Tampere receives UNICEF Child Friendly City award

UNICEF Finland has awarded the City of Tampere the Child Friendly City award. The award can be given to a city or municipality that is committed to children's rights.

In the award criteria for the Child Friendly City, UNICEF Finland thanks the City of Tampere for its active and goal-oriented activities for children and young people. Particularly good results have been achieved in strengthening participation. More safe adults have been brought into young people's daily lives.

– It is great to be recognised for our long-term work for children and young people. We will continue the upward trend we have seen so far. Thank you to UNICEF and all those in the city who work directly or indirectly for children, says Mayor Kalervo Kummola.

The recognition from UNICEF also pleases children and young people who have been involved in making Tampere a more child-friendly city.

– It has been amazing to see the work and progress that has been made over the last couple of years. The Youth Group for a Child-Friendly Municipality has been an active player in making young people's voices heard. As a young person, I could say that Tampere is child-friendly, with all its faults and merits, says 16-year-old Elina, who has been part of the Youth Group since 2021.

The model ensures children's rights

The Child-Friendly Municipality is a model developed by UNICEF to help cities and municipalities make the right decisions for children's well-being in municipal administration and everyday services. The model is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and UNICEF’s international Child Friendly Cities model.

The model gives children and young people a voice and a say in matters that concern them. The model ensures that the rights of children, especially vulnerable children, are respected.

– The children's perspective must be taken into account in particular in the decision-making process of the city, as most decisions are directly or indirectly related to children. When making decisions, the impact on children and families must be assessed. Children and young people must be consulted when decisions are being prepared, says Tiia Heinäsuo, a Senior Specialist.

In Tampere, the Child-Friendly Municipality activities are guided by a multidisciplinary expert group, including representatives of associations.

Child-friendliness in everyday life

Child-friendliness is not only reflected in the administration, but also in the everyday lives of children and young people.

– We now have school coaches to help students in their daily lives and strengthen their commitment to school. During the summer, the City of Tampere's park meal events provide children and young people with a safe and enjoyable programme and hot lunch. Meaningful leisure activities are available through "Permission to move, permission to do hobbies" groups and the Youth Pass, says Senior Specialist Virve Savolainen.

– Today, children and young people are increasingly empowered to make their voices heard. New ways of participation and empowerment have been developed, especially for vulnerable children. For example, a panel of young people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds has been set up in primary schools. Thanks to the panel, we now have a better understanding of their daily lives and the challenges they face, Heinäsuo continues.

The Tampere Child Friendly City award is valid for two years.

– In its evaluation, UNICEF has made many observations and recommendations on how Tampere could become even more child-friendly. We will use them as guidelines for further development, says Senior Specialist Savolainen.

Further information

Tiia Heinäsuo
Senior specialist
050 411 2434
Virve Savolainen
Senior specialist
040 800 4220
Text: Johanna Kurela
Photos: Laura Happo
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