How do we create child-friendly cities in Saudi Arabia?

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Progress is being made on building child-friendly cities in Saudi Arabia after a meeting chaired by Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan, head of the Northern Borders Region.

The fourth round of talks on the initiative, held at the principality’s conference hall, looked into operational plans aimed at expanding children’s participation in city management, reports Arab News.

The plans were part of a legal framework that respected their rights and provided a suitable environment to further the health, education, recreation, and family aspects of their lives. Those at the meeting, says the report, put forward an executive committee proposal for a project in Turaif province, along with a report from a delegation that will make another city visit with the aim of implementing the initiative.

‘Operational plans for expanding child participation’

Prince Faisal is reported as saying that paying positive attention to childhood was one of the foundations of building human capital, in line with social responsibility goals set out in the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan.

He also stressed the importance of the initiative in achieving integration and harmony with development programs for children through promoting the concept and strategy of child-friendly cities, alongside the delivery of programs that helped them to develop their skills and unleash their potential.

There are currently no cities in Saudi Arabia that come under UNICEF classification as being a child-friendly, though are there such cities in neighbouring Middle East countries such as Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Iran.

Click here for more information on UNICEF’s guiding principles and criteria for a city to be deemed as child-friendly.

Author: Simon Weedy

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