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4/26/2018 8:00 AM

Lahti recognised as a UNICEF Child Friendly Municipality for the second time

For municipalities, the recognition is both a thank you for good work and an obligation to continue to take children's issues seriously.
Child friendly Lahti

​The City of Lahti was recognised as a child friendly municipality for the second time by UNICEF Finland. The reward was presented by Sanna Koskinen, Domestic Advocacy Specialist at UNICEF Finland. In her speech, Koskinen said that a child friendly municipality must promote the equal opportunities of children and young people for participation and influence. Children must also be given the chance to describe the kind of municipality they want for their everyday life.

"UNICEF wishes to thank Lahti for actively involving children in the development of the services and activities of the city across sectors. For example, children and young people enjoy an active role in planning activities in the environmental and youth services".  

This continued recognition is a reward for work well done

The second Child Friendly Municipality recognition is given for the work carried out in 2016 - 17. The first recognition was given to Lahti in December 2015.

Finland. The reward was presented by Sanna Koskinen, Domestic Advocacy Specialist at UNICEF Finland. In her speech, Koskinen said that a child friendly municipality must promote the equal opportunities of children and young people for participation and influence. Children must also be given the chance to describe the kind of municipality they want for their everyday life.

"It takes more than a few years to ready the rights of a child. For municipalities, the recognition is both a thank you for good work and an obligation to continue to take children's issues seriously", says Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director of UNICEF Finland.

In the future, the recognition will be given for four years instead of the previous two-year period. Renewed recognition always requires continued development work. 

The recognition was received by Mayor Jyrki Myllyvirta, who said that the City of Lahti is running a participation programme aimed at further increasing the participation opportunities of residents.

"The City of Lahti promises to offer real and diverse ways of participation and influence to children, young people, and all residents".

According to Lassi Kilponen from the education sector management, measures taken by the City of Lahti include educating children, teaching staff, the authorities, and decision-makers on children's rights, participation and equality. 

The participation of children and young people was evident at the ceremony, as a group of children from Herrasmanni Day-care Centre and Lotila Comprehensive School delivered their greetings. Everyone attending the ceremony was invited to be a part of the children's play and singing activities. 

12 recognised child friendly municipalities  in Finland

The Child Friendly Municipality model is based on the UN Declaration of the Rights of a Child as well as the UNICEF international model of Child Friendly Cities. The aim of the model is to enhance the implementation of the rights of the child in municipal decision-making, management, and the provision of services.