Child Friendly City and Municipality Initiative
Billund Municipality is recognized by UNICEF Denmark as Child Friendly City and Municipality
In the spring of 2018, Billund Municipality took the first steps towards being recognized as a Child-Friendly City and Municipality by UNICEF Denmark. The project happened in a collaboration between Billund Municipality, the partnership Capital of Children, and the development organization CoC Playful Minds. UNICEF gives the international award to cities and municipalities that make an extraordinary effort to protect and promote children's opportunities and rights.
On September 16 2020, Billund Municipality celebrated the recognition as the first child-friendly city and municipality in Denmark. As a child-friendly city and municipality, Billund Municipality has become part of a global UNICEF network of cities and municipalities from 40 countries, which will build a particularly great framework for a good childhood.
"I have been waiting in excitement for this moment because of course, we must have child-friendly cities in Denmark, and I am simply so proud and happy on behalf of the entire UN, UNICEF, and Billund Municipality. The city has really thrown itself into doing even more for the municipality's children, so it is so deserved that a city that already has a huge focus on children and which has been the Capital of Children for almost 10 years, will be Denmark's first child-friendly city. Especially because it is not something you as a city or municipality are, but because child-friendly city and municipality is something you take with you into the future and use actively and constantly in your efforts for the municipality's children".
- Karen Hækkerup, Secretary-General of UNICEF Denmark.
"Billund Municipality has had the vision of being the Capital of Children since 2010, and we have had a focus on creating a framework for learning through play, co-creation, and children's conditions in general. Therefore, the UNICEF award is both a natural continuation and a recognition of this work.”
- Ib Kristensen, Mayor
"At CoC Playful Minds, we work every single day to ensure that children and young people are heard, respected, and are real co-creators of the local community and the world of which they are a part - both locally, nationally and internationally."
- Charlotte Sahl Madsen, CEO CoC Playful Minds.
The road to recognition
The road to officially becoming a child-friendly city and municipality has required concrete actions to promote children's rights. The first step was to do an analysis and draw up an action plan for children's rights with the children. Billund Municipality achieved the goals of the action plan during the spring of 2020 after working on three projects:
1. The safety zone project, where children and young people contribute to urban space development with the purpose of children and young people living in a safe, secure, and clean environment.
2. Our World Academy, where children and young people are valued, respected, and treated fairly.
3. Kids Take Over project, where children and young people are heard and involved in decisions that affect their lives.
The further work
In connection with the Child Friendly City and Municipality Initiative, Billund Municipality has achieved many learnings and perspectives with which they will continue to work. Among other things, they will continue to co-create with children and work with children's rights. Now insights and knowledge gained through the collaboration with UNICEF must be shared so that even more children and adults in Billund Municipality can benefit from being a child-friendly city and municipality.
Based on the UNICEF Child Friendly City and Municipality Initiative, children, young people, and civil servants have formulated recommendations for further work.
The children and young people recommend
- to work further to make urban spaces even more safe and secure (implement the children's ideas) - and spread security to the entire municipality.
- continuing to work on hearing children about decisions that affect their lives and involving children and young people in the process.
- continuing to work to include everyone (including children and young people who are having difficulty).
Billund Municipality recommends
- working further to give ownership to the citizens by involving children more in the processes.
- working further with co-creation with children about input from the children to implement concrete proposals and as an argument for demand.
- working further with channels where children and young people can express themselves and introduce children to what happens once they have submitted their proposals.
UNICEF Report - Child Friendly City and Municipality
The purpose of the report is to provide an insight into the process and present the benefits of the Child Friendly City and Municipality Initiative in Billund Municipality. The report also forms the basis for the external recognition of Billund Municipality as child friendly by a significant international player in the field of children and young people: UNICEF.
About UNICEF Denmark
UNICEF is the organization that has led the countries of the world to ensure that children succeed in life. The framework is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and all efforts depend on voluntary contributions. UNICEF bridges the gap between emergency and long-term, sustainable aid. For 70 years, we have shown results so that more children today survive, receive education and grow up in safety. In 190 countries and territories.