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Child in the City International Seminar meets in Leeds

Conference Leeds has shared its case study highlighting the success of the Child in the City International Seminar, an event which saw experts discuss child poverty in western cities.

Child in the City is an organisation which promotes the rights and wellbeing of children across the globe. Its International Seminar is part of a larger conversation at the International Child in the City World Conference, which takes place biannually in a different city around the word.

Its fourth seminar took place in November at The Met Hotel in Leeds and hosted 75 delegates from countries such as Australia, France, and India. The seminar welcomed children’s professionals, university lecturers, city planners and more to discuss the chosen topic.

Each international seminar focused on a theme to progress the advancement of child-friendly environments, communities and services. Experts also discussed educational environments, urban segregation and marginalisation, as well as child poverty lessons learnt from two case study cities, Dortmund and Madrid.

The two-day conference welcomed delegates to the city with a cocktail reception at Leeds Art Gallery, followed by a networking dinner at The Met Hotel.

They also had the opportunity to visit community groups and local businesses from across the city, who aim to improve the quality of life for children living in Leeds. This included Catch, a business which delivers youth volunteering opportunities and Leeds Rhinos Foundation, which uses sport to positively impact young people.

The conference included a keynote speech from Gill Main, associate professor in childhood studies in the school of education at the University of Leeds, which provided insight into the effects that child poverty has on children, families, communities and society.

Andy Lloyd, head of children’s workforce development in Leeds Children’s Services and Sue Rumbold, chief officer of Leeds Children’s Services also highlighted how Leeds and Hoogeveen have transformed into child-friendly areas.

Leeds was inspired to become a child-friendly city due to the Child Friendly Cities work carried out by UNICEF. As part of the initiative, Child Friendly Leeds has established a network of ambassadors who make financial and in-kind contributions to improve the lives of children and young people in Leeds and has supported the Independent Visit scheme for ‘children looked after’ in Leeds.

Karen Murgatroyd, head of international relations, Leeds City Council commented: “We were thrilled to welcome the fourth Child in the City International Seminar to Leeds last November. The City is a hub for innovation, education and culture, which made The Met Hotel and Leeds Art Gallery ideal venues for the delegates to visit.

“It was wonderful to see experts from Leeds and across the globe come together to develop restorative research, practices and solutions that will continue to improve the safety and quality of life led by children in towns and cities across the world.”