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A child and youth friendly city or community (CYFC) is defined as “a system of local governance, committed to fulfilling children’s rights.”[i]  A CYFC seeks to fulfill children’s rights in the spaces that affect them the most, namely their neighbourhoods or communities. As much of the research on child well-being and development suggests, the experiences of children in their earliest years have a profound effect on their future success and the trajectory of their adult lives.


In CYFCs, children and youth have the right to:


  • Influence decisions about their city

  • Express opinions on the city they want

  • Participate in family, community, and social life

  • Receive basic services such as health care and education

  • Drink safe water and have access to proper sanitation

  • Be protected from exploitation, violence and abuse

  • Walk safely in the streets on their own

  • Meet friends and play

  • Have green spaces for plants and animals

  • Live in an unpolluted environment

  • Participate in cultural and social events

  • Be an equal citizen of their city with access to every service, regardless of ethnic origin, religion, income, gender or disability[ii]


CYFCs are not a one-size-fits-all model, but rather a framework and set of values that helps each community decide what is important given their unique circumstances and context.




[i] UNICEF. What is a Child Friendly City? Available at

[ii] Ibid.

A project of the

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