Children’s rights are top of the agenda for new partnership

Leeds has committed to respect, protect and fulfil children’s human rights as part of a new partnership with UNICEF, which will complement the city’s existing Child Friendly ambitions.

As one of just six local authorities in the UK to sign up to the new partnership, Leeds is reaffirming its commitment to children and young people across the city.

Leeds’ on-going ambition to be a child friendly city already fits well with UNICEF’s aims to put children’s rights at the heart of public services.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children’s services said:

“We have already pledged to put children at the heart of everything we do as part of our ambition to be a child friendly city and regularly put this in to practice. Listening to children and taking their views and ideas into account is now a daily part of our decision making process.

“We are very keen to work with UNICEF as we pursue our Child Friendly ambitions. The Child Rights based approach places the needs of children and their voice at the heart of decisions which affect their lives and this resonates very much with the work we are doing and want to develop further in Leeds.”

David Bull, UNICEF UK Executive Director, said:

“Child Rights Partners is an exciting new collaboration between UNICEF UK and six local authorities. It is inspired by UNICEF’s commitment – whether we’re working in the UK or internationally – to ensure every child can reach their full potential.

“Public services have sometimes failed children and young people by not listening to their opinions and needs, so we welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with these pioneering local authorities.

“They have committed, in economically difficult times, to take a hard transformative look at the services they deliver to the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people. By putting child rights into public services in a tangible way, we hope to show we can radically change practice - and therefore outcomes - for the UK’s children and young people.”

The partnership will mean Leeds will work with UNICEF over three years to deliver a project based on child-rights. The work in Leeds will focus on the service’s the council provides for young people leaving care. By working in partnership with UNICEF the council intends to develop increasingly robust services for this very important group of young people, who nationally have poorer outcomes than their peers. The council will be seeking to develop a more rounded approach to the service which crucially includes the voice of the care leavers themselves. Leeds Children’s Services will work with UNICEF as we move towards a single resource for our care leavers to ensure that they receive the best service possible.

Notes to editors:

The other local authorities involved in the Child Rights Partnership are: Derry; Glasgow; Neath and Port Talbot; Newcastle and; Tower Hamlets.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk