The Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) was introduced in Viet Nam in 2015, with the goal of promoting and protecting better quality of life for vulnerable children in the country’s prosperous cities. To date, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang City have joined the initiative which is expected to broaden partnerships across civil society, the private sector, and international organizations to improve the situation of poor children and those at risk of exploitation and abuse.
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is Viet Nam’s largest city and the commercial, political, cultural and technological centre of the country. The city is inhabited by 13 million people, and close to 45 per cent are under 25 years of age. Together with neighboring provinces in the Southern Economic Region, the city currently accounts for nearly 40 per cent of Viet Nam’s gross domestic product (GDP). With GDP per capita of over US$5,500, HCMC is the middle-income city of lower middle-income Viet Nam. However, on-going and emerging challenges are on the rise due to Ho Chi Minh City’s rapid and uneven urbanization and continue to bring adverse impact on the city’s sustainable development.
Ho Chi Minh City was the first city to commit to participating in the initiative in 2015. Core strategies for achieving results for children and adolescents in the city include evidence-based planning and monitoring, expanded partnerships, meaningful participation, and strengthened coordination with children, government institutions, the business community, the innovation eco-system, civil society, child- and youth-led organizations, and academia.
Da Nang is the third largest city and is located in the central region of Viet Nam. With roughly one million residents, Da Nang is a vibrant industrial, commercial, financial, educational, technological and tourist hub. The adolescent and youth population is about 253,000, accounting for 26 per cent of the city’s population.
Da Nang expressed interest and became the CFCI’s second candidate city in 2019. The CFCI is part of the Country Programme Document agreed upon by UNICEF and the Government of Vietnam for the period 2022-2026, as well as the signed work plan for the same period between Da Nang City and UNICEF. The city has made significant progress toward becoming a healthy, dynamic, and welcoming city for children and adolescents. The first step was to create a Situation Analysis of Children and Adolescents (SitAn) in Da Nang to inform the City Programme of Action on Children (CPAC) 2021-2030, as well as the City Socio-economic and Development Plan and sectoral plans.
In early 2022, a national conference sharing experience on the implementation of CFCI in Da Nang was conducted and attracted the participation of several cities such as Hai Phong, Hue, Can Tho and Quang Ninh. More cities and provinces in Viet Nam are expected to embrace and join the initiative based on good practices and lessons learned from Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.
© UNICEF Viet Nam
Pop. under 18: 27,200,000
• Ho Chi Mihn City
• Da Nang