The CFC Secretariat


The International Secretariat for Child Friendly Cities was established within the premises of UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) in Florence, Italy. Its founding partners were UNICEF, UN-HABITAT, the Italian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Environment, the Italian National Committee for UNICEF and the Istituto degli Innocenti. Consistent with the mandate of the IRC to promote understanding of child rights, the CFC Secretariat supports knowledge brokering and facilitates research and analysis on the implementation of children’s rights at the local level, as well as on processes and methods adopted by local governments to become child friendly.

The Secretariat acts as a hub for Child Friendly Cities’ activities, promoting efforts in different contexts around a common concept based on an integrated child-rights approach. It collects, documents, distils and disseminates experiences on local strategies to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child and pursue the Millennium Development Goals. In doing so, it has developed a Framework for Action which may guide cities and communities in the process of becoming child friendly.

The Secretariat supports cities, municipalities, researchers, UNICEF country offices, interested organisations and individuals involved with CFC by:

        • Collecting and processing data, documenting innovations and carrying out field research;
        • Distilling lessons learned and good practices;
        • Identifying tools and promoting research to develop innovative tools to build, monitor and assess CFC;
        • Assisting in field consultations and programme development;
        • Organising and contributing to international, regional and local meetings on CFC issues
        • Networking and building alliances with a wide variety of actors (UN agencies, UNICEF headquarters and country offices, regional and national networks, municipalities, mayors, associations of mayors, communities, experts and NGOs)


      These functions are facilitated through the management of the website in three languages and a comprehensive database.

From its inception, the CFC Secretariat has drawn on the knowledge and experience of practitioners, researchers and administrators who have helped identify good practices, innovations and lessons learned. Its location within the Innocenti Research Centre has reinforced its mandate of knowledge brokering and has ensured exposure and linkages to other related child rights discussions involving UNICEF and its partners.

Learn more about the current CFC Research Initiative (IRC and Childwatch)