The handover took place on a small scale in the town hall in Teufen, the current situation left no room for a children’s party or larger. Nevertheless, UNICEF was able to address a few words of appreciation to the key people present from the municipal council, the children and youth commission and the school. «Thanks to dedicated people, foresight, innovation and a constant process, the municipality of Teufen has improved again in this third phase of the cycle. It is an important beacon of child-friendliness in Eastern Switzerland and will hopefully motivate other communities and cities,” said Anja Bernet, team leader for child-friendly community and urban development at UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
The award process
10 years ago, UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein were able to hand over the “Child-friendly community” label to Teufen for the first time. Even then, Teufen was known for the systematic implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at community level, with the aim of shaping the direct living environment of children and young people in such a way that they are protected, encouraged and integrated. Teufen was one of the first certified communities in Switzerland and has been a pioneer, so to speak, ever since. 50 municipalities and cities in Switzerland and Liechtenstein now bear the UNICEF label. The many years of commitment to child-friendliness in the community shows that Teufen has always tried to take the interests and concerns of children and young people seriously at all levels and to act accordingly. The children live and develop in the communities, which is why the community is a very important political level.
Projects for the welfare of children and young people
Since then, a large number of projects have been implemented that benefit both children and young people as well as the community as a whole. Worth mentioning is the establishment of the children and youth commission with a seat for young people as well as parental commitment and a comprehensive playground concept that is intended to do justice to the different children. Those responsible have also created new processes and structures within the administration, so that over the years a common understanding of child-friendliness has emerged and been established. In a complex process, the key people tried to defy the pandemic last year and set themselves new goals: improved networking among the actors, age-appropriate and transparent information and communication for children and young people, and space for encounters.
For the future, the municipality of Teufen should be encouraged to take innovative, unconventional paths for the youngest and, thanks to institutionalization and writing, to ensure the inclusion of children and young people in the long term.
For more information on UNICEF’s Child-Friendly Community initiative: