We, participants of the Child Friendly Cities Asia Pacific meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal, on the 27-29th June, 2013 and members of the Child Friendly Asia Pacific Network call upon our governments, private sector, and civil society to assist us in implementing the 2013 Kathmandu Declaration on Child Friendly Local Governance.
This declaration provides four key principles through which governments, cities, communities, private sector and civil society can support child friendliness by recognizing the important role of local governance, through meaningful child and youth participation, by engaging in monitoring of their progress and supporting planning for a sustainable future for and with communities in a rapidly urbanizing world.
Principle 1. A child friendly city recognizes the importance of Local Governance
1.1 Recognises the role of local governments to improve opportunities for children to develop well and become active citizens now and in the future.
1.2 Develops a children’s integrated plan that includes resource allocation and a child-specific budget utilizing strategic multi-sectorial partnerships to leverage resources at all levels of government and private sector.
1.3 Respects the fundamental importance of children and young people’s vulnerability and agency when government’s and communities prepare, planning and responding to social and environmental risks including natural disasters.
1.4 Acknowledges the importance of urban progress that is sustainable and invests in the lives of children, young people and their families.
Principle 2. A child friendly city demands meaningful participation of children and youth
2.1 Acknowledges meaningful participation as the right of all children and therefore essential that all children, especially the most disadvantaged, at risk, invisible and hard to reach children are included in city consultations and decision-making.
2.2 Recognises that governments are accountable to children and youth and that young people’s meaningful participation is an essential step towards ensuring an equitable and humane city for everyone.
2.3 Supports children and youth participation opportunities throughout a child’s life, being flexible to opportunities according to the child’s interests, individual circumstances and capacity according to their age and special needs.
2.4 Ensures authentic partnerships with adults who provide meaningful mentoring opportunities that are empowering for children and support them to take on leadership roles in their cities.
2.5 Encourages education institutions at all levels to implement child friendly curriculum programs and to adopt strategies for meaningful participation of children and youth in decision making at all levels of management of the institution.
Principle 3. A child friendly city recognizes and engages in a continuous monitoring and evaluating its progress
3.1 Ensures the reporting and documentation on issues of child protection, safety, and violence against children, health, education, environmental health, their standard of living, and a child’s good start to life.
3.2 Supports the implementation of a rigorous monitoring system that incorporates data collection and verification and provides regular opportunities to report on a cities progress, the challenges they are addressing and shortcomings.
3.3 Requests that government, child-led and community-led data gathering and analysis practices are inclusive and representational of the diversity of any community at the city and neighborhood level and do not rely on urban or rural averages.
3.4 Creates the platform to utilize new and innovative technology and information systems in order to collect, analyze, report and disseminate information about a city’s progress to its citizens, government representatives and the broader global community.
3.5 Ensures that targets and goals for individual cities are designed to activate significant transformation in children’s quality of life are developed when monitoring is implemented.
Principle 4. A child friendly city encourages integrated planning for sustainable development
4.1 Creates opportunities for local and global partnerships that provide a fresh vision and a framework, based on principles of: universality, equity, sustainability and humane and fair city development.
4.2 Integrates the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability, including attention being made to the preservation and promotion of tangible and intangible culture.
4.3 Addresses the need to promote sustainable consumption, production and lifestyles at all levels of society including the family, community and city.
4.4 Seeks to give every child a fair chance in life, and to achieve a pattern of development where dignity and human rights become a reality for all and city strategies are built around a focus on human and environmental security.
4.5 Balances the scales of equity on all fronts to break cycles of poverty and ensure that the children of today and tomorrow are able to have and inherit a liveable, safe world to play in and develop to their full potential.
We, the participants of the International Child Friendly Cities Asia Pacific conference in Kathmandu, in collaboration with the global members of the Child Friendly Asia Pacific Regional Network, support and declare that regional, state and national governments who are signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child should take up the key principles as established here in order to ensure as a region we are working towards a vision to create a Child Friendly Asia Pacific that supports equitable, inclusive and sustainable local governance.
Signed on this day, 29 June 2013.
Chair, Child Friendly Asia Pacific Network
On behalf of the members of the network