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Child Friendly Cities

Local governments are closest to children – to their families and communities. Municipal, regional and community governments provide many of the services that are vital to the quality of children’s lives: recreation, health facilities, water supply, transportation, law enforcement, housing, early child development and care services, and other kinds of support for families. But which cities have the governance processes to ensure children are considered in decisions that affect them?

The global UNICEF Child Friendly Cities initiative brings the governance processes of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to local government. UNICEF Child Friendly Cities have strategies for children, regular reports on the state of the city’s children, independent advocates for children, opportunities to listen to children’s views, and other governance “building blocks to consider the best interests of children in formulating and coordinating policies, services and other government action.

There are close to 1,000 UNICEF Child Friendly Cities around the world. In Canada, many cities have one or more of the nine “building blocks” for a UNICEF Child Friendly City, and could do more to make the best decisions for their youngest citizens. Municipalities across Quebec can earn the Municipalité amie des enfants designation through a UNICEF Canada partnership with www.amiedesenfants.ca.

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