Indonesian cities urged to develop child-friendly facilities

Indonesian cities urged to develop child-friendly facilities

INDONESIA - All city administrations in Indonesia should accelerate the establishment of facilities that support children's development toward building "child-friendly cities", a minister said.

Mayors should ensure that their areas are suitable for children by allocating adequate funds to build playgrounds, green open spaces, sports facilities and other infrastructure that support childhood development and fulfillment of their rights, Linda Amalia Sari Gumelar, minister for Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, said on Tuesday.

"The establishment of those facilities has not been a priority, while there are more and more areas converted into business districts," she said at the opening of a coordination meeting with city and regency administrations nationwide in Kuta to evaluate the implementation of child-friendly city programs initiated in 2006.

Currently, there were only 110 of 500 cities nationwide committed toward building child-friendly cities, as reflected in their development programs. Of the 110 total, 60 are being assisted by the ministry to realize their programs, while the remaining 50 have been able to be self-sufficient in building infrastructure for children through budget allocations.

To accelerate implementation of the programs, the ministry is now drafting a Roadmap on the Acceleration of Children's Rights Fulfillment.

The ministry is also encouraging the private sector to support its child-related policies by incorporating the fulfillment of children's rights in their main Corporate Social Responsibility programs. In this issue, the ministry works together with several organizations, including UNICEF, Global Compact Network Indonesia and Save the Children. Earlier this year, they established the Association of Child-Friendly Companies.

On the sidelines of the three-day meeting, 265 participants - representatives of city administrations, visited several places in Denpasar and Badung that had been declared as good examples of child-friendly facilities.

These places are the daycare center at the Badung regency administration's office, child facilities at Badung hospital, and the center of activity for marginalized children in Denpasar.

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