UNICEF Greece Country Office launched the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (Πόλεις Φιλικές προς τα Παιδιά) in May 2021, with the capital city of Athens being the first municipality to join the CFCI network. As of January 2022, a total of 6 municipalities have signed Memoranda of Understanding committing to the implementation of the CFCI pilot for an initial period of three years. 

Informed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Sustainable Development Goals, and UNICEF’s National Programme for Greece 2022-2026, the CFCI in Greece seeks to strengthen the realization of children’s rights at the local level through a number of strategies including: 

  • Awareness-raising and Advocacy to raise awareness on children’s rights. 
  • Data collection and monitoring to measure progress of the program and its impact for children. 
  • Coordination and Partnerships with third parties in the framework of the CFCI implementation.  
  • Communication through local print, radio, television and social media to promote CFCI activities. 
  • Planning for Children. Municipalities and UNICEF Greece agree to define objectives, activities, indicators and draft an Action Plan and an indicative, non-mandatory, budget allocation for each area of collaboration.  

The decision to join the CFCI is approved by the Municipal Council of each Municipality and the CFCI MoUs are signed by the respective Mayor. Each municipality appoints a focal point or a team of focal points to coordinate the implementation of CFCI. Municipalities carry out a Situation Analysis guided by a Self-Assessment Tool to identify existing child-friendly mechanisms and gaps. Informed by the Situation Analysis, each Action Plan is tailored to the needs, priorities and capacities of each municipality and is designed taking into account the existing financial and human resources and legal framework. As such, the initiative focuses on six thematic areas: 

  • Participation and citizenship: The voices, needs and priorities of children are heard and taken into account in municipal policies and decisions on issues that affect them. 
  • Environmental sustainability and living conditions: Children live in a safe, secure and clean environment. 
  • Play and recreation: Children have opportunities to rest, relax, play and participate in cultural and creative activities. 
  • Childcare and education: Children have access to quality early childcare and education services. 
  • Safety and protection: Children are protected from violence, abuse and neglect. 
  • Health and well-being: Children have access to adequate healthcare, including mental health, and nutrition. 

Progress will be monitored on the basis of the targets and indicators defined in each municipal Action Plan, while UNICEF Greece will accompany each municipality throughout the implementation of the Action Plan. Full Child-Friendly City Status shall be granted upon successful implementation of the Action Plan. 

Launch of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative in Greece

@UNICEF Greece

Population: 10,816,286
Pop. under 18: +/- 2,000,000

Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority as of Q4/2021


7 pilot municipalities:
• Athens
• Eastern Samos
• Ioannina
• Larisa
• Pilea-Chortiatis (Thessaloniki)
• Trikala
• Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni (Attica)



Sofia Palli
Social Policy Specialist

Lina Antara
Community Engagement Associate

UNICEF Greece 
Agias Lavras 81,
157 73 Zografou, 
Athens, Greece