Our cities, through our eyes

The stories of three cities, through the lenses of 60 children: Surabaya, Indonesia - Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
A girl raises her arms in front of drawings of wings on a wall. © UNICEF

By 2030, cities in East Asia will be home to over 800 million children. Their dreams, potential and ambitions will be realized in these buzzing metropolises – and in turn these children will drive the future prosperity of their countries. As the region becomes increasingly urbanized, more children than ever before will call a city home. For many children, cities offer tremendous opportunities and hope for a better future. For others, the experience is all too often one of poverty, inequality, environmental hazards and even conflict.

On the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Children (CRC), UNICEF has supported 60 children across the region to have their voices heard. Three countries, three cities, their stories, through their eyes: Surabaya, Indonesia - Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.

The responsibility lies with local governments, civil society and all of us to lay the necessary foundations for cities and communities to fulfill the rights and needs of their youngest citizens. The active engagement of children, including those that are marginalized and vulnerable, is essential if the policies, services and facilities that they use or that affect them are to reflect and address their concerns, ideas and priorities. This is why for 20 years UNICEF has been spearheading the Child Friendly Cities Initiative which supports municipal governments in realizing the rights of children at the local level using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as its foundation. 

No other region in the world is developing and urbanising at the pace of East Asia & Pacific. That's why these stories are being brought before mayors from across the world at this year’s Child Friendly Cities summit in Germany to promote the importance of child and youth participation, and ensure the voices of youth are being heard.

Kommunal- und Stadtentwicklung Recht auf Beteiligung Recht auf Förderung Recht auf Gesundheit Recht auf Schutz Aktuelles Deutsches Komitee für UNICEF e.V.