The Barnvæn sveitarfélög (Child Friendly City) initiative in Iceland is in its pilot phase. In 2016, the UNICEF National Committee, in partnership with the National Government, local authorities and local youth council launched the Child Friendly City pilot with the municipality of Akureyri, the fourth biggest municipality in Iceland with a population of 18,500. Children represent 25 per cent of the local population. In 2018, another municipality, Kópavogur, joined the initiative.

The Icelandic model is based on the Finnish CFCI model, as well as the experience of Swedish municipalities that have been implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for the past decade.

The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness and guide discussion around processes in place to meet children’s needs and to guarantee their rights.

The National Committee has created a website in cooperation with the Office of the Ombudsman for Children in Iceland to provide guidance and tools for municipalities that wish to become child-friendly.

The website, which includes a toolkit is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and is designed to support municipalities in the effort to implement the Convention at the local level. It offers guidance on how municipalities can respond to the particular needs of children in the way they collect data, listen to the perspectives of children and their families, draft policies, strategies and plans, work with local communities and civil society organizations and train staff.

ICELAND Auðunn Níelsson

© UNICEF Iceland

Population: 329,000
Pop. under 18: 80,000


• Akureyri

Working towards recognition:
• Hafnarfjörður
• Borgarbyggð
• Reykjanesbær
• Svalbarðsstrandarhreppur
• Garðabær
• Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður (Hornafjörður municipality)
• Sveitarfélagið Ölfus (Ölfus municipality)
• Sveitarfélagið Vogar (Vogar municipality)
• Akraneskaupstaður
• Hrnamannahreppur
• Mosfellsbær
• Seltjarnarnesbær
• Fjarðarbyggð
• Vopnafjarðarhreppur
• Rangárþing Eystra


Hanna Borg Jónsdóttir
CFCI project manager / Advocacy team
UNICEF Iceland
Laugavegur 77
101 Reykjavík

Marín Rós Eyjólfsdóttir
Communications coordinator / Advocacy team
UNICEF Iceland
Laugavegur 77
101 Reykjavík