Child Protection Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Panama


Child Protection Specialist (Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse PSEA), P4, LAC RO, Panama, #124109

Job no: 561450
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Panama City
Level: P-4
Location: Panama
Categories: Child Protection

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

UNICEF is committed to creating environments where children, women and their communities are safe and respected by humanitarian and development personnel and can access the protection and assistance provided by them without fear or risk of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).

UNICEF is committed to accelerating protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) across all humanitarian settings and the development and peace nexus. PSEA is an organization-wide accountability, and UNICEF Child Protection plays a leading role and is a key contributor to this work. UNICEF’s Child Protection strategy prioritizes the prevention of violence, which includes prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse. The UNICEF’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025 includes core commitments on PSEA, including within Goal Area 3: Every child is protected from all forms of violence, exploitation, abuse and harmful practices. The Strategic Plan also includes a strategic enabler on the establishment and strengthening of PSEA systems at country-level, for which Child Protection plays a leading role. UNICEF’s PSEA commitment is further grounded in UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs) and Emergency Procedures.

As a leader in child protection globally and as an agency mandated to strengthen the protection of children and women, UNICEF is also committed to driving forward best practice to deliver on the shared IASC PSEA framework and priority areas and is scaling up its programming to prevent and respond to SEA. UNICEF’s approach stems from ED Fore’s work as IASC Champion on PSEA in 2018 and 2019. Under ED Fore’s leadership, the IASC developed and endorsed the IASC Plan for Accelerating PSEA in Humanitarian Response at Country Level (“the IASC Acceleration Plan”); and a common IASC PSEA Country-Level Framework; and the IASC PSEA strategy to effectively deliver on its commitments to prevent and respond to SEA, and to advance a survivor-centered approach. UNICEF continues to advance the PSEA work as a key contributor to the IASC Acceleration Plan and the new IASC Strategy and Vision on the PSEA and Sexual Harassment (PSEAH) 2022−2026.

How can you make a difference?


Under the leadership and supervision of the Regional Director, and under technical guidance of the Child Protection Regional Adviser, the PSEA Specialist will develop and support UNICEF’s work on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse to meet its institutional and programmatic commitments on PSEA.

The PSEA Specialist will serve as the key technical resource on PSEA and will provide programme guidance and technical support to Regional Office and Country Offices in strengthening UNICEF’s PSEA programming and scaling up prevention and response efforts to SEA in line with the office wide PSEA Action Plan, as well as technical leadership in the interagency space for PSEA.

The post holder will also contribute to the achievement of concrete and sustainable programme/project results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM) and UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.

Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks

The key accountabilities of the Child Protection Specialist (PSEA) include but are not limited to:

  • Programme development, planning and management;
  • Advisory Services and Technical support;
  • Support Reporting, Response and Prevention of SEA
  • Safe and accessible reporting
  • Prevention of SEA
  • Survivor-centred assistance and investigations
  • Inter-agency PSEA response, advocacy and partnership building
  • Innovation and knowledge management

For detail information regarding the related duties and tasks, please refer to the job profile: Download File JD PSEA Specialist.pdf

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in one of the following fields is required: international development, human rights, psychology, sociology, international law, or another relevant social science field.
  • A minimum of eight (8) years of relevant professional experience in programme design, planning, implementation, and management relevant to child protection, GBV, PSEA or related field, preferably with the UN and/or international NGO.
  • Experience working in multiple humanitarian and/or development contexts on implementing PSEA or protection related programming for children or adults.
  • Familiarity with the latest developments in PSEA, inter-agency PSEA responses and humanitarian cluster systems and understanding of the intersections of PSEA with other technical areas (eg. GBV, Child Protection, AAP, etc)
  • Experience with training and capacity building in PSEA or relevant technical areas
  • Excellent communication, facilitation, training, networking and advocacy skills.
  • Proven ability to work independently under difficult conditions and exercise sound judgement in high-pressure situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships, both within and outside the organization.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English and Spanish is required. Knowledge of French is 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

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.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

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 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 promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, 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.


This position has been assessed as an elevated risk role for Child Safeguarding purposes as it is:a role with direct contact with children, works directly with children, is a safeguarding response role. Additional vetting and assessment for elevated risk roles in child safeguarding (potentially including additional criminal background checks) applies.

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

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government 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.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Advertised: 26 Apr 2023 Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: 10 May 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

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