In 2002, UNICEF France and the National Association of French Mayors launched the initiative “Ville Amie des Enfants” (Child Friendly City). In order to be recognised as Child Friendly, towns need to give proof of actions undertaken in five main domains:

Every day life of children and youths (equal access to rights, culture, protection, parenthood, being young etc.)
Participation of children and youth
International solidarity (awareness raising, involvement of children in activities fostering solidarity with poorer countries etc.)
Promotion of the rights of the child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Partnership with UNICEF (recently added)

Overall, towns need to show evidence of having implementing initiatives to accomplish the following criteria:
Children’s well-being in the city and the quality of their life;

Access to education, health, protection, culture, recreation (quality, equality);
An approach encouraging child participation and the hearing of children and young people’s voices (consultation on all matters concerning them);
Awareness and involvement for enhanced international solidarity and cooperation;
Fostering knowledge of child rights;
Innovation for children;
A cross-cutting approach on children: all services are affected by children who are users of the city as a whole. To this effect, a Child Friendly City is a unifying project that requires the involvement of all services for the best interests of children.

The awarding process is based on the review of an application form in which actions undertaken are documented. A scoreboard (English version, French version) containing indicators, formulated in terms of questions, is used by the UNICEF evaluation panel to assess performance. A quiz has also been developed to enable municipalities to conduct self monitoring at any moment in the process. A scoreboard containing indicators, formulated in terms of questions, is used by the UNICEF evaluation panel to assess performance.

Other tools, such as a quiz and scoreboard, have been recently developed to facilitate the monitoring process by cities themselves as well as by the evaluation panel.

Read more about the initiative and visit the VAE website.