Child Protection Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Mexico



Child Protection Specialist (Alternative Care and Children on the Move), (P-3), Mexico City, Mexico [Temp Appointment]

Job no: 562540
Contract type: Temporary Appointment
Duty Station: Mexico City
Level: P-3
Location: Mexico
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, care

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy, and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias, or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic, and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education, and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — will not only give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

Mexico made significant progress as the General Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents (Children’s Law) was passed in 2014. The Law created child rights governance and coordination mechanisms within a National Integrated Child Rights Protection System, to redress the fragmentation of policies and responsibilities for children’s rights. The Law sets normative standards for children’s protection applicable across the country, redressing the previous heterogeneity of state laws. The approval of the General Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents (LGDNNA) in 2014, generated the opportunity to begin a process of gradual reform of the alternative care system for children and adolescents (NNA) deprived of family care in Mexico.

Actual implementation of the LGDNNA has posed an important challenge for the authorities of the different levels of government involved in the care system, at the federal, state, and municipal levels. In recent years, UNICEF has led efforts to make visible the situation of children deprived of family care and position within the national agenda the importance of adopting a comprehensive alternative care policy.

UNICEF has provided technical support for the development of foster care programmes at the national level and in some states; has developed, together with the National System for the Comprehensive Development of Families (SNDIF), a proposal for an alternative care model for migrant children and supported the implementation of some of its components and has contributed to the process of regulating residential care centers (CAS), among others.

In this context, the demand for technical support from UNICEF and the need to continue promoting processes in this area of cooperation has increased considerably. UNICEF is seeking to develop and implement a comprehensive alternative care strategy contributing to the reform of the alternative care system in Mexico and promoting the deinstitutionalization of children and family and community-based alternatives while improving the quality of residential care. UNICEF is leading the transformation of the alternative and transitory care model for children on the move.

How can you make a difference?

The Child Protection Specialist -Alternative Care and Children on the Move, leads the alternative care output and team developing, implementing, and monitoring the activities of the office to promote the reform of the alternative care system in line with international standards and in accordance with UNICEF Country Programme Document and priorities agreed with the Government of Mexico. The Child Protection Specialist will directly lead the component of alternative care and transitory care for children on the move.

The Child Protection Specialist is responsible for:

  • Developing, with the alternative care team, a coherent strategy for 2025 including clear objectives, milestones, and interventions to advocate for a comprehensive reform at the federal and state levels.
  • Developing, as part of the alternative care strategy, a scale-up road map defining UNICEF´s ambition to promote the alternative care reform in the 31 federal entities of the country.
  • Leading and implementing the component of alternative and transitory care for children on the move, advocating for the transformation of the care model at the federal level, and the implementation of a new model at the state level.
  • Ensure the timely and quality implementation of the output.
  • Provide timely and quality support and orientation to the alternative care team.

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

The following required education, experience, and languages:

  • Advanced university degree, preferably, in social science fields including law, psychology, social work, and international relations.
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in the area of child protection.
  • Fluency in Spanish.
  • Proficiency (advanced level) in English. Fluency will be seen as an advantage.

Additionally, the following experiences will be considered an asset:

  • Experience managing teams, experience managing programs in UNICEF, experience advocating for alternative care reform and system strengthening, as well as experience programming on children on the move.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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.

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


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

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 be 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.

Advertised: 05 Jul 2023 Central Standard Time (Mexico)
Deadline: 19 Jul 2023 Central Standard Time (Mexico)

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