UNICEF Child Friendly City takes a major step forward
Liverpool has taken a major step towards becoming a UNICEF Child Friendly City.
The Cabinet has approved a plan which will see Liverpool move out of the ‘development’ phase of its bid into ‘delivery’.
Over the last four years, the Council has been working in partnership children and young people, and other Liverpool stakeholders, such as the universities, health providers and Merseyside Police, receiving expert training and support from the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) to make sure children’s rights are reflected in policies, programmes and decision making.
As set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, children and young people will have a say on Council decisions – ranging from major policies and decisions such as getting involved in designing new spaces in the city, or introducing new services.
The City Council and its partners have been working with, and have listened, to local children and young people to identify three areas, or ‘badges’, that should be prioritised in order to make the city more child-friendly.
The badges are ‘Healthy’, ‘Equal and Included’ and ’Place’. These are in addition to the three mandatory badges for all candidate UNICEF Child Friendly Cities and Communities, which are ‘Co-operation and Leadership’, ‘Culture’ and ‘Communication’.
More than 2,500 young people have participated in the consultation process, through youth groups, community and voluntary sector events and surveys.
The ‘delivery’ phase lasts between two and four years, due to the breadth and complexity of the work required to evidence meaningful change.
An action plan has been approved, which will be implemented, with Liverpool assessed on a regular basis throughout the programme.
It will culminate in the City Council submitting evidence that positive changes have been implemented, alongside testimonials by children and young people.
If Liverpool is successful, it will be internationally recognised as a UNICEF Child Friendly City, joining cities and communities in over 40 countries taking part in the global programme.
What is a Child Friendly City?
A place where children:
Express their opinions and influence decisions that affect them
Have a fair chance in life regardless of their ethnic origin, religion, income, gender, or ability.
Meet friends and have places to play and enjoy themselves
Have a good start in life and grow up healthy and cared for
Participate in family, cultural, city/community and social life
Live in a safe, secure and clean environment, with access to green spaces
Are protected from exploitation, violence, and abuse.
Councillor Liz Parsons, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Services, said: “Everyone, of every generation, has an important part to play in improving our city, and co-designing the future of Liverpool with young people is an important step forward.
“In partnering with UNICEF UK, we are working with the very best when it comes to improving the lives of future generations and opening up the best possible opportunities for them.
“A great deal of hard work and consultation with young people has gone into reaching the ‘delivery’ phase. Achieving child-friendly city status is, rightly, a long and complex process, but we are committed to the journey.”
Naomi Danquah, Child Friendly Cities & Communities Programme Director, UNICEF UK, said: “After listening to children and young people, Liverpool has now set out an ambitious and achievable plan for making the city more safe, welcoming and child friendly.
“This is a fundamental milestone in the city’s journey towards recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City, and we’re excited to see how the community comes together over the next few years to take action with and for Liverpool’s children and young people.”