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Child Friendly City Initiative

The Child Friendly City Initiative in the Russian Federation was launched in 2007 through the signature of the Memorandum of Cooperation between UNICEF and the Moscow City government. In 2008 a conference on CFC for cities’ representatives and ombudsmen was organized. All federal okrugs (districts) of Russia were represented and discussed during the meetings the CFC building blocks, priorities, patterns and approaches. An international overview of best practices was provided by the leaders of the CFC global movement, representing Italy, Spain, France and Switzerland.

After 2,5 years of promotion, eight cities have officially signed memorandums in the beginning of 2010 (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Ijevsk, Otradny Samarskoi Oblasty, Biisk, Petrozavodsk and Surgut). The cities have developed some good practices, introduced new approaches and constructed some of the CFC building blocks. Their experiences are providing incentive for other cities without a CFC program.

Cities wishing to become a CFC have to meet the following criteria:

  • The establishment of a child rights ombudsman;
  • A long term strategy of making the city child friendly with clearly defined  objectives, indicators, activities, monitoring and reporting mechanisms and budgeting;
  • Coordination between all agencies involved in the child policies;
  • Joint work on child issues of cities administrations, NGOs, parents etc.;
  • Child participation;
  • Advocacy and communications on child rights issues.

More and more cities are getting interested in joining the initiative and a number of cities are currently placed on the waiting list to sign the Memorandum.

Contact:

UNICEF Area Office
United Nations Office
6 Obukha Pereulok
103064 Moscow
Russian Federation
Telephone: (+95 7) 933.8818
Fax: (+95 7) 933.8819
Email: moscow@unicef.org

 

Children in need of Special Protection (CNSP) Programme
Street children programme

Street children support and prevention is part of the Children in need of Special Protection (CNSP) Programme, which aims to promote new approaches and policies for protecting the rights of groups of particularly vulnerable children. In 2001 UNICEF completed the work started in 2000 on collecting and updating factual and statistical information on street children in nine urban areas of the country with supposedly the highest concentration of street children. UNICEF also provided assistance to the Ministry of Labour in the preparation of a special report on unsupervised children submitted to the Security Council of the Russian Federation. Accumulating reliable data on the phenomenon of street children in the country and, first of all, in the most affected places like Moscow and St. Petersburg helped UNICEF to establish a working dialogue with the city authorities and to start developing comprehensive prevention and rehabilitation programmes. Of particular importance is the fact that in Moscow in 2001, for the first time the Street Children Programme has been funded by the City authorities and UNICEF on a cost-sharing basis. The prospects for continuing this partnership in the future are certain.
This is a remarkable change from the situation of just three years ago when the City administration refused to accept even the existence of street children in Russia’s capital. In 2001, UNICEF’s agreement with the Moscow City government included the establishment of the city data base on street children in the city, trainings for outreach workers, promotion of information exchange and cooperation between various municipal agencies and organisations and the formalisation of best practices. UNICEF assistance was also used to promote pilot community-based models of child friendly spaces where not only children but also their parents can get counselling and necessary support and rehabilitation. All Moscow partners agreed that UNICEF contributed significantly to strengthening the alliance between the Moscow city government, relevant municipal authorities and the NGOs actively working in the field of child protection in the city.

 

Social Mobilisation for Child Rights (SMRC) Programme
The pilot Ombudsman for children’s rights project

The Social Mobilisation for Child Rights (SMRC) programme broadly aims to ensure that children’s rights are at the centre of the public and political agenda. Among the various interventions aimed at raising general awareness of children’s rights there is the pilot Ombudsman for children’s rights project. It has been running since 1998 as a joint initiative of UNICEF and the federal Ministry of Labour and now extends to nine regions of the RF, including, since mid-2001, the republic of Chechnya. The experience gained by Ombudsmen in the pilot regions and the perspectives for enlarging the geographical scope of this initiative were discussed at a workshop in December. With UNICEF support, the Russian Ombudsman network maintains contacts with the European Ombudsman Network by attending the ENOC regular sessions. At the October meeting in Paris, Russia was represented by the Volgograd region Ombudsman on child rights. Materials available through ENOC are translated and distributed to the Russian network to make sure that the Ombudsmen have access to the latest information in their field. The experience of the past four years shows that the idea of high-level independent advocates for child rights is increasingly accepted in Russia. One important breakthrough in 2001 was the approval by the Moscow City Duma of an Ombudsman for child rights for the city of Moscow. In the absence of a federal law on Ombudsman (a draft law has been developed but not yet reviewed in the legislature) and in view of the high quality of the Moscow law, the adoption of such legislation in Moscow could be an influential precedent for other regions of Russia.

Contact

UNICEF Area Office
United Nations Office
6 Obukha Pereulok
103064 Moscow
Russian Federation
Telephone: (+95 7) 933.8818
Fax: (+95 7) 933.8819
Email: moscow@unicef.org