In 2016/17, through the Child-Friendly Municipalities project, the Norwegian Committee for UNICEF conducted a mapping among children, parents and leaders of leisure activities for children and young people in the region of Kongsberg, spanning seven municipalities. The intention was to identify the respondents’ views of childhood conditions in the region and chart the municipalities’ implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in their work.
In 2018, based on the previous mapping and the yearly municipal analysis (kommuneanalyse), the Norwegian Committee for UNICEF started a two-year Child-Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) pilot in Rollag, one of the seven municipalities. Together, UNICEF and Rollag municipality identified several objectives, including to:
- Ensure true participation for children and young people
- Endure a safe, available and user-friendly youth club
- Intensify efforts to improve mental health among children and young people
- Ensure that children with special needs receive the services to which they are entitled
- Strengthen the knowledge of the Convention on the Rights of the Child among the municipality’s employees and inhabitants.
Rollag municipality, which has a population of approximately 1,420, is situated in Buskerud county. The municipality is divided into two main centres, with the village of Rollag the administrative centre of the municipality. One main challenge UNICEF and Rollag have tried to tackle pertains to the geography and spread of the population in the municipality, resulting in difficulties to connect children and young people in the two main centres and other parts of the municipality.
The Norwegian Committee for UNICEF and Rollag municipality have enacted an action plan that aims to make the municipality in 2020 the first certified Child-Friendly Municipality in Norway. They are also exploring the possibility of introducing UNICEF’s Rights Respecting Schools in the municipality.