Latest News

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New study on local child participation

August 19, 2022

The study, Effective, representative, and inclusive child participation at the local level: A study on child and youth councils in UNICEF National Committee countries, builds on interviews with children, young people and supporting adults engaged in almost 30 different local-level participation structures in 11 countries. It makes recommendations on how to make these structures more meaningful, effective, and representative, and provides plenty of practical examples from cities and communities.

UNICEF Report Shows That Few Rich Countries Provide Healthy Environments for Children

May 25, 2022

UNICEF Innocenti’s Report Card 17 explores how 43 OECD/EU countries are faring in providing healthy environments for children. Do children have clean water to drink? Do they have good-quality air to breathe? Are their homes free of lead and mould? How many children live in overcrowded homes? How many have access to green play spaces, safe from road traffic? The report finds that the majority of wealthy countries are creating unhealthy, dangerous and noxious conditions for children – but highlights also encouraging examples, including from Child Friendly Cities.

@Korean Committee for UNICEF

Korean Mayors Promise Continuous Commitment for Every Child at 25th Anniversary Ceremony of Child Friendly Cities

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Korean Committee for UNICEF (KCU) organized a high-level event with mayors and local government representatives on 1 July to celebrate the efforts of Korean cities to promote child rights.

© UNICEF/UN0312703/Sokol | Rafael Alfonso Araujo, 27, holds his daughter Selva, 2, outside of their home where Rafael and his wife Luma, 28, run a small, independent bakery that provides healthy, homemade food items to government workers in Areguá, Central department, Paraguay on 26 January 2019. Selva attends a UNICEF-supported “creative and cultural center” called Torore that was launched by the Central department government as a model Early Childhood Development (ECD) center. Torore not only provides daycare services for the children of government employees, but also fosters curiosity and a love of learning in young children. Rafael says that the program has deeply transformed on the way that he and Luma raise their family. “Our families pressured us to be productive — to work a ton — and to make money " Rafael says. "The kids would say ‘play with me’, and I wouldn’t because of the pressure to go out and earn money. But now I’m much more aware of the importance of being there for my kids—of being present. Washing sticky hands after peeling a mango for his children’s breakfast, Rafael, 27, speaks excitedly about Torore, the Early Childhood Development (ECD) day care centre that Selva, 2, and Amaru, 3, attend. “Torore fit our family like a ring on a finger; it opened at the moment when we decided to make our own lifestyle.” Rafael and his wife, Luma, 28, run a small, independent bakery that provides homemade food items to government workers in Areguá, not far outside the Paraguay's capital city, Asunción. The family of four live in a rural home that Rafael and Luma built by hand, and they work hard to maintain a lifestyle that keeps them in close contact with the land and leaves a small ecological footprint. “We don’t have a car, we have a bike. That’s how we move around town and sell our baked goods," Rafael says. "Everyone in Areguá recognizes the bike, with the children sitting in the basket up front. It’s kind of a member of the family,” Toro

New UNICEF Discussion Paper Calls for Green Space for Children

June 30, 2021

Green spaces can significantly benefit children’s physical, mental and social development – from infancy into adulthood. UNICEF’s new Discussion Paper: The Necessity of Urban Green Space for Children’s Optimal Development pulls together compelling evidence on the significant benefit of green spaces, and recommends interventions focused on empowering communities to claim and maintain their local green spaces, securing government support to improve and create green space in cities, and prioritizing schools and child care centres for greening. The paper advocates that each child, no matter where they live in the city, should be in easy walking distance from a safe and welcoming public green space.

Child Friendly Cities and Communities Handbook

Child Friendly Cities and Communities Handbook launched in French, Spanish and Chinese

November 1, 2019 

The Child Friendly Cities and Communities Handbook, launched in April 2018, is now translated into French, Spanish and Chinese. The Handbook provides guidance on how to establish a CFCI to help cities do better for children within their jurisdictions. It introduces a global framework and step-by-step guidance on establishing a CFCI to professionalize and streamline the initiative globally, while leaving adequate room for adaptation to local contexts, structures, priorities and needs. It emphasizes the importance of measuring and demonstrating the change that the CFCI brings to the lives of children and youth.

Mayors commit to action for children at the Child Friendly Cities Summit

October 18, 2019 

To mark the end of the Child Friendly Cities Summit, more than 100 mayors and local leaders signed the Cologne Mayors’ Declaration for Child Friendly Cities to accelerate progress towards improving the lives, opportunities and well-being of children in urban areas.

Launch of UNICEF Report on Children Growing Up Urban

November 28, 2018 

A new report by UNICEF, Advantage or Paradox: The challenge for children and young people growing up urban, reveals that not all children in cities benefit from the so-called ‘urban advantage’—the notion that higher incomes, better infrastructure, and proximity to services grant urban children advantages over rural children. In fact, urban inequality and exclusion among children in cities can make many of the most disadvantaged children in urban areas worse off than children in rural areas. Hence, the ‘urban paradox.’

Launch of Shaping Urbanization for Children: A handbook on child-responsive urban planning

May 2018 

Investing in child-responsive urban planning is essential, with long term benefits for all current and future generations. Yet, urban areas are often being developed and managed without children in mind. Due to their specific vulnerabilities related with the urban environment in terms of health, protection and participation, children are the best indicator to know if a city is sustainable: can children go to school in a healthy and safe way; do they have a place to play; and can they speak up on what and how to plan their cities? Recognizing the importance of child-responsive New Urban Agenda, UNICEF has come up with a handbook which underlines the value of having local authorities, planners, infrastructure developers, and the private sector, to make children’s rights and needs a central tenet of their work.

Launch of Child Friendly Cities Initiative website and handbook

April 10, 2018 

As part of an effort to reinvigorate the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) at the global level, UNICEF has launched a new CFCI website and the UNICEF Child Friendly Cities and Communities Handbook. Building on over 20 years of the Child Friendly Cities experience, the website and Handbook underline the importance of respecting and realizing children’s rights in the development of cities and communities.

First European Symposium of Child and Youth Councils assembles in Spain

April 02, 2018 – by Reetta Mikkola

Avilés, Spain – There is excitement and laughter in the air, as 53 adolescents from UNICEF Child Friendly Cities from Spain, Germany, Slovenia, Belarus and Czech Republic, gather at the multi-use center of Avilés, Spain. These young people have travelled to Avilés to participate in the First European Symposium of Child and Youth Councils from 1 to 5 March, 2018.

How cities can use dashboards to make better decisions about early childhood

March 26, 2018 – by Emma Martinho-Truswell; Source: BvL Foundation

At a time when more of the world’s children are growing up in cities than ever before, the Bernard van Leer Foundation is working with city governments around the world to find new and scalable ways to make cities child-friendly as part of its Urban95 programme.

Growing up in the city: Putting children first creates cities for all

February 5, 2018 – by Samuel Williams; Source: BvL Foundation

A child-friendly city is a city for everyone, young and old. This is because a place that works for children needs to be walkable, safe, green, and rich in opportunities for play and adventure. It needs to offer diversity and culture, places to make their own, freedom to be themselves and the chance to feel part of a community.

World Children's Day — 20 November

Kids take over on World Children’s Day

November 20, 2017

To celebrate World Children’s Day, children are ‘taking over’ high-visibility roles in media, politics, business, sport and entertainment to shine a light on the most pressing challenges faced by their generation. #kidstakeover

Our Lives, Our Futures, Our Cities newspaper by children for children

November 20, 2017

The Child Friendly Cities Initiative has put out Our Lives, Our Future, Our Cities newspaper written by children for children to celebrate World Children’s Day.

Transport Policy needs to break from the bias of engineers

November 15, 2017 – by Lucy Marstrand in Child in the City

In this second of her two-part essay for Child in the City on the need for cross-disciplinary approaches to street design and traffic management, Lucy Marstrand points to evidence of an innate bias towards roads over pedestrian and cycle schemes within the highways engineering sector.

Highways engineering a barrier to child-friendly cities

November 14, 2017 – by Lucy Marstrand in Child in the City

In this first of a two-part essay for Child in the City, transport consultant Lucy

Marstrand questions why the problems associated with increased motor traffic, despite being well-documented since the 1970s, are still not being addressed by the highways engineers who design and build our roads.

New report on how to engage young children and families in building child-friendly cities

October 17, 2017 – 880 Cities

Using 21 case studies from 16 different countries, 880 Cities and the Bernard van Leer Foundation release a new report entitled Building Better Cities with Young Children and Families that looks at creative and effective ways of engaging pregnant women, young children and caregivers in matters related to their built environment.


  • World Children’s Day
    Sunday, 20 November