Senior Child Protection Specialist – CAAC (P-5), FT, PG Child Protection New York HQ # 00063822

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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, … a better life,

More than 400 million children are living in situations of armed conflict, and as warring parties continue to commit grave violations of children’s rights, tens of thousands of children are profoundly affected. UNICEF is mandated by twelve Security Council Resolutions to co-lead establishment and implementation of monitoring and reporting mechanisms (MRM) to document and verify grave child rights violations in all situations included in the Secretary-General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC). In line with the Core Commitments for Children (CCCs), UNICEF also initiates monitoring and reporting on grave violations against children and other serious rights violations when armed violence or an armed conflict begins, before a situation is included in the S-G’s report.

In line with the CCCs, in armed conflict situations, UNICEF prioritizes prevention of recruitment and use of children by armed forces and armed groups (CAAFAG), separation of children from armed forces and groups, and provision of immediate services for the care and protection of children after their release and during reintegration within their families and communities. UNICEF also contributes to mine action in countries affected (or historically affected) by armed conflict, including leading mine risk education and providing victim assistance, as well as in implementation of the relevant treaties and protocols..

How can you make a difference?

The Senior CP Specialist-CAAC leads a team of specialists to provide and is responsible for technical assistance to Regional and Country Offices, in line with CEAP and UNICEF’s accountability system, provides global thought leadership and technical excellence, and collaborates across the organization’s divisions and offices to achieve results for children. This includes both programming and the MRM on grave violations against children in armed conflict. The external partnerships and networking context is significant including leadership or active contribution to the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (the Alliance), its working groups and task forces, including the Task Force on Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups (CAAFAG TF), the Paris Principles Steering Group, the Mine Action Steering Group, the coordination bodies led by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict and related briefings to the Security Council Working Group on CAAC, the Al Hol Task Force of the Executive Office of the Secretary General, and more.

The Senior CP Specialist- CAAC provides technical inputs to strategic advice for the senior management of the organization on children and armed conflict, including considered advice and proposed strategy in collaboration with relevant teams.

Travel to Country Offices, Regional Offices, and other locations for meetings is expected to fulfil the requirements of the function.

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

Strategic leadership

  • Ensure a clear vision and implementation plan for the CAAC agenda and programming globally for UNICEF, with support of relevant divisions and teams. Anticipate evolution of the CAAC agenda and armed conflict situations to position UNICEF to prevent and respond to grave violations against children and other protection risks, such as child rights in the context of counterterrorism. This includes designing and delivering strategic leadership on CAAC for the Child Protection sector beyond UNICEF, galvanizing political will, a skilled workforce, and resources to deliver results for children in armed conflict situations.

Technical leadership, including support to the field

  • Provide technical assistance and coordination in CAAC programming and strategy development in all armed conflict situations, including L3/L2/L1 in line with CEAP. In coordination with Regional Offices, support Country Offices’ management and programme teams to fulfill the CAAC related CCCs with technical assistance, tools, and training. Support the assessment and planning to address CAAC in humanitarian needs assessments and response plans, including HAC and HRP.
  • Coordinate and develop the availability of technical experts (with Regional and Country Offices) to ensure timely support throughout all stages of programming/project processes in relation to CAAC. As needed, deploy to country offices to support the technical programme design and delivery as well as engagement with parties to conflict in order to prevent and end violations against children.
  • Provide technical leadership in the Strategic Plan planning, implementation and monitoring, including the results framework and Corporate Standard Indicators reporting, related to CAAC.
  • In support of the Child Protection Director and in coordination with the CPHA Senior Advisor, provide technical advice to the organization’s senior management on CAAC issues, including grave violations against children committed by parties to conflict and upholding our Security Council mandate to report these violations in order to prevent and end them.  This includes overseeing the preparation of quarterly briefings by senior management to the Security Council Working Group on CAAC on grave violations against children in situations on their agenda.

Managerial leadership

  • Provide guidance, supervision, and support to the CAAC sub-unit, and contribute to a workplace in line with UNICEF CRITAS values. Clearly communicate and seek feedback on the team’s direction, goals, and timelines, enabling a high performing team and professional growth and satisfaction.
  • Support and guide team members to set work plans and goals, provide them with timely performance feedback, and set performance improvement plans as needed. Establish the sub-unit’s annual workplan within the CPHA and CPPT workplan, monitoring its implementation, and identifying any course correction and adjustments as required.
  • Mobilise resources for UASC/CM in pursuit of the Strategic Plan and the unit work plans, including support to country offices as possible in line with their response plans and accountabilities.

Advocacy, networking, and partnership building

  • Provide technical leadership on behalf of UNICEF in interagency fora to meet the needs of global policy and field programmes. This includes the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action CAAFAG Task Force, Paris Principles Steering Group, the Mine Action Steering Group, Interagency Working Group on DDR, the MRM Technical Reference Group, the Al Hol Task Force, the Global Framework for Return and Reintegration from Syria, and other groups related to the CAAC agenda, such as the Managing Exits from Armed Conflicts research initiative.
  • In consultation with the Partnerships Cone, engage with Member States and their donor entities to inform policy and funding decisions to protect children in armed conflicts and promote child rights. With the Division of Global Communication and Advocacy, initiate or contribute to strategic communications that advance the protection of child rights in armed conflicts, including advocacy strategies, communication materials, such as Child Alerts and press releases, and support to the office of the Executive Director communications. Act as a spokesperson on technical matters related to the CAAC agenda.

Innovation, knowledge management, and capacity building

  • Build capacity of UNICEF workforce and the Child Protection sector to effectively prevent and end grave violations, provide reintegration support for children affected by armed conflict, and deliver mine action programmes. Identify gaps in capacity and knowledge as armed conflict evolves and mobilize to fill these gaps through evidence-based tool development and guidance.
  • Contribute to the generation of evidence through research, evaluations, and implementation science to advance technical excellence of programmes and policy. This includes development and pursuit of a research agenda on CAAC, in support of the sector. Collect best and emerging practices and lessons learned and promote exchange across a learning organization through different modalities, such as a Community of Practice. Work to institutionalize best practice.

The following minimum requirements:

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: International Law, International Relations, Political Science, Social Work, Economics, Public Policy, or another relevant technical field. 
  • A minimum of ten years of relevant professional experience working on child protection or human rights in international development and/or humanitarian experience is required.
  • Experience working in a country facing armed conflict is considered as a strong asset.
  • Experience working at the global level is also an asset.
  • Demonstrated effective experience in interagency coordination and/or partnerships management is an asset.
  • Knowledge and experience with the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism, children associated with armed forces and armed groups programming, or mine action an asset. Knowledge of child rights in armed conflict or counter-terrorism contexts an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Working knowledge of another UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) is considered an asset.

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…

  • Builds and maintains partnerships
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness
  • Drive to achieve results for impact
  • Innovates and embraces change
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity
  • Thinks and acts strategically
  • 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.


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

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.

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.

Note: Detailed JD will be provided to the candidates who will be called for interviews

Advertised: 24 May 2024 Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: 09 Jun 2024 Eastern Daylight Time

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