World Children’s Day 2023

Nov 21, 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 is no doubt that so children in Ireland, in Cork and around the world enjoy the rights, freedoms and opportunities set out for them in #UNCRC. Yet so many do not. So it has been really heartening this week to see that in Cork and in Ireland, there has been a concerted effort by many to shine a light on children’s rights, voice and participation in society. Children make up 1/4 of our population and if you add to that their parents, families, caregivers and professional supporter, we are talking about a considerable stakeholder in our planning, decision making, and actions right across society.

Through Cork Child Friendly City a number of things happened in the last week to help to give a better understanding and visibility to children.

The Cork Child Friendly City Website was launched where you will find background information, resources and stories about Cork working together to become a child friendly city. Here is the link:

A webinar called VOICED! was held on November 13th in collaboration with Comhairle na Nog. The purpose of the webinar was to learn and develop ways that children and young people’s voices, including those who are seldom heard be more included in decision making that effects their lives; and to more formally have a seat at the table, in structures, processes and developments which shape their world now and in the future. We had really incredible speakers including Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Kieran McCarthy; Dr Philipe Jaffe, Member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child; Mona Meienberg Head of Child Friendly Community and City Development, Committee for UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein; Dr Annie Cummins from MTU; and young people themselves, talking about their experience of when their voices have been heard. The full recording of the webinar is on the website.

On Sunday evening, thanks to our partners in #corkcitycouncil Cork City Hall was opened up for children and their families. Martin, Siubhán and Martha Halbert put together a celebration of children’s creative voices in the City, building on the event that ran last year in Chambers. It included a welcome from the Lord Mayor and tours of the Lord Mayor’s chambers. Performances from New Moon Dance Company and GMC Beats. A craft table and games with the ABC Polish EduLibrary. Games and music

On Monday the 20th, we continued our Child Participation Training. With funding provided by Hub na nÓg, Sandra Cogan Williamson, Cork City Council; Christine Murray, Cork City Childcare; and Aoife Ni Chonchuir, HSE delivered the one day training to a very broad range of professional adults to take back and inform their organisations.

It all culminated in the lighting of City Hall to mark World Childrens Day a welcomed gesture, giving visibility and commitment to all children in the city for one day and every day.