On World Children's Day Cardiff reflects on becoming the UK's first ever UNICEF Child Friendly City

- and what it means for you


To coincide with World Children's Day, a UNICEF Child Friendly City flag is being flown from a bastion at Cardiff Castle, as the Welsh Capital reflects on last month's proud announcement that the city has been officially declared a UNICEF Child Friendly City - the first of its kind in the UK.

UNICEF Child Friendly City flag flying at Cardiff Castle

The prestigious globally recognised status has been awarded in recognition of the steps the council and its partners have taken over the past five years to advance the human rights of children and young people across the city.

What does UNICEF Child Friendly City recognition mean for children, young people and their families living in Cardiff?

  • For children, being in a Child Friendly Cardiff means the city is set up to make your life better and more fun. From being able to safely play outside, to schools that teach you about the things that matter to you, Cardiff is always working to make sure you can be happy, learn lots, and feel safe. We want you to know about the rights that you have, feel listened to and be able to take part in making decisions about things that matter to you.

    To find out what opportunities are available to have your say on the issues that are important to you, please visit: 


  • For young people, being a Child Friendly Cardiff means your city listens to you, values your opinions, and works to make your life better. From schools that teach you about your rights, to youth boards that supports you to have a say in health policies, Cardiff is committed to making sure you and your friends have the opportunities and support you need to thrive. We want you to have a say in how Cardiff looks and feels for young people living here.

    If you are 11 years and older and are interested in joining Cardiff's Youth Council, please email You can also visit to find out what opportunities are available to have your say on the issues that are important to you


  • For parents / guardians, it means that the city is not just built for adults, but designed with the rights, needs, and aspirations of your children at its heart. From education and health to civic participation and safety, Cardiff is committed to creating an environment where all children can flourish, making it a place where you can confidently raise your family.

Cardiff Council and its partners joined the UK Committee for UNICEF's (UNICEF UK) Child Friendly Cities & Communities programme in 2017 as part of a pioneering cohort. Since then, it has been implementing strategies to embed children's rights - as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child - into its policies and services.

Working with the city's children and young people, Cardiff prioritised six key areas: Cooperation and Leadership; Communication; Culture; Healthy; Family and Belonging; and Education and Learning.

These priorities and goals have been enshrined in Cardiff's Child Friendly Strategy since 2018. Working in partnership with organisations across the city, a significant number of projects, initiatives and actions have been undertaken to ensure that children and young people are able to claim their rights, thrive and reach their potential, whilst addressing the barriers which may limit their life chances. 

Cardiff Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "Becoming a Child Friendly City means that the Council, schools and all of our partners across the city are adopting and developing a rights-respecting culture, where all children regardless of belief, ethnicity, background or wealth can feel safe, heard, nurtured and able to thrive.

"This fundamental transformation will ensure we are a city where the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children and young people are at the heart of policies, programmes and decisions, and something that everyone can be a part of.  Our focus is to ensure that children and young people can actively help shape Cardiff and feel empowered to be a part of the city's decision making, having their say on the services that are available to them.

"During our Child Friendly journey, we were faced with significant challenges presented by the pandemic. Resources were redeployed to ensure that all children and young people had access to a device in order for them to continue education and access information whilst schools were closed and services to protect children from harm during lock down was increased.

"Our Covid Recovery, has been one of our strategies that prioritises the wellbeing of children and young people with a clear focus on those who are particularly vulnerable, developing solutions that seek to improve education and health outcomes and provide families with the right support at the right time.

"Cardiff should feel very proud and excited as we look forward to a child friendly future where we continue our ambition of making Cardiff a city where children and young people are at its heart and where the voices, needs and rights of every child and young person are respected."

Arthur Lilley Templeman (Vice Chair) from Cardiff's Child Friendly Cardiff Advisory Board said: "Becoming a UNICEF recognised Children Friendly City demonstrates the progress that Cardiff has made over the past 5+ years in ensuring that all children know about and can access their rights. Young people's voices have been at the centre of this journey from the start, which is why now is the time for us to celebrate our success and feel empowered to keep engaging with young people in a meaningful way, feeling empowered to continue to make rights a reality in Cardiff for years to come."

You can find out more about Child Friendly Cardiff here:
Child Friendly Cardiff


World Children's Day is a day of action for children, by children, to promote their rights, welfare, and voice on the issues that matter to them. It is celebrated on 20th November, the date when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the convention on the Rights of the Child 1989.