As we come to the end of 2022 the journey is by no means over, it is just the beginning, throughout Our Year 2022 it has allowed us to create new partnerships, strengthen existing relationships and kick start a movement where as a city we come together to continue to put children rights at the heart of all we do in Manchester.

We are very excited to be starting our journey with UNICEF UK to become recognised as a UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) Child Friendly Community.

What is a UNICEF UK Child Friendly City/Community?

It is a place where the local council and our partners will commit to advance children’s rights and work with UNICEF UK to put them into practice. We will need to demonstrate how more children feel safe, heard, cared for and are able to flourish as a result.

As part of the programme, Manchester will need to choose a number of badges/priorities. The council, community and children and young people will come together over the next 6 months to agree our priorities, known as ‘badges’. (Yellow one are mandatory, and we choose 3 from the remaining blue badges)

What can you do to support?

  • Ensure all your team are aware of children’s rights (summary attached)
  • Embed in to policies, strategies, documents
  • Talk to colleagues and partners about Children’s Rights

UNICEF UK’s Child Friendly Cities and Communities programme will work with Manchester to put children’s rights into practice. The programme aims to create communities across Manchester where all children, whether they are care experienced, using a children’s centre, youth club, playscheme or visiting their local library, have a meaningful say, and truly benefit from, the local decisions, services and spaces that shape their lives.


A Child Friendly Community is where children and young people:

  • Have their voices heard and listened to (article 13)
  • Have their needs, priorities and rights understood as an integral part of public policies, programme and decisions
  • Are protected from exploitation, violence and abuse (article 19)
  • Have a good start in life and grow up healthy and cared for (article 24)
  • Children with disabilities are supported to live a full and decent life with dignity and, as far as possible, independence and to play an active part in the community. (article 23)
  • Experience quality, inclusive and participatory education and skills development (articles 28 and 29)
  • Express their opinions and influence decisions that affect them (article 13)
  • Participate in family, cultural, community/city and social life
  • Meet friends and have places to play and enjoy themselves (article 31)

Manchester’s journey and potential timeline

Discovery (six months)

The council, community and children and young people come together to agree their priorities, known as ‘badges’.

Development (two to three months)

An Action Plan is drafted and approved showing how the council will achieve progress in their selected ‘badges’.

Delivery (two to four years)

The council works with the local community and children and young people to carry out the Action Plan.

Recognition (lasts three years)

An independent panel of child rights experts assesses the progress made and decides whether to recognise the candidate city or community as ‘UNICEF UK Child Friendly’.

If you have any questions at all, have any suggestions, or just want to find out more information please do let us know and we look forward to working with you in partnership to achieve our ambition.


Please feel free to pass on to other colleagues and help us raise the profile of this exciting journey