Cardiff revealed as UK’s first child-friendly city | UK News

The UK’s first child-friendly city has been revealed.

UNICEF UK has announced that Cardiff is the first city in the country to be awarded the status.

The globally recognised award aims to celebrate cities where children’s rights have been embedded in policies and services.

As part of the process, UNICEF UK works with councils and their partners over a period of three to five years, to achieve the title.

The status “recognises progress, not perfection”, according to UNICEF.

Cities and communities have to develop a sustainability plan, outlining how they aim to build on progress.

At the start of their period working with UNICEF, cities have to set out an action plan, with those objectives reviewed against the evidence councils submit.

Cardiff Council leader, Huw Thomas. Pic: UNICEF
Cardiff Council leader Huw Thomas. Pic: UNICEF

‘Commitment and hard work’

Cardiff Council has worked with organisations across the city to implement projects and strategies to support children and young people to make the most of their rights.

As part of Cardiff’s work on children’s rights, more than 5,500 council and partner staff have completed child rights training.

A total of 3,595 children and young people have also received participation and rights training.

Chief executive of the UK committee for UNICEF, Jon Sparkes, said becoming the first UNICEF child-friendly city in the UK was “testament to the significant commitment and hard work” of the council and its partners.

‘Children’s voices at heart of local decisions’

“It also marks a promise to Cardiff’s children and young people – that the council will continue to make sure children’s voices are at the heart of local decisions,” he added.

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Leader of Cardiff Council, Councillor Huw Thomas, said the council’s aim was that all children “feel safe, heard, nurtured and able to thrive”.

“The foundation of this change has been the development of a rights-respecting culture across the council and city-wide partners to ensure our staff are knowledgeable and confident regarding rights and their practice.

“This has been supported by policy which has empowered children and young people to be meaningfully involved in decisions that matter to them.”