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. Collaboration with cities is an important advocacy activity to promote child rights at the local level. A general review of the program was launched in 2017, in order to better comply with UNICEF’s international guidelines.
Italian municipalities play a crucial role in improving children’s living conditions. The National Committee supports municipalities in developing action plans on child well-being and promotes policies based on the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Italian National Committee worked in an attempt to ensure that the “9 building blocks” declared at the national level are in line with UNICEF’s international approach. Starting from this premise, the National Committee elaborated guidance materials on the process of building a child-friendly city, useful both for the training of volunteers and for facilitating the presentation of the program in meetings with local institutions, interested in starting the journey.
The proposal of the program foresees the commitment of the municipality to plan the political agenda focused on the rights of the child. The “9 building blocks” have been transformed into administrative tools that local municipalities are legally required to develop.
In the Italian CFCI, specific attention is required from local institutions on political planning, budget allocations of actions in favor of minors, data collection at the local level, as preliminary steps to develop policies in line with local needs. The National Committee signs an agreement (MOU) with the local government and uses a list of indicators to evaluate the Municipality’s commitment to follow the CFCI recognition process. Attention has been paid to the training of staff and volunteers of local committees using international instruments and documents developed by the National Committee.
In 2018 the Italian National Committee renewed the Memorandum of Understanding with ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities). This is a strategic partnership useful for promoting the development of child-friendly city initiatives throughout the national territory. Thanks to the MOU with ANCI, training for municipal officials will be organized on the importance of childhood policies. ANCI supports UNICEF’S initiatives all over Italy.