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Sustainable development goals

Towards safe, violent-free, inclusive and child friendly cities

Mayors discuss how to make cities safe for children during the Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador

Boys walk near a mural promoting peace. Photo: © UNICEF / Markisz

Boys walk near a mural promoting peace. Photo: © UNICEF / Markisz

Habitat III started yesterday in Quito, Ecuador. It is the first United Nations conference on housing and urban development after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Global Goals. Communities and leaders of society have come together to discuss the opportunities and challenges of a new urban agenda, where cities are safe, inclusive sustainable, and no one is left behind.

On 19 October, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children will host an event with mayors to discuss how to make cities safe for children. The debate is organised in cooperation with UNICEF, UN Habitat, the Global Movement for Children in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Children and Adolescents, Igarapé Institute and Know Violence in Childhood Global Learning Initiative.

The event will also mark the launch of a new report by the United Nations Special Representative entitled “Protecting children affected by armed violence in the community”. The report highlights the need to safeguard the rights of the child and promote actions guided by their best interests, and proposes a child rights based approach and plan of action to preventing and responding to armed violence in communities.

Mayors of La Paz, Lima and Quito are some of the speakers in the event. They will talk about the commitments of the cities to ending all forms of violence against children. This is particularly relevant to the region. According to UNICEF, Latin America and the Caribbean present the largest share of homicides among children and adolescents in the world. Many homicides are related to crime and gangs and often perpetrated with a firearm.

The discussion will elucidate practical ways to promote safe, inclusive, and secure environment for all children to live and participate in urban life without fear of violence.

Related resources

Protecting children affected by armed violence in the community
New report by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children.
Habitat III conference on housing and sustainable urban development
From 17-20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, marks the global adoption of the New Urban Agenda.
Hidden in plain sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children
2014 report by UNICEF with recent data on violence against children.