In 2016, and under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Alqasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the SCFO expanded its scope from encouraging breastfeeding to focusing on the rights of all children and youth. The office was tasked with creating joint strategies and plans to support and nurture young generations in cooperation with relevant entities. Thus, the Sharjah Child Friendly City project was launched in collaboration with UNICEF, and Sharjah officially submitted its bid to join UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI ).

Sharjah had made remarkable gains inclusive development in support of child well-being in the Emirate and with its time-bound commitments to addressing remaining gaps and priorities and was recognized as a “Candidate City” by UNICEF under the CFC framework in February 2017.

A short-term action plan implemented at the time included a self-assessment and external reviews, sessions with child rights experts, in addition to hundreds of meetings with relevant entities, children and youth. By May 2018, Sharjah became the first city in the world to receive the UNICEF CFCI accreditation based on the initiative’s updated criteria.

The UNICEF CFCI is based on five main objectives that have been incorporated into Sharjah’s 4-year action plan following its recognition. SCFO has launched various initiatives and programmes to meet these five core goals and to further promote child rights in different aspects of life, such as: ‘Child Friendly Schools and Nurseries’, ‘Child Friendly Urban Planning’, Child Friendly Media’ and the annual Sharjah Child and Youth Carnival.


  • Since July 2019, Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO) set clear goals to promote children’s rights in the educational environment and strived to support educational institutions in setting standards that bolsters their environment, nurture their students and children, and create a friendly space for them.

  • To support Sharjah Child Friendly City portfolio and in the pursuit of sustainability as Emirate Friendly City, the Child Friendly Urban Planning (CFUP) project was launched in 2017 with strategic partners Sharjah Urban Planning Council (SUPC), UNICEF and UN-Habitat. This ensures basic rights of children from different cultures and competencies without any discrimination by participating…

  • The ‘Professional Media Guidelines’ pledge was launched in 2017 By Arab Council for Childhood & Development and signed by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Media Council (SMC), that aimed to promote media guidelines for children’s issues. The Child Friendly Media Project is a reflection of Sharjah’s commitment to childhood and in…

  • Sharjah Child-friendly Office launched the Children & Youth Carnival in November 2018 to celebrate the recognition of Sharjah as a Child Friendly City (CFC). The Carnival highlights the qualities and global and local achievements of the city’s children and youth by bringing the whole community together. The carnival is distinguished as it is for children,…