UNICEF Sweden is piloting the Child Friendly Cities Initative (CFCI) in five municipalities in the country over a period of two years starting in August 2017. The project aims to integrate and mainstream the child rights perspective in all parts and at all levels of municipal work in each of the participating municipalities. It also aims to create synergies between the work being done by the municipal government, civil society and the private sector.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC) is due to be incorporated into Swedish law by 2020. This action places new and higher demands on the country’s municipalities to implement the Convention. The CFCI model offers a way for municipalities to engage with the Convention in a very cross-cutting and holistic way across all government.
Today in Sweden the Convention provides a framework for municipalities to work with children and on child-related issues. It places the child at the centre of decision-making and measures taken that will affect them. Specifically, this ‘childhood’ perspective asks that decision-makers consider how their decisions and measures taken impact the child or children and their enjoyment of childhood. A prerequisite to this is seeing the decision or measure through the eyes of the child and having this perspective inform attitudes, knowledge and working methods. This approach recognizes children as full citizens to be treated with respect in all contexts.
The thematic areas in the pilot CFCI will vary from municipality to municipality. The overall focus of the initiative is the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and ensuring the right of all children to equal living conditions, inclusion, education, child protection; participation; recreation and sports; and access to services.
Local coordinating groups have been established in each municipality to lead the process during the two pilot years and these groups have started establishing their baseline assessments.
© Melker Dahlstrand
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