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Child Friendly Communities

Unicef Child Friendly Communities 

It is an exciting time for children and young people in the Derry City and Strabane District as we start the journey towards a Child Friendly Community. The vision is that we live in a community where the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children and young people are considered and taken seriously.

In Derry and Strabane, we will

  • Work with people in your community so they know how to respect your rights and help you feel welcome.
  • Have more opportunities for you to have a say and meet people who make decisions about things that affect you.
  • You know about your rights, can read child-friendly updates, and see positive stories about people your age.
  • You know how to support your mental health, the impact of alcohol and drugs, and have safe places to go if you feel sad or worried. 
  • You are treated fairly, feel valued and have places to play and enjoy in your free time. 
  • Your learning spaces will promote health and wellbeing, offer you the chance to make decisions and help you develop your personality and talents. 
  • If you are not able to enjoy your rights, you know what you can do to make a complaint and you will be taken seriously. 


More about UNICEF UK

  • How can I find out more about Child Rights?

    There are 42 children’s rights. Article 43-54 sets out guidance on how the convention works. 
    This Child Friendly Poster explains Child Rights. 

    Watch, listen, or sign language
    Check out this cartoon story with Universal Sign Language which introduces the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (suitable for children aged 3-6). 14-minute watch.


  • What is a child friendly city (CFC)?

    The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) Child Friendly Cities and Communities Programme works with Councils and their partners to put Child Rights into Practice. 
    In Derry City and Strabane District we have a mix of City and Rural areas so are working towards UNICEF UK Child Friendly Community status. 

    In a Child Friendly Community all Children and Young People...

    • Have a say when things affect their lives. 
    • Are supported to give their views freely.
    • Access good health, education, transport, and other support.
    • Feel safe and protected from unfair treatment and harm. 
    • Can enjoy public places and meet other children freely.
    • Enjoy a clean and safe place to live.  
  • What are the six badges?

    The badges YOU chose in Discovery - Healthy, Equal, and Included, Education and Learning 



    1. Children and young people have access to quality, child friendly services when they
    need it.
    2. Children and young people are aware of the impact of alcohol and drugs on health and
    can access age appropriate services to develop a healthy awareness.
    3. All children and young people know how to protect their mental health and have a safe
    place to go to get child friendly support when they feel sad, worried, or anxious.

    Equal and Included

    1. Policies, services, and programmes are free from discrimination. All children and
    young people feel important, respected, and valued.
    2. All Children and young people have access to play and leisure spaces. With a special
    focus on location, age, and ability.
    3. There is a process for children and young peopl e to report complaints. The complaints
    are taken seriously and acted upon.

    Education and Learning
    1. All children and young people receive education for the whole child. Preparing them for life, looking at issues of their time, giving time to play and o ffering activities in and outside of school.
    2. Children and Young People shape decisions made within their learning spaces to
    ensure their wellbeing.
    3. Children and young people feel accepted, free to be themselves and express themselves in learning spaces wh ich promote health and wellbeing.

    The badges all Councils taking part must work towards - Culture, Cooperation and Leadership, Communication

    1. There is better awareness of Child Rights and the importance of children, young people and adults working together to make improvements.
    2. All children and young people, including those with additional needs can acces s child friendly information and support to make their lives easier, healthier, safer, and happier.
    3. Children and young people see positive stories about their achievements. Staff involved with the media understand and value child rights. 

    1. Children and young people enjoy meeting people in their community who understand how to use Child Rights to improve their work.
    2. Children and young people don’t feel judged or labelled; their rights are respected by everyone.
    3. Children and Young People always feel welcome and respected by people of all ages.

    Cooperation and Leadership
    1. All children and young people have the chance to have their voice heard. Adult decision makers value youth voices and have the skills to work together to make improvements.
    2. Staff and leaders in services working with children and young people can use tools to champion child rights (E.g., Child Rights Impact Assessments)
    3. More people, organisations and businesses work together to improve the rights of Children and Young People.

  • Why are Child Rights important throughout a child’s life?

    This two minute video explains why

  • If Child Rights are not respected what should I do?

    ASK REE is a chatbot designed to answer questions about your rights. Giving you confidential advice and putting you in contact with someone to talk to if you feel that would help.

    Find out more



  • What is Derry & Strabane doing?

    In Derry City and Strabane, we are working with lots of people to make sure we improve the rights of children.
    We are doing this by talking to children to learn about what they think of growing up here. Where they feel welcome, safe, and included and how they would like us to make things better in their lives. 

    Here's our journey so far:

    There are four phases to making this happen:

    • Phase 1. Discovery - We talk to children, young people, and adults to find out what everyone thinks. 
    • Phase 2. Development - We work with children, young people, and adults to develop a plan to make things better. 
    • Phase 3.  Delivery – We start making the changes everyone suggested. We are here (July 2023) 
    • Phase 4. Recognition – We find out if we will be given Child Friendly Community Status.  We will reach this point in 2025.
  • More details and resources on Child Rights
    1. Find out more about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and access the child friendly resources kit. The Convention on the Rights of the Child: The children’s version | UNICEF

    2. Find out more about Child Rights in Northern Ireland

      1. NICCY (Northern Ireland Commission for Children and Young People

      1. Childrens Law Centre  

    3. Watch the Global Teachers Prize video. What are Child Rights? (6-minute watch)


    1. Find out more about the UNICEF UK Child Friendly Communities

    2. Learn more about a Child Rights Based Approach

    3. Learn more about Child Rights Impact Assessments

    4. Get top tips on Child Rights in the New Normal which covers the 8 topics outlined below.

    Further Reading

  • Get in Touch

    Derry & Strabane
    If you are interested in finding out more about the UNICEF UK Child Friendly Communities in Derry and Strabane, please contact [email protected] 

    UK Wide 
    If you are interest in finding out more about the UNICEF UK programme outside of Derry and Strabane, please contact UNICEF UK

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    Subscribe to our Children and Young People emailing list at the link below and stay up to date on Children and Young Peoples initiatives.

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