The Child Friendly Cities Initiative in Israel was launched as a joint pilot initiative between the municipality of Rishon LeZion and the Israeli Committee for UNICEF in 2014. The aim of the initiative is to bring a child rights perspective into the whole structure of the municipality, with an emphasis on child participation.
The initiative is managed by a national Steering Committee consisting of the UNICEF National Committee and experts from the University of Tel Aviv. Locally, the implementation is overseen by a cross-divisional local child rights committee.
When launching the CFCI process, Rishon LeZion conducted a mapping, including online consultations with children and young people. Together with UNICEF, the results of this mapping were narrowed down into specific goal areas. Through roundtable discussions with more than 250 children and young people and representatives from different local government departments, these goal areas were turned into concrete action points for each department of the municipality to implement during a two-year time frame.
After an evaluation of progress against the action plan, the city received the CFCI recognition in 2017. The initiative has managed to integrate child participatory approaches into sectors that formerly have not worked with children (such as urban planning). For example, children have participated in the renovation and development of schoolyards and public green areas. The city has improved access to public space for children with disabilities and increased access to leisure activities.
• Rishon LeZion
Number of children reached: 63,000