Liverpool kicks off bid to become Unicef Child Friendly City

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Liverpool kicks off bid to become Unicef Child Friendly City

7 March 2019- Unicef UK has today launched an exciting new partnership with Liverpool City Council which aims to improve the lives of every child in the city.

With the Unicef flag flying high over Liverpool Town Hall, 70 young people were invited to the Council Chamber to learn more about Liverpool’s bid to become internationally recognised as a Unicef Child Friendly City.

Over 50 primary school pupils took part in a special storytelling session at Liverpool’s Central Library with Unicef UK, local politicians and city leaders from Merseyside Police, the University of Liverpool and other local partners.

Today’s activities kick-start a three-to-five-year partnership which will see the city’s politicians, council staff, universities, health providers, police force and others receive expert training and support from Unicef UK to ensure children’s rights are reflected in local policies, programmes and budgets.

Liverpool City Council joins five other councils in the UK taking part in the Unicef UK Child Friendly Cities & Communities programme, which works with councils to put children’s rights into practice.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Our vision for the future of Liverpool is to build a strong and growing city based on fairness. Everyone, of every generation, has an important part to play in making that happen, but co-designing the future of our city with children is an important step forward. Children will be at the heart of decision making.

“Working with an organisation such as Unicef UK means we are working with the very best when it comes to improving the lives of future generations and opening up the best possible opportunities for them.

“This is very much the start of a long and ambitious journey towards receiving international recognition, however we already have many child-friendly processes and initiatives in place, so it’s a case of building on these and making sure we give a voice to as many young people as possible.”

Following today’s launch, the council will work with local children and young people to understand which areas or ‘badges’ they think should be prioritised to make Liverpool more child-friendly – for example feeling safe or staying healthy.

The council will need to show evidence of sustainable progress in six badges to be recognised as a Unicef Child Friendly City. Progress will be closely monitored by an independent panel of experts in human rights, child wellbeing and public services, as well as an advisory board of local children and young people.

Naomi Danquah, Programme Director, Child Friendly Cities & Communities, said: “We are delighted to welcome Liverpool City Council to the Child Friendly Cities & Communities Programme.

“These are challenging times for local authorities, but this partnership represents a bold commitment from the city council and their partners to put children’s rights at the heart of everything they do – from early conversations around children’s spaces and services in Liverpool, to the day-to-day running of those services.

“We’re excited to see this partnership make a real and lasting difference to children’s lives in Liverpool.”

Cllr Barry Kushner, Cabinet Member – Children’s & Social Care, Liverpool City Council, said: “It’s a real coup to have Unicef UK partner with the council to enable positive change across the city.

“This process means we can ensure meeting children’s needs is not just a priority for the council, but a priority for the city as a whole.

“We will bring together partners from across Liverpool to look at how we can all embed children’s rights in our work with and for young people.

“We already have a clear vision when it comes to children – for example, we are committed to keeping all our Children’s Centres open and making care leavers exempt from council tax. However, this will really focus our, and our stakeholder’s, approach to initiating meaningful conversations with young people to make a real difference.”

Notes for Editors: 

For more information, please contact:

Clare Quarrell, 020 7017 1747, ClareQ@unicef.org.uk

Unicef UK Media Team, 0207 375 6030, media@unicef.org.uk

About Child Friendly Cities & Communities

Child Friendly Cities & Communities is a Unicef UK programme that works with councils to put children’s rights into practice. The programme is currently running in Aberdeen, Barnet (London), Cardiff, Derry & Strabane, Liverpool and Newcastle.

The programme aims to create cities and communities in the UK where all children – whether they are living in care, using a children’s centre, or simply visiting their local library – have a meaningful say in, and truly benefit from, the local decisions, services and spaces that shape their lives.

The programme is part of Child Friendly Cities – a global Unicef initiative launched in 1996 that reaches close to 30 million children in 40 countries.

In the UK, Unicef provides training based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and supports councils, their partners, and children and young people, as they work together on an ambitious three-to-five-year journey towards international recognition as a Unicef Child Friendly City or Community.

For more information please visit unicef.org.uk/child-friendly-cities

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK.

For more information please visit unicef.org.uk

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