at reaching the following targets:
1. To increase the capacity of local authorities to formulate evidence-based policy and programme development with the participation of children,
2. To ensure that programmes directly and indirectly targeting children are sufficiently funded and that resource allocations for child-centered services and programmes are gradually increased,
3. To empower youth as promoters of children’s rights,
4. To disseminate good examples of child-friendly programs implemented both within and outside the country,
5. To support the realization of children’s right to play in targeted areas.
UNICEF aims to support as many municipalities as possible at varying levels of engagement to support the realization of children’s rights at the local level. UNICEF organizes regular trainings both on overall principles of becoming a CFC and on specific thematic areas, where UNICEF has expertise, in which all interested municipalities can join by simple registration.
Additionally, UNICEF is open to provide one-to-one assistance to municipalities willing to invest further in efforts addressed at preventing, mitigating and responding to specific child protection concerns including child labour and, child marriage. Emphasis will also be placed in promoting the planning, implementation and monitoring of programmes to enhance social cohesion among Turkish and Syrian children
4. Contact and Relevant Documents
To participate in the program or for further information: email@example.com
Community Based Self-Assessment Tools