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Mar 18, 2016

Belize City is Declared a Child Friendly Municipality

Darrell Bradley

The concept of a child friendly city came about in recognition of a number of significant trends.  Those tendencies include the rapid transformation and urbanization of societies across the world, the growing responsibilities of cities, towns and communities for their population, as well as the increasing importance of municipalities within national political and economic systems.  Belize City is one such area that has been named a child friendly metropolis.  This afternoon a brief ceremony was held in acknowledgement of that designation.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“The idea with designating Belize City as child friendly is that what we are talking about is an international program that’s spearheaded by UNICEF that really accredits municipalities based on certain benchmarks, so that, does your municipality promote an inclusive government for young people.  Does it have an adequate amount of safety in terms of streets, sidewalks, bike paths, crime and so forth?  Do you provide adequate recreation, sports and things like that?  So what the program does it really challenges municipalities to meet these benchmarks and what today is, is one of those benchmarks that we are moving towards, being able to call Belize City truly child friendly.  We’re not there yet but what today signifies is that we’ve met the basic levels of requirements.  We’ve put together a CAB which is a Child Advisory Body.  That body is made up entirely of young people, they have addressed the city council that I indicated, they addressed several of our public meetings, including one at this park here.  We are looking at policies that make our municipalities more inclusive of young people, we’ve put together an action plan and so we’re looking at specific ways that we can more meet the milestones that are set out under the program and we’ve met the basic requirements so that we can say we’re moving ahead.”

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