The Japanese model for the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) was launched as a pilot
of two years in October 2018. After an official launch event, five municipalities (Niseko, Abira, Tomiya, Machida and Nara) committed to testing the effectiveness of UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities model in realizing children’s rights locally.
The core components (see below) of the Japanese CFCI model are very close to the original UNICEF CFCI framework. JCU made extensive use of tools UNICEF produced at the global level, translated into Japanese and disseminated to interested municipalities as key guidance tools. An additional component has been added to reflect the different environments and contexts that children face in the participating municipalities.
- Children’s participation
- A child-friendly legal framework
- A city-wide child rights strategy
- A child rights unit or coordinating mechanism
- Child impact assessment and evaluation
- A children’s budget
- A regular report on the state of the municipality’s children
- Making child rights known
- Independent advocacy for children
- Dealing with specific issues related to children at the local level
The Japanese model focuses on building a network of cities or communities committed to a common framework of action and child rights principles, with UNICEF monitoring good practices and progress. The evaluation of the model will be conducted by the participating municipalities with support from UNICEF. After the pilot phase, the model will be open to all interested municipalities in Japan.