Ukraine joined the Child and Youth Friendly Community Initiative launched by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The relevant Memorandum was signed today in Kyiv between the Government of Ukraine, the UNICEF and partners of the initiative. A movement initiated in 1996 spans the world and covers municipalities of more than 30 countries on all continents.
Commenting on this landmark event, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman emphasized that children are key priority for the Government.
"Today we are opening new opportunities for creating conditions for the development and self-realization of children and youth in Ukrainian communities", the Head of Government stressed.
The Prime Minister recalled the Cabinet of Ministers is already creating the system of social protection of children. Issues at stake are liquidation of queues in kindergartens by 2020, financial assistance of regional projects aimed to develop sports infrastructure for children and youth, allocation of a sum worth UAH 1 billion for the modernization of primary school this year, increase of salaries for teachers by 75% in two years.
It is of utmost importance to have experience gained in the regions, first of all in Vinnytsya, where a "Vinnytsya is Child Friendly City " initiative has been successfully implemented since 2009. All decisions being made in the city are checked in order to make sure that opportunities for full physical and spiritual development of children and young people are taken into account. Moreover, children are engaged in the development of the necessary decisions.
"In Vinnytsia, we involved children in important decision-making process and created children's ombudsmen institution. Jointly we decided how to create, for example, a transport system, how to solve a security issue which is of paramount importance. This is precisely why I have commissioned officials to make such an initiative global, Volodymyr Groysman stressed, this is our best investment. The highest values are life and health of the child".
The Head of Government thanked the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Population Fund for the support of the said initiative. "I would like to ensure the children's issue is determined as pressing one in each corner of the country", he emphasized.
In turn, Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine, underlined the Child and Youth Friendly Community Initiative is not really new for Ukraine. "But only today there is an opportunity to ensure more efficient realization of the initiative due to the far-reaching decentralization reform. This program is unique and vital for Ukraine. I thank the Government of Ukraine for its commitment and desire to meet challenges", Giovanna Barberis emphasized. According to her, accession to the initiative will enable Ukraine to effectively protect the rights of children and youth.
The Child and Youth Friendly Community initiative envisages protection of 5 basic children's rights, including the right to education and health. Communities that will be active in protecting the rights of children and young people will receive a special status that will enable it to work more closely with other communities both within and outside Ukraine, to attract investment, primarily in social projects.