Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. Defending children's rights throughout their lives requires a global presence, aiming to produce results and understand their effects. UNICEF believes all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential - to the benefit of a better world.
For every child, strength
Sexual abuse and exploitation in humanitarian crises are global problems. They violate not only the physical integrity and security of the individual victims but also their dignity and self-worth. They are a consequence of unequal power relationships; a dynamic that is often exacerbated during humanitarian crises, which are so often characterized by widespread and systematic violence, mass displacement, and the breakdown in traditional family structures and social, legal, governance and value systems. Women and children constitute the overwhelming majority of victims. The economic and social inequalities confronting women and children, in particular, put them at higher risk of exploitation by those in positions of power. Sexual abuse and exploitation, in humanitarian crises or elsewhere, reflect a variety of failures or omissions attributable to a range of responsible actors and institutions. They represent a failure to uphold basic rights to protection. In institutional terms, sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian staff represents a failure on the part of humanitarian agencies, whose stated role is to provide protection and care, deeply undermining the implicit public trust placed in humanitarian actors. The potential for SEA against women and children affected by conflict and crisis across the Middle East and North Africa region is extremely high and thus requires specialized, dedicated support to Country Offices.
UNICEF recognizes its responsibility, in fulfilling its mandate, to guard or protect vulnerable persons from sexual and other exploitation and abuse and to address such violations appropriately in its work. UNICEF aims at ensuring that its staff and implementing partners do not abuse their power and influence to exploit and harm others.
Child safeguarding, including Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), is an issue at the core of our business. As a humanitarian agency dedicated to child rights, we consider all cases of sexual exploitation and abuse extremely seriously and take all steps necessary to safeguard children within our operations. UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).
How can you make a difference?
The Programme Specialist (PSEA) will directly report to the Representative.
The Programme Specialist (PSEA) will develop and implement UNICEF Syria’s Office PSEA Action Plan, which focuses on scaling up and taking forward UNICEF’s prevention and response efforts to sexual exploitation and abuse. This will include conceptualizing and implementing PSEA prevention activities, responding to alleged PSEA cases that are reported, and ensuring appropriate victim support. (, liaising with the PSEA Task-force and other inter-agency bodies addressing PSEA and making contributions to inter-agency PSEA response and monitoring, liaising with UNICEF senior management at national, regional and international levels on the same.
The Programme Specialist (PSEA) will be also responsible for building the capacity of UNICEF staff, consultants, volunteers, and implementing partners on PSEA by providing dedicated technical assistance to the country office, designing and implementing targeted capacity building activities for UNICEF staff and partners across different sectors, producing and disseminating relevant technical guidance, tools, and resources.
Internal capacity building and technical support:
Provide technical support, establishment and monitoring for the timely implementation of the Syria Country Office (SCO) PSEA Action Plan which will notably include: (a) streamlining internal measures to engage with the communities including through awareness raising activities and the establishment and roll out of community-based complaint mechanisms; (b) Prevention and capacity building activities to raise awareness and capacity of SCO staff and UNICEF Implementing partners to ensure adherence to SEA codes of conduct; (c) Work on strengthening internal response mechanisms to have regular monitoring field systems, and reporting procedures in place, and implement the Uniform Protocol on the provision of assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse; (d) mainstream the PSEA capacity strengthening across UNICEF sections and leverage specific strengths of sections to improve prevention, awareness and reporting on PSEA across the board. Advise on any PSEA-related issues that require immediate action and advocacy.
Participate in and actively represent UNICEF in PSEA forums and coordination meetings, as relevant. Act as a UNICEF liaison within the In-Country Network and maintain close relationship with interagency PSEA focal points and relevant government partners. Work with the PSEA Task Force in taking forward actions including; development of information sharing agreement on SEA; development and implementation of a Community Based Complaints Mechanism on SEA; development of outreach and sensitization on SEA in the communities; training PSEA Focal Points and staff from humanitarian organizations, responding to complaints that arise, and developing interagency responses to common problems that become evident. Advise the UNICEF Representative/Co-Chair on key advocacy and requests on PSEA from the Government of Syria, or any other actor, under the overall guidance of the Humanitarian Coordinator. Contribute to UNCT and partners PSEA focal points training, including on the UN Protocol on Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Involving Implementing Partners.
Support SEA risk mitigation efforts and contribute to the development, implementation and dissemination of global and regional guidance and strategies of specific relevance, including on Gender Based Violence, Violence against Children, the Centrality of Protection, and Accountability to Affected Populations. Ensure that mapping of critical services is regularly undertaken and ensure that all UNICEF led programs are aware of how to refer survivors to critical survivor assistance in country.
Knowledge Generation & Planning: Document best PSEA practices and lessons learnt in Syria, in order to better inform ongoing PSEA work.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:
Education: Advanced university degree or equivalent in International Development, Human Rights, International Law, public health, the social sciences or other relevant field in emergency programming.
Language Proficiency: Fluency in English is required.