Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Kota Surabaya

Empowering Children, Realizing Their Aspirations: Surabaya's Innovative Approach to Create a Child-Friendly City

May 13, 2024

Surabaya, the bustling port city of Indonesia, is not only a beacon of economic growth and development but also a shining example of commitment to the well-being and rights of children. With a steadfast dedication to create a nurturing and supportive environment for its youngest residents, Surabaya has earned recognition as a leading child-friendly city in Indonesia. Year after year, the city has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to children's rights, earning the prestigious "Utama" child-friendly city award for 6 (six) consecutive years and becoming the first city in Indonesia to join the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) global network by UNICEF. Surabaya's journey towards child-friendliness is marked by a plethora of initiatives aimed at ensuring children are safe, protected, and active participants in the city's development.

At the heart of Surabaya's child-friendly initiatives is the establishment of Surabaya Children Forum in all 31 sub-districts and 153 hamlets across the city. These forums provide a platform for children to voice their opinions, express their concerns, and actively participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives. Furthermore, Surabaya has achieved an impressive birth certificate coverage rate of 99.93%, ensuring that every child in the city has access to essential documentation from birth, enabling them to access their rights and entitlements.

Surabaya has also pioneered innovative partnerships with the private sector through initiatives such as the Child-Friendly Companies Association, which encourages businesses to prioritize children's rights and well-being in their corporate practices. Similarly, the city has engaged journalists to become advocates for child rights through the Child-Friendly Journalists program, raising awareness and fostering public dialogue on issues affecting children.

To ensure that children have access to reliable information and support services, Surabaya has established Child-Friendly Information Centers. In addition, Surabaya has created an information system for monitoring the implementation of Surabaya Child Friendly City called “Si Talas”. Through this platform, children can access information on child-friendly policies, programs and activities. Furthermore, they can track the progress of their aspirations for the city's development.

Surabaya's commitment to education is evident in its investment in reading corners, scholarships, and talent development programs for children. With 1,495 reading corners established across the city, Surabaya promotes a culture of literacy and lifelong learning from an early age. Additionally, scholarships are provided to 5,360 middle school and 21,000 high school students, ensuring that education remains accessible to all. Furthermore, initiatives such as artistic talent shows for preschool students and the redemption of school certificates for disadvantaged students highlight Surabaya's efforts to nurture the talents and potential of every child.

In recognition of the diverse needs of families, Surabaya offers free day care services, providing working parents with peace of mind and ensuring that children receive quality care and early childhood education. These initiatives collectively demonstrate Surabaya's unwavering commitment to creating a child-friendly city where every child can thrive, dream, and achieve their dreams and aspirations. As Surabaya continues to lead by example, Surabaya is eager to sharing best practices with other cities in Indonesia to realize Indonesia as a child-friendly nation. With collaborative endeavors, Surabaya and other cities in Indonesia, create transformative policies for the investment in children and always fight for the fulfillment of children's rights and enhance children's participation in the city’s development.