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Nov 14, 2014

CRC and Child-friendly Municipalities

Ivan Yerovi

Among various initiatives undertaken at the national level is a move by local governments to have their municipalities recognized as child-friendly.  In Belize City, there was a recent ceremony to launch the countrywide effort.  According to Yerovi, it will take more than just a speech declaring that a town or city is suitable for children.

 

Ivan Yerovi

“That’s a strategy that UNICEF has implemented in several countries.  In this region, Brazil, for instance they have more than ten years of implementing this initiative and the idea is to make sure that local governments, I’m talking about the municipalities, they are able to, you know, improve the situation of children by, you know, by having cities being recognized and certified as the child friendly cities.  The idea behind that is that municipalities and town councils, as well as the community, they have worked towards improving the situation of children by, you know, selecting specific indicators and working on a process for two to three years to be able to say at the end of those two, three years, four years, ten years, whatever that [length of time is] this city is a child-friendly city because of [the fact that] we have been able to reduce for instance the dropout rates, I mean, those kids that are leaving school, because this city is considered a child-friendly city because all the kid are registered at birth or this is going to be a child-friendly city because we have reduced the level of violence that has affected children, we have been able to reduce, you know, the number of sexual abuse cases against girls and boys.  That’s the kind of indicators that a city that wants to become a child-friendly city needs to work on very seriously and not just because we have a speech saying my city is a child-friendly city.”

 

So all in all Belize has managed to live up to a significant portion of its commitments under the convention of the rights of the child.

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