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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
  • Closing Date: 2019-03-14

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Consultancy Roster for Child Protection, UNICEF Europe and Central Asia

Geneva (Switzerland)

The UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia seeks to establish a roster of child protection experts for assignments throughout the region.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, Protection


The UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia seeks to establish a roster of child protection experts for assignments throughout the region.  The UNICEF Child Protection Roster for Europe and Central Asia serves as a human resources repository from which the Regional Office or Country Offices can draw pre-vetted, well qualified child protection experts quickly and efficiently. Becoming a child protection consultant on the UNICEF ECAR roster is based on a standard one-off application that may potentially open the door to multiple assignments. Successful applicants will be eligible for direct recruitment by the Regional Office or any of the 21 Country Offices in the region for a period of up to three years. This is therefore a unique opportunity for qualified individuals to submit a single application and, if successful, to be considered immediately for assignments in the relevant areas of expertise. 

The Terms of Reference for the Child Protection Roster are in two parts:

  1. GENERIC: All applicants are required to have a minimum set of qualifications, core competencies, technical background and experience regardless of specialised area of expertise;
  2. SPECIALISED: In addition, all applicants must have the minimum skills, technical background and experience required in one or more of the seven thematic areas of child protection detailed below.

Consultants are required to indicate which of the seven thematic areas they have expertise in and for which they would like to be considered:


Successful applicants to the Child Protection Roster will be eligible for contracts to support the UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office and/or Country Offices through, inter alia:

i) Technical and advisory assistance, ii) Research, studies, and other forms of documentation; iii) Support to the development of strategic plans, policy and legal frameworks; iv) Capacity building inclusive of training and support to the development of training iv) Support to programme development and planning, and v) Support to delivery, monitoring and the quality control of results.


Child protection is a rights-based and life-saving concern and a high priority for UNICEF. Preventing and responding to all forms of abuse, violence, exploitation, neglect and unnecessary separation from family is essential to ensuring children’s rights to survival, development and well-being.

The vision and approach of UNICEF is to create a protective environment, where all girls and boys under the age of 18 are free from harm; and where laws, services, behaviors and practices minimize children’s vulnerability, address risk factors, and strengthen children’s resilience. The approach emphasizes prevention as well as the accountability of governments to respond to violations in the best interests of the child. It enhances aid effectiveness by supporting national capacities, and reflects children’s own roles as agents of change in strengthening the protective environment.

UNICEF in the Europe and Central Asia region focuses on the children and women most at risk; those who are marginalized, hard to reach and less visible. This includes children in contact with the law, children on the move, children in institutions and children with disabilities. UNICEF also recognizes the particular needs of adolescents, and is especially mindful to include this age group in response and programming.

The child protection needs in Europe and Central Asia are rooted in complex, diverse and inter-related conditions that UNICEF seeks to address through comprehensive child protection system reform. Accordingly, UNICEF focuses its programming where possible at the system level, recognizing that contributions to systemic change represent the most effective and sustainable route to the realization of children’s rights and contribute to impact level results.

Legislative and institutional advances across the region are often offset by inadequate measures at the country level to ensure compliance with international law and policy. There is varied capacity among governments and public institutions throughout the region to enact, implement and monitor the required legislation and standards.

Families in Europe and Central Asia do not always have access to social protection, including social services, safety-nets and livelihood opportunities. Inequality remains between government bodies in their overall capacity and ability to use and leverage funds in the social sectors. Decentralization, where it is taking place, often struggles to meet its equity goals by further excluding already marginalized children. While civil society is increasingly active, oversight mechanisms involving families and young people remain uncommon.

These conditions can exacerbate vulnerability. Families may resort to negative coping mechanisms, where children are relied upon for income at a cost to them dropping out of school and/or being engaged in child labor. Child marriage for girls is a concern throughout the region, as is the risk of sexual exploitation in both urban and rural areas. UNICEF strives to strengthen national capacities to prevent, identify, refer and respond to case of Gender Based Violence (GBV) within its overall approach to child protection system strengthening.

Violence against children at home is commonplace across Europe and Central Asia with around half of all children experiencing some form of violent discipline. Child abandonment and institutionalization are also forms of violence, and children in institutions are particularly vulnerable. The region has the highest number of known children in institutions in the world with 666,000 children in different forms of care. Children with disabilities are over-represented, while research suggests that girls in care are more likely than boys to become victims of sexual and physical abuse.

Violence is prevalent in schools. In Serbia, 69 per cent of primary school students and 74 per cent of secondary school students reported they had been exposed to at least one form of GBV. There are also concerns about bullying, with almost 60 per cent of children in their early teens admitting that they had bullied others at school at least once.   

As internet access expands, violence against children is taking on new dimensions such as cyber-bullying and online sexual exploitation, with damaging and life-changing consequences. 


 All consultants on the child protection roster must meet the following criteria regardless of specialised area of expertise:

Qualifications, technical background and experience required

  • Core values of commitment, inclusion and integrity
  • Advanced university degree in social sciences, law or another related field
  • Minimum 7 years’ relevant professional experience in child protection or related field
  • Excellent understanding of child protection issues in development and/or emergency settings
  • Knowledge and experience in the formulation, design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of child protection programmes, preferably in close coordination and cooperation with government bodies
  • Knowledge and experience in strengthening national and/or sub-national child protection systems
  • Knowledge and experience in addressing inequities and disparities
  • Research and analytical skills, and the ability to use data as evidence
  • Communication, advocacy and negotiation skills: the ability to engage clearly and articulately with stakeholders including, inter alia, government bodies, international organisations, national institutions, civil society and academia
  • Training and presentation skills: the ability to share and impart knowledge, provide technical and policy guidance, build capacities and promulgate good practice for child protection
  • Excellent spoken and written English, with another UN language or major language used in the region an asset
  • High level of computer literacy
  • Able to work with and contribute to a diverse and dynamic team while remaining diligent and resourceful when working alone
  • Highly flexible and adaptable to rapidly changing circumstances
  • Understanding of the social, economic and political landscape of the Europe and Central Asia region and asset
  • Previous experience working with UNICEF, another UN agency or international organisations an asset

All consultants must meet the minimum qualifications, skills and experience requirements in one or more of the seven thematic areas below:


Legal and regulatory frameworks, policy and good practice with regard to children’s access to justice; strengthening child-friendly justice systems for children in contact with the law, child victims and witnesses, children in need of special protection and family law.Download File JUSTICE Background.docx

Key skills, technical background and experience required

  • Knowledge and application of international and regional legal frameworks, instruments and standards on children’s access to justice
  • Proven expertise in strengthening justice systems for children in contact with the law, inclusive of alleged offenders, child victims and witnesses, and children in contact with family law and administrative legal proceedings
  • Ability to advise, communicate knowledge, and develop training materials and practical tools on children’s access to justice
  • Previous experience in collaborating with or working in NHRIs, with a particular focus on child rights

* * *


Strengthening child-care systems; deinstitutionalization of children; alternative care; good parenting.Download File CHILD CARE Background.docx

Key skills, technical background and experience required

  • Expertise in multidisciplinary approaches to child development, care and protection
  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of child care reform trends and processes
  • Familiarity with the legal and regulatory framework on alternative care provision including the CRC, Guidelines on Alternative Care, etc.
  • Experience of family policy and positive parenting programmes
  • Strong social work skills with knowledge and experience of case management, care planning, referrals, monitoring, etc.
  • Strong understanding of government child care reform processes, and demonstrated experience in supporting government reforms
  • Excellent grasp of gender and age dynamics in child care
  • Experience in developing social work and social service workforce training (including pre-service and in-service training) for academia, NGOs and the departmental training institutes of governments

* * *


Strengthening the social welfare system, ensuring rigor in referrals, monitoring and follow up; developing and building capacities of the social service workforce, inclusive of social work and other social service rolls. Download File SOCIAL WELFARE Background.docx

Key skills, technical background and experience required

  • Excellent understanding of social welfare service provision and its inter-relationship with the broader child protection system
  • Strong social work skills with knowledge and experience around developing and supporting case management, care planning, referrals, monitoring systems
  • Experience in advising or supporting governments in social welfare or social service reforms
  • Sound understanding of social policy and social protection as it relates to child protection
  • Ability to train and/or mentor social work professionals in child protection; and develop training and supervision tools, at the academic, pre-service, in-service training levels

* * *


Communication for Development; working with children, families and communities to combat harmful practices and foster positive behavior change to better prevent and respond to abuse, exploitation and violence; including child marriage and other negative coping strategies. Download File SOCIAL NORMS Background.docx

Key skills, technical background and experience required

  • Excellent understanding of social norms theory and the relationship between social norms, attitudes and child protection issues in the region
  • Understanding of the principles and approaches of C4D including engagement and empowerment of children and communities, developing inter-personal communication skills, and communication and community engagement, including in humanitarian action
  • Specific knowledge and experience with C4D around gender, including child marriage; disability, including in relation to reducing the institutionalization of children; and addressing violent discipline
  • Broad understanding of social constructs, preferably with cross-cultural perspectives;
  • Strong grasp of the issues facing adolescent girls and boys in the region, with an understanding of the enabling environment, policies and programmes that are responsive to their needs
  • Knowledge of mapping social norms initiatives in the context of child protection and analysis of their applicability to issues of concern

* * *


Technical assistance to governments, capacity-building of national and civil society actors and service delivery responses; strengthening child protection systems to be more responsive to children on the move.Download File MIGRATION Background.docx

Key skills, technical background and experience required

  • Technical expertise relevant to migration
  • Experience in strengthening national child protection systems to protect refugee and migrant children, including strengthening the role of social work, outreach and case management services
  • Working knowledge of global CPiE inter-agency tools, standard operating procedures, minimum standards and training packages related to child protection and migration
  • In depth understanding of the current major emergency and humanitarian risks as impacting protection-related vulnerability of children including emerging trends in ECA Region and neighboring regions (MENAR, ROSA and EAPR)
  • Good understanding of UNICEF and related international guidelines and standards (including International Humanitarian Law, International and National Refugee Law, MRM, relevant Security Council resolutions, etc.) pertaining to child protection in conditions of acute vulnerability due to armed conflict, civil unrest and natural disasters and children on the move
  • Familiarity with the Refugee Coordination Model
  • Ability to guide on good practice and the best interest determination, including for children in care arrangements

* * *


Policy and operational efforts to improve child safeguarding, reporting of sexual exploitation and abuse, support to survivors and promoting accountability; promoting internal and external change to end tolerance for all forms of exploitation and abuse; and protecting children online.Download File PSEA Background.docx

Key skills, technical background and experience required

  • Advanced university degree or equivalent in gender studies, social anthropology, law, children’s and women’s rights, sociology, public health or other field related to PSEA
  • At least 5 years’ humanitarian or development experience, preferably including implementation of a GBV or child protection programmes in a humanitarian context
  • Experience in collaborating with multiple and diverse stakeholders including government, international organisations, civil society and academia
  • Experience in drafting policy and/or guidance documents. Experience in roll out of policy and guidance preferred
  • Ability to impart knowledge and foster commitment among technical and management personnel
  • Experience in developing and facilitating trainings and workshops within the international development sector around PSEA
  • Advanced understanding of child protection and/or GBV guiding principles, including fundamentals related to confidentiality, safety/security of data, and other ethical concerns related PSEA and protection
  • Familiarity with public/private sector work on PSEA

* * *


Preventing and responding to abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect against children in times of emergency.Download File CP IN EMERGENCIES Background.docx

Key skills, technical background and experience required

  • Experienced CPiE practitioner with excellent knowledge of inter-agency tools, minimum standards in humanitarian action and standard operating procedures
  • Knowledge and experience of the IASC humanitarian cluster system with emphasis on the role of Protection clusters
  • Demonstrated understanding and experience working in complex situations that demand both humanitarian and development considerations is essential.
  • Protracted emergency and natural disaster experience preferred, including policy and programme work in preparedness
  • Strong data analysis skills
  • Ability to communicate competently on child protection in humanitarian situations both internally and with external stakeholders
  • Strong advocacy skills and an excellent knowledge of coordination, reporting and appeal/fundraising mechanisms in emergencies
  • Ability to guide the incorporation of CPiE interventions into regular child oriented activities
  • Competent in providing technical inputs to reports, briefing notes, talking points and humanitarian action documents

 For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

View our competency framework at

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

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 also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.


How to apply:

Applicants are required to submit with their application a sample of their own written work (report, proposal, situation analysis, etc.) of not more than 2000 words. Applications submitted without a sample will not be accepted. Please indicate your proposed daily fee in US dollars. 

Please apply to the Child Protection Roster by 20 February 2019.

Only applicants who are under consideration will be contacted. Work references will be conducted as part of the selection process for short-listed candidates. Once accepted on the Child Protection Roster, consultants will be eligible for direct recruitment by the Regional Office or Country Offices in the region for short-term consultancies over a period of three years. The consultant will be issued a contract which is subject to UNICEF General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants / Individual Contractors. The length of the contract will depend on project needs and funding availability. 

In the selection of its staff and consultants, UNICEF is committed to gender balance and diversity without distinction. Well qualified candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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