© UNICEF/UN0213440/Viet Hung

As the world becomes an urban planet, more and more children are counting on their cities and communities to act in favour of their youngest citizens. UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative supports cities and communities worldwide to advance child rights at the local level. Today, the initiative reaches approximately 30 million children in 40 countries worldwide.

From 15-18 October 2019, UNICEF and the City of Cologne will host the first international Child Friendly Cities Summit in Cologne, Germany. The Summit will bring together mayors, local leaders, technical experts, children and young people from Child Friendly Cities around the world to discuss innovative approaches to advance child rights through local commitment and to identify and exchange good practices at the local level. Thirty years since its adoption, it provides a unique opportunity for mayors and local leaders to recommit to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and enhance strategies to build sustainable, child-friendly cities of tomorrow.

An international Summit – Why?

Childhood happens where children are at home – in their neighbourhood, their community, their city. Today, nearly one in three people living in cities and towns is a child. By 2050, almost 7 in 10 of the world’s children will live in cities.

But not all children and young people growing up in towns and cities have the same chances in life. For many children, cities can offer great opportunities and hopes for a better future. For others, the experience is all too often one of poverty, inequality, environmental hazards and even conflict.

The responsibility lies with local governments, civil society and all of us to lay the necessary foundations for cities and communities to fulfil the rights and needs of their youngest citizens.

The summit provides mayors, local leaders and civil society the chance to join hands and develop strategies to make their cities and communities a better place for children and young people.

Only by making cities and communities places where children feel safe, heard, nurtured and able to flourish can we ensure a bright future – for every child.

Summit participation is by invitation only.