The Città amiche dei bambini (Child Friendly City) initiative in Italy was launched in 1996 and is led by the Italian National Committee for UNICEF. The model is based on the original building blocks presented in the Child Friendly Cities Initiative original Framework for Action.
To be recognized as being child-friendly, a municipality is invited to take several steps: It must consider the rights and wellbeing of children and adolescents in its municipal planning and its actions must lead to concrete improvements in the lives of children living within its jurisdiction. To fulfil these obligations, the municipality develops a cross-sectoral action plan together with the various departments whose work affects children.
The action plan includes the following building blocks which it commits to translating into concrete action: 1) an overall strategy to make the city child-friendly; 2) policies to promote the rights of children and adolescents in different sectors such as social policy, education, sports, urban planning; 3) an overview of the local budget for children; 4) an institutionalized mechanism for child participation (such as a youth council), in line with UNICEF principles; and 5) monitoring and evaluation of the process and results. Following the successful implementation of the initiative, the municipality receives child-friendly city recognition for their commitment to improve the lives of children.
To promote child participation, the National Committee is also working on an innovative project with the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). The project’s aim is to include adolescents in the development of the next national survey (2019) to help collect information on the behaviour of boys and girls aged between 10 and 19 years living in Italy. The data will be aggregated to show the situation of children living at the city level.