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Charter of Vancouver – Children have the right to cycle

The Charter of Vancouver focuses on the future of children, worldwide. A part of culture and daily habits, education and health, and environmental sustainability, cycling produces undeniable positive effects on our lives. The right of children to cycle should be universal and ever present; because children who make jumping on a bike a regular part of their lives today can grow up to be healthy, happy and environmentally conscious adults.

Text of the Charter:

As the UN stresses in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (*):

  • Childhood is entitled to special care and assistance
  • Education should be directed toward the development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential and respect for the natural environment
  • Governments recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development
  • Governments shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity

And cycling helps to secure children’s needs and rights worldwide, because:

  • Cycling means that children are physically active, can explore their communities and learn about their environment; cycling means that children create essential benefits for their physical and social development.
  • Cycling allows children to explore their environment and more fully access their communities, move longer distances, and travel to school, shops, parks and other places important to the daily lives of children.
  • Cycling, and other forms of active transportation, means that children can create a substantial contribution to the livability, safety and prosperity of their neighborhoods, towns, cities and the environment.

The undersigned, on the occasion of the Velo-city Global 2012 conference in Vancouver, call on the United Nations and all governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and institutes

  1. To adopt a goal to improve the situation of children around the world in part through sustainable transport policies and strategies;
  2. To include cycling as part of all sustainable transport policies and strategies;
  3. To adopt a target of providing opportunities to cycle for all people around the world;
  4. To promote active mobility for people of all ages and abilities and to improve the safety and accessibility of roads and public spaces, especially for children;
  5. To develop and promote programs that encourage walking and cycling to school;
  6. To develop and provide cycling skills training to all children at an early age; and
  7. To cooperate closely with cycling advocacy and promotion organizations and other citizens’ organizations to encourage more children to cycle more often
    (*) This Charter refers to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (in force since 2 September 1990) and UNICEF’s mission to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

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3. July 2012

NRVP Action Area