Decatur Joins UNICEF USA’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative

March 17, 2021

  City of Decatur implementing pilot initiative to create safer, more equitable communities and elevate youth voices

NEW YORK, NY/DECATUR, GA (March 17, 2021) – Today, the city of Decatur is proud to announce it will embark on its journey toward recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City. Through the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI), Decatur, in addition to 4 pilot cities and 1 county, will implement an ambitious, two-year process toward recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City.

“We are truly excited to enter this partnership and initiative with UNICEF USA,” said Decatur Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers. “Our children and youth need our support more than ever as we attempt to return to normalcy after a year that left us sheltered and, in many cases, separated from friends and family. The Child Friendly Initiative will put our most vulnerable population at the table where we can be sure to prioritize their needs through a lens of equity and inclusion and social justice.”

Through the CFCI Framework for Action, Decatur, along with community partners City Schools of Decatur, Decatur Education Foundation (DEF), and Decatur Housing Authority, will identify objectives under five goal areas focusing on supporting children and young people, including: safety and inclusion, children’s participation, equitable social services, safe living environments and play and leisure.

“We are thrilled to be part of a coalition of agencies working with City of Decatur on the UNICEF Child Friendly City Initiative,” said Decatur Education Foundation Executive Director, Gail Rothman. “DEF’s mission has always put Decatur's kids at the center of our work, and we share UNICEF USA’s vision of a more equitable world for every child. Decatur is well-positioned to really embrace this effort, and we look forward to working with the city and community partners on this exciting endeavor.” 

Originally created in 1996, UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative uses a child rights-based framework to build a roadmap for establishing 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 56 countries. UNICEF USA applauds Decatur for its commitment to using this framework to build a better community for children. 

“As a resident of Decatur, I am proud of our city’s commitment toward recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City,” said Jeremy Cole, Managing Director, Southeast Region at UNICEF USA. “In partnership with the city of Decatur, we are dedicated to ensuring that every child has the right to grow up in a safe and secure environment where their voices are heard.”

In its pursuit of recognition as a Child Friendly City, government officials and community leaders in Decatur along with pilot cohort cities Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Johnson City, and Prince George’s County will conduct a situational analysis of child well-being in each city. Based on these findings, the cities will implement an action plan that prioritizes the best interests of children and youth within their local policies. CFCI will empower leaders to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism on children, work to combat discrimination and elevate their voices in local governance and decision-making. 

For more information or to share any ideas you may have, email For more information about Child Friendly Cities Initiative in the United States, visit

To take action and encourage cities across the United States to become more child-friendly, visit


# # #


The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to pursue a more equitable world for every child. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children. Together, we are working toward a world that upholds the rights of all children and helps every child thrive. For more information visit


About Decatur, GA
Decatur, a city in DeKalb County Georgia, was founded in 1823 and named for Commodore Stephen Decatur. Decatur is the county seat of DeKalb County and is 4.7 square miles with a population of 25,000 people. The city, known for its homes, schools, places of worship, diversity, events and festivals, and a thriving business community, is located six miles east of Atlanta. For more information, visit


For more information, contact
Nina Marie Costa | | 212.922.2581

For more information, contact
Renae Madison|| 404-293-2105