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Child Friendly Cities Initiative


Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) | Minneapolis

CFCI logo with City of Minneapolis, Youth Coordinating Board and UNICEF's logo


Every child has the right to grow up in an environment where they feel safe and secure, have access to basic services and clean air and water, can play, learn and grow and where their voice is heard and matters.

Click for official Child Friendly Cities Initiative page

If you have questions or comments about CFCI-Minneapolis, please contact Min Lee — Communications Specialist at the Youth Coordinating Board. 

Min Lee

Min Lee

Communications Specialist

UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) represents a community-based commitment to elevating and prioritizing the voices of children in local governance and decision-making. On February 14, 2020, Mayor Jacob Frey signed the City on as one of the first pilot cities in the U.S. The City is officially a pilot city and does not receive the designation as a Child Friendly City Candidate until an application is submitted and approved.

UNICEF's CFCI was launched globally in 1996 to protect children’s rights in an increasingly urbanized and decentralized world. Although it started in 1996, no U.S city has signed on until now with reinvigorated energy and support from UNICEF USA. The initiative brings UNICEF together with local stakeholders to establish safer, more just, equitable, inclusive and child-responsive cities and communities around the world. Since its inception, CFCI has been adopted in over 3,000 municipalities in more than 40 countries.

CFCI uses the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a framework to help local governments prioritize the needs of children and young people and elevate the voices of youth in local governance and decision-making.

Official CFCI Page

Click HERE to visit the City of Minneapolis' program history timeline. 

Downloadable CFCI related reports below

Picture of youth hanging out

Become a CFCI Affiliate!

We are an emerging and growing coalition of public and community entities that’s focused on four areas of work:

  • Child-Sensitive Emergency Response and Recovery
  • Child and Youth Engagement in decision-making at all levels
  • Community Safety
  • Child Rights Education

We want you to join the CFCI team! Your application will need to be screened, but once approved you will have access to the CFCI network and resources. Here are just some of the benefits:

•    Be invited to CFCI convenings of affiliate organizations;
•    Have access to training and information about Child and Youth Rights;
•    Have access to informational presentations on the UN CRC;
•    Be asked to provide an annual update of your CFCI related efforts;
•    Be able to share CFCI affiliation in their media materials;
•    Be named in CFCI materials; and
•    Have access to data collected during CFCI efforts

Full Stream of Our Press Event

Minneapolis Awarded Child Friendly City Designation

Minneapolis adopted UNICEF USA's Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) in February 2020. After 4-years of work, Minneapolis become only the second city in the country to become a UNICEF USA child friendly city. We held a gathering in downtown Minneapolis and were joined by Mayor Jacob Frey, former Commissioner of Health, Gretchen Musicant; current Commissioner of Health, Damon Chaplin; Minneapolis Public Schools board member, Kim Ellison; UNICEF USA President & CEO, Michael Nyenhuis; and many guests. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the CFCI effort. Read more about the event at the full page HERE

Fox 9's Coverage

Forbes Writes Article On CFCI Minneapolis

Forbes wrote an article on our CFCI Local Action Plan Launch Event. It was an amazing day that brought together UNICEF USA staff, City of Minneapolis staff, elected officials, community members, and volunteers to learn more about our CFCI efforts and child rights. Read the article HERE

Forbes Article

MPLS CFCI Team Acknowledged At Public Health Heroes Ceremony

Our small team working on Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) was acknowledged at the Public Health Heroes ceremony hosted by the Minneapolis Health Department. Receiving the award on behalf of the group was Gretchen Musicant and Dr. Chuck Oberg. We're grateful for this award while understanding there is a lot of work ahead of us this year. The Health Department produced a short recap video which has been posted on the side. 

MYC's Video For CFCI Local Action Plan Launch Event

On February 14, 2023, we collaborated with UNICEF USA and the Minneapolis Health Department for our big Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) Local Action Plan Launch Event. It was a great day that brought elected officials, community members, youth workers, and people from around the country together. Our Minneapolis Youth Congress were in school that day, but we wanted to make sure youth voice was present in our celebration, so they recorded a video for us. Here is that video! 

Child Receives Book Via Reach Out & Read

This video was recorded to showcase the wonderful project Reach Out & Read. The video was presented at the CFCI-Minneapolis Launch Event on November 19, 2021. Thanks to Hennepin County Health for providing this video and their continued work! 

If you would like to learn more about the importance of children's human rights, you can join a network of dedicated advocates to meet others, share resources with, and grow. Go HERE to sign up