Humanitarian Policy Specialist (CAAC), P-3, Fixed Term, Humanitarian Policy Section (HPS), Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS), New York, USA #103042

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UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

At UNICEF, we are committed, passionate, and proud of what we do. Promoting the rights of every child is not just a job – it is a calling.
UNICEF is a place where careers are built: we offer our staff diverse opportunities for personal and professional development that will help them develop a fulfilling career while delivering on a rewarding mission. We pride ourselves on a culture that helps staff thrive, coupled with an attractive compensation and benefits package.

Visit our website to learn more about what we do at UNICEF.

For every child, Hope

Under the supervision of the Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Specialist, the incumbent assists in the development and promotion of UNICEF’s peace and security and humanitarian agenda through influencing related policy development internally and in a variety of inter­ governmental, inter-agency and other fora, specifically those which address humanitarian, human rights, peace and security issues. In addition, supports in promoting the development of policy, standards and advocacy in areas such as:

(1) children affected by armed conflict

(2) Protection of civilians, including against sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict

(3) prevention of mass atrocities and responsibility to protect

(4) peacekeeping and special political mission mandate renewals in relation to children affected by armed conflict and protection of civilians mandates, and

(5) Human Rights Up Front, human rights in conflict situations and the Prevention of atrocities.

How can you make a difference?

Under the guidance and supervision of Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Specialist in the Humanitarian Policy Section:

  1. Support and influence the development of humanitarian and post-conflict policies, with a variety of inter-governmental fora, including the General Assembly, the Security Council, including relevant Security Council working groups, and ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment, on relevant humanitarian, human rights and peace and security issues, and ensure that UNICEF policies and practice are informed by these processes.

    Specifically, provide support for UNICEF participation in the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, including coordinating with the field in this regard. Support UNICEF participation in processes related to the production of the Secretary-General’s Report on CAAC to the Security Council (Task Force on CAAC), and support preparations for UNICEF participation in the Open Debate on CAAC.

  2. In close collaboration with other agencies, as well as other UNICEF Divisions and EMOPS Sections, follow Security Council discussions and assist in preparing briefings, as necessary, through direct advocacy with key stakeholders, help ensure that UNICEF positions and concerns are represented in Council discussions and in relevant reports to the Council.
  3. Assist in liaising and coordinating actions including joint field missions, with the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, as well as other relevant advocacy-oriented groups and consortia working on issues concerning children and armed conflict.
  4. Cooperate closely with relevant HQ divisions (specifically with Programme Division/Child Protection), regional and country offices, as well as with external partners on initiatives related to the impact of armed conflict on children — including on human rights and preventative action — and protection of civilians, and in this respect especially cooperate with OCHA and other relevant agencies.
  5. Support and assist with the analysis, development and roll-out of guidance on emerging policy issue in the area of CAAC, Women, peace and security, human rights and protection, including through the generation of policy advocacy strategies on thematic issues. Support Regional Offices and Country Offices to prepare humanitarian advocacy plans.
  6. Contribute to the successful implementation of the overall work plan of the Humanitarian Policy Section, including by providing specialized advice on priority thematic areas.
  7. Draft briefing notes and contributions for relevant Executive Board and Senior Management meetings as required.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

The following minimum requirements:

Education: An advanced university degree (equivalent to a Master’s) from an accredited institution is required in law or social sciences (e.g. human rights, international relations, political science, public affairs, and/or international development), Knowledge of humanitarian law and human rights law (required). Knowledge of the Children and Armed Conflict agenda and the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (desirable).
*A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
Work Experience: At least 5 years of relevant work experience including advocacy and/or monitoring on human rights/child rights issues in conflict-affected situations. Experience of inter-governmental processes highly desirable. Knowledge and understanding of UNICEF humanitarian proqrammes (desirable).

Language Requirements: Fluency in English is required.

  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.

The following desirables:

• Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency.
Language: Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others. 

Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks, and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF does not hire candidates who are married to children (persons under 18). UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promoting the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station is required for IP positions and will be facilitated by UNICEF. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be canceled.


As per Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Government employees who are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government positions before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason. 

UNICEF does not charge a processing fee at any stage of its recruitment, selection, and hiring processes (i.e., application stage, interview stage, validation stage, or appointment and training). UNICEF will not ask for applicants’ bank account information.

All UNICEF positions are advertised, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. An internal candidate performing at the level of the post in the relevant functional area, or an internal/external candidate in the corresponding Talent Group, may be selected, if suitable for the post, without assessment of other candidates.

Additional information about working for UNICEF can be found here.

Advertised: 26 Apr 2024 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: 10 May 2024 Eastern Daylight Time

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