“Every child has the right to grow up in an environment where they feel safe and secure, have access to basic services and clean air and water, can play, learn and grow and where their voice is heard and matters”


What is a Child Friendly City?

Cork is a designated WHO Cork Healthy City The first item under Cork Healthy City Action Plan is to support Cork to become a child friendly City. While there are many frameworks and definitions provide for a child friendly city. The UNICEF definition of a Child Friendly City most encapsulates; the frameworks for implementation and the values and principles for the approach. It is the one selected to inform Cork Child Friendly City.

“A child-friendly city (CFC) is a city, town, community or any system of local governance committed to improving the lives of children within their jurisdiction by realising their rights as articulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In practice, it is a city, town or community in which the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children are an integral part of public policies, programmes and decisions.”

Child Friendly City Cork is an open forum made up of intersectoral allies working collaboratively toward Cork becoming a Child Friendly City – in progressing children’s rights, participation and belonging in Cork City.

The inter-agency network forum brings together many stakeholders across government, academia, local authority, community & voluntary sector, health and social services and other stakeholders and organisations as well as children themselves who wish to make their cities and communities more child-friendly.

About Us

We are an inter-agency steering group forum committed to creating Cork as a Child Friendly City. We will work towards greater awareness raising and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at local level across our City and respective organisations so that the voices of children in our City are heard. We do this in collaboration and with the equal participation of children on our Steering Group Forum.

We are recruiting a Child Friendly Cities Development Worker to support Cork Child Friendly City Forum to deliver a Child Friendly City strategic plan, range of broad actions, and measurable outcomes for the city. This will inform and support wider adoption of the Child Friendly City framework aligned to the UNICEF model.


Children’s Participation 

In 2021, the Government of Ireland, Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and Hub na nOg published the Participation Framework National Framework for Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making in association with Professor Laura Lundy, Queen’s University.

The Participation Framework provides guidance and checklists for decision-makers on the steps to take in giving children and young people a meaningful voice in decision-making across sectors, organisations and professional groups using a shared approach.

Statutory and non-statutory organisations are obliged to seek children’s views and take them seriously.

The Framework aims at achieving the overarching objectives of the National Participation Strategy. This includes:

  • improving and establishing mechanisms to ensure that seldom-heard and vulnerable children and young people are listened to and involved in decision-making
  • mainstreaming the participation of children and young people in the development of policy, legislation, services and research.

The Lundy Model

Professor Laura Lundy, Queen’s University, Belfast has created a rights based model of child participation, based on four key concepts (Space, Voice, Audience and Influence). This model is internationally recognised and accepted as a legally sound and practical conceptualisation to facilitate organisations in ensuring adherence to the key principles of the UN Convention allowing for young voices to be heard.


Children and young people must be given safe, inclusive opportunities to form and express their views


Children and young people must be facilitated to express their views


The views must be listened to


The views must be acted upon, and appropriate

News & Events

World Children’s Day 2023

World Children’s Day 2023

#worldchildrensday 2023 has been marked and promoted in several ways by the partners involved in Cork Child Friendly City. As chair of this partnership I am so proud of the work that has been achieved this year, building little by little on the previous years. There...

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Voiced Webinar

Voiced Webinar

Here is a recording of our Voiced webinar which took place November 13th. We had some fantastic speakers including children and young people themselves. Thanks to everyone who joined us.

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Participation Framework Report – Government of Ireland National Framework for Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making

See links to the Government of Ireland Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth series of consultations with children and young people; the general public; and civil society stakeholders.

View the launch of the report on the consultation with children and young people on DCEDIY’s YouTube channel.

Young IrelandThe National Policy Framework for Children and Young People (0-24) 2023-2028