23 April is celebrated by the Republic of Turkey as the National Sovereignity and Children’s Day, however, 23 April was presented to the children of the world. Since 1979, every year on 23 April TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) organizes the International Children’s Festival which is celebrated by not only the children in Turkey but also by the children in the world. The event hosts children coming from more than 50 different countries, in different cities of Turkey every year. Displaying that children are the future of our societies and revealing their right to play, 23 April Children’s Day is celebrated with a great enthusiasm every year by all the children of Turkey and all the children of the world. As UCLG-MEWA, we wish a happy International Children’s Day to the children in our region and in the world and express our sincere wish for a more peaceful and democratic society filled with freedoms for the children who are the foundation of our future.

UCLG-MEWA and Children

UCLG-MEWA who attached great importance to democratization processes and dissemination and implementation of human rights, also sensitively approaches to children’s rights. Therefore, one of the areas of UCLG-MEWA Committee on Social Inclusion takes action is to make the advocacy of children’s rights in Middle East and West Asia Region. Children’s rights, on which our organization is focusing with high sensitivity, are being implemented by the Child Friendly Cities Project. Child Friendly Cities Project, is being implemented by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA), World Academy for Local Government and Democracy (WALD), Turkish Republic Ministry of Interior, Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT), and it is sponsored by IKEA.

In short, Child Friendly City is the tangible version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on local level. That stands for reflecting the rights of the child on politics, law, program and budgets on practice.  Every child in a child friendly city is an effective individual.  Their voices and opinions are taken into consideration and they affect the decision making processes.  Child Friendly City is a city or more generally it is a local government system that is dedicated to realize the rights of the child.

The project has two main objectives, which are:

  • To identify the priority building blocks that would guide the design of policies and programmes to address the needs of the children  and monitor the progress in time
  • To create child friendly spaces in urban settings in order to fulfill children’s right to play and development

The Project is being implemented in Turkey, in the municipalities of Adana- Yüreğir, Ankara- Mamak, Bitlis, Erzurum- İspir, Giresun, İzmir- Bornova, Kırklareli- Lüleburgaz, Manisa, Mersin, Şanlıurfa- Eyyübiye.

For more information you can contact Ms. E. Gökçe YANIK, the Supervisor of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Social Inclusion: g.yanik@uclg-mewa.org

You can access the official website of the Child Friendly Cities through: http://childfriendlycities.org

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