Prato is Italy’s newest UNICEF Child-Friendly City

Copyright UNICEF Italy: Mayor Biffoni receiving the certificate of Child-Friendly City recognition for the municipality of Prato, Italy

A three-year programme of work in the Municipality of Prato, Italy, has brought the reward of formal recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City.

Prato is the fourth Italian city to achieve the honour since 2019, and is a realisation of its efforts to restructure processes and mechanisms towards the achievement child-friendly policies, as set out by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Mayor Matteo Biffoni received the certificate of recognition on behalf of the city, which, says UNICEF, has taken ‘various steps’ to improve the conditions for children in the northern Tuscany city of approximately 195,000 people.

One of the key steps taken by the city, with support from the Italian UNICEF Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) office, was to establish a multi-departmental coordinating body that has met regularly to develop shared policies for childhood and adolescence, in order to guarantee what organisers call a ‘holistic approach’.

This coordinating body is responsible for preparing an analysis of the situation of children, based on data collection and mapping of services using the evidence-based approach.

CFCI Italy says it proposes ‘shifting the focus from sectorial interventions to coordinating child-friendly policies involving all municipal departments’.

“The proposal also aims to disseminate knowledge about international guidelines and national action plans on childhood and adolescence among administrators. This will help develop local planning which considers the strategic guidelines of the various levels of governance (national, regional and local),” it adds.

A separate permanent body, composed of members of civil society, supported the municipality in developing the strategy and child impact assessment and evaluating whether the policy proposals will improve the well-being of children.

Click here to visit the Prato Child-Friendly City page.

Click here for more on UNICEF CFCI.

Author: Simon Weedy

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