Switzerland and Liechtenstein together for children – a great day for Ruggell

Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein receives a UNICEF delegation and representatives of the municipality of Ruggell. Ruggell is the first community in Liechtenstein to receive the UNICEF label “Child-friendly community”. Before the label is awarded, the UNICEF Delegates Assembly, which also meets in Ruggell, decides to set up the Committee for UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

This morning, Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein received a UNICEF delegation and representatives of the municipality of Ruggell. There are two reasons for this special occasion: the starting signal of the Committee for UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and Ruggell is the first municipality in Liechtenstein to receive the UNCIEF label “Child-friendly municipality”. With the “Child-friendly community” initiative, UNICEF promotes the implementation of children’s rights at the community level and provides decision-makers in communities with an instrument for reviewing their programs and projects with regard to their impact on children and for increasing child-friendliness. Ruggell is the first community in Liechtenstein to receive the UNICEF process label. Hans Künzle, President of UNICEF Switzerland, presented Mrs Maria Kaiser-Eberle, the head of Ruggell’s municipality, with the award for “Child-friendly municipality” in a festive ceremony in the presence of Liechtenstein’s political VIPs and numerous other guests. Hans Künzle congratulated the community on its responsibility towards the children and young people: “I would like to express my appreciation and respect for what they have achieved in recent years for the quality of life of the children and young people, and in particular for what they will achieve in the future”.

Action plan with several transport policy measures

In order to check their child friendliness, Ruggell has first made a location determination. With a total of 2300 inhabitants, the Liechtenstein community has been doing a great job for many years to improve the quality of life of children and young people. Particularly noteworthy is the interdisciplinary cooperation of schools, youth work, administration and politics. The responsible persons in Ruggell have recognised, for example, that the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular the participation of children, must begin in politics and administration. Following the assessment of the situation, Ruggell organised a children’s conference and a “KinderMitWirkungstag” (Children’s Effects Day), at which around 70 children took part very actively. All the ideas and suggestions resulted in an action plan with twelve measures which the community intends to implement over the next four years. Ruggell is very systematic in his approach: By creating an internal administrative contact point for child, youth and family issues, the administration can monitor events in the municipality and region from a child and youth policy perspective and make its findings available to the authorities and other stakeholders. In addition, Ruggell wants to establish a youth commission with clearly defined tasks and objectives, as well as organise regular events for children and young people. However, several transport policy measures are also planned: The promotion and expansion of public transport, for example by subsidising student subscriptions or reexamining and creating child-friendly zones by reducing speed in the neighbourhoods, are on the agenda. In addition, new road crossings are to ensure safe routes so that children and young people can safely reach the sports grounds and the clubhouse.

Committee for UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein

All children have the right to be adequately cared for, supported and protected and to participate in social life. These rights are enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been binding in Switzerland since 1997 and in Liechtenstein since 1996. It obliges the signatory states to protect children’s rights with legal measures. The Swiss Committee for UNICEF has represented the interests of the Children’s Fund in Switzerland since 1959. Today, the Assembly of Delegates of UNICEF Switzerland approved the new name “Committee for UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein” by amending the statutes. In future, the number of delegates will be increased by three Liechtenstein members, of whom one delegate will always sit on the Executive Board as Vice President. UNICEF President Hans Künzle commented: “I am delighted to officially establish the Committee for UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein today”.

33 municipalities and cities awarded the title “Child-friendly municipality

In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, 33 municipalities and towns currently carry the Ruggell award “Child-friendly municipality”: Arbon (TG), Arlesheim (BL), Baden (AG), Basel (BS), Bern (BE), Blauen (BL), Fehraltorf (ZH), Flawil (SG), Frauenfeld (TG), Freienwil (AG), Grenchen (SO), Hitzkirch (LU), Laupersdorf (SO), Lausanne (VD), Lyss (BE), Möriken-Wildegg (AG), Rapperswil-Jona (SG), Reinach (BL), Rekingen (AG), Riehen (BS), Rüdlingen (SH), Ruggell (LI), Sion (VS), Thayngen (SH), Teufen (AR), Therwil (BL), Triengen (LU), Uznach (SG), Wauwil (LU), Wettingen (AG), Wil (SG), Zetzwil (AG), Zug (ZG), Rüdlingen (SH), Rügen (BS), Zetzwil (AG), Zug (ZG), Rapperswil-Jona (SG)

Pictures can be found at: http://bit.ly/Ruggell Fotocredits: © UNICEF/Risch

Further information about the UNICEF initiative “Child-friendly community”: www.kinderfreundlichegemeinde.ch

Contacts for media

UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein Jürg Keim Media Office Tel.: +41 44 317 22 41 E-Mail: [email protected]

Community of Ruggell Christian Oehri Community Secretary Tel: +423 377 49 31 E-Mail: [email protected]

About UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has 70 years of experience in development cooperation and emergency aid. UNICEF is committed to the survival and well-being of children worldwide. Its central tasks include the implementation of programmes in the fields of health, nutrition, education, water and hygiene as well as the protection of children against abuse, exploitation, violence and HIV/AIDS. UNICEF finances itself exclusively through voluntary contributions and is represented in Switzerland and Liechtenstein by the Committee for UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein. For more than 50 years, UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein have been committed to children – both in Switzerland and abroad.

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Christina Cherry
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