Child Protection Officer (MRM) at the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
BORNO , MAIDUGURI ,
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (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.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: Child Protection Officer (MRM)
Job no: 561660
Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Categories: Child Protection
For Every Child, a Champion
- The over thirteen years hostilities between the Nigeria Security Forces (NSF) and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in north-east Nigeria has led to an environment where children are extremely vulnerable and at risk of being exposed to violence, exploitation and abuse. Specifically, children in conflict-affected north-east Nigeria have been subjected to grave child rights violations including recruitment and use by NSAGs, abduction, rape and other forms of sexual violence, maiming, loss of friends, family members and neighbors. The armed groups Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’adati wal-Jihad (JAS) and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) continue their attacks against civilians. The targeting of aid workers and humanitarian supply routes by JAS and ISWAP have adversely affected nutrition, education and other humanitarian responses for children.
- In May 2014, the UN Secretary-General (SG) included Nigeria as a country situation in its annual report on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), with one party to conflict (Boko Haram) being listed in the annexes of the report. This triggered the activation of a Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) to document and report on the six grave violations against children committed by all parties to conflict, and the subsequent establishment of a Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR).
- From January 2020 to December 2021, the CTFMR verified 694 grave violations against 532 children (279 boys, 250 girls, 3 sex unknown) in the three conflict-affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in north-east Nigeria. A total of 58 children were victims of multiple violations, including 14 children (12 boys, 2 girls) who were abducted and recruited and used, 42 girls who were victims of abduction, recruitment and use and sexual violence.
- According to the child protection area of responsibility (CP AoR), 2.1M people (1.3 million children) in the north-east will require child protection services in 2023. Children in north-east Nigeria have been deprived of a ‘normal’ childhood due to the conflict, high poverty rates, inflation, the impact of COVID-19, and the breakdown of the social protection safety net. Over the years, children have been exposed to persistent violence, insecurity, abuse, neglect, exploitation and conscription into NSAGs.
- On 30th September 2022, the “Agreement between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, United Nations Systems in Nigeria, and the UNICEF Country Office in Nigeria on the Handover Protocol for Children encountered in the course of armed conflict in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin Region” was signed. The Handover Protocol provides an opportunity to prevent or reduce the detention of children encountered by military and security forces during armed conflict by identifying and transferring children allegedly associated with armed groups within seven days to the MWASD.
- UNICEF works with the UN Country Taskforce on the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism by reporting on grave child rights violations, in line with the Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1612. The CTFMR ensures that all six grave rights violations outlined in SCR 1612 are brought to the attention of the Council and UN member states and the authorities in Nigeria.
- The efficiency and efficacy of support provided by the Child Protection Officer to programme preparation, planning and implementation contributes achieving sustainable results to create a protective environment for children against harm and all forms of violence, and ensures their survival, development and well-being in society. Success in child protection programmes and projects in turn contributes to maintaining and enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to provide programme services for mothers and children that promotes greater social equality in the country.
How Can You Make a Difference?
Below is a list of Key functions & accountabilities expected of this role:
Support to programme development and planning:
- Conduct and update the situation analysis for developing, designing and managing CAAC and MRM components of child protection related programmes/projects. Research and report on development trends (e.g., social, economic, political, health) and data for use in programme development, management, monitoring, evaluation and delivery of results.
- Contribute to developing and establishing t of CAAC sectoral programme goals, objectives, strategies, and results-based planning through research, analysis and reporting of child protection and other related information for development planning and priority and goal setting.
- Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes by executing and administering a variety of technical, programme, operational, and administrative transactions, preparing related materials and documentation, and complying with organizational processes and management systems, to support programme planning, results-based planning (RBM) and monitoring and evaluating of results.
Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results:
- Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues and MRM/CAAC partners to discuss implementation issues, provide solutions, recommendations and/or alert appropriate officials and stakeholders for higher-level interventions and/or decisions. Keep records of reports and assessments for easy reference and/or to capture and institutionalize lessons learned.
- Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with government and MRM/CAAC counterparts to assess programmes/projects, and to report on required action/interventions at the higher level of programme management.
- Monitor and report on the use of MRM/CAAC programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets), verifying compliance with approved allocations, organizational rules, regulations, procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity. Report on critical issues and findings to ensure timely resolution by management and stakeholders. Follow up on unresolved issues to ensure resolution.
- Prepare regular and mandated MRM/CAAC reports for management, donors and partners to inform them of programme progress.
Technical and operational support to programme implementation of MRM:
- Prepare and timely provide inputs to the Global Horizontal Notes (GHN) and country annual report on CAAC in Nigeria submitted to the Office of the SRSG on CAAC through the CTFMR
- Ensure capacity-building of identified partners and UNICEF MRM team to increase coverage, participants, and reported cases of grave child rights violations and to strengthen the analysis of trends and response to children’s victims by technical supervision, support, mentoring and coaching, as needed.
- Ensure the link between monitoring & reporting activities and programmatic response to children’s victims of violations by liaising with protection and child protection working groups for appropriate referral of cases.
- Provide inputs to UNICEF strategic sectoral programmatic documents and proposals and reports to donors related to MRM.
- Manage the partnership and stakeholders undertaking direct monitoring of MRM.
- On a monthly basis - with the support of the MRM Information Management Officer - all MRM cases documented by relevant CTFMR agencies are compiled, reviewed (ensuring the credibility, reliability and verification of all cases), finalized and uploaded onto the MRM Database. This includes following up with partners and facilitators on cases pending verification.
- Prepare for the high-level meetings including briefings and trend analysis for the Group of Friends of CAAC and the Co-Chairs of the CTFMR.
- Provide technical and coordination support during the State based MRM Technical Working Group
Networking and partnership building:
- Build and sustain close working partnerships with government counterparts, national stakeholders, donors, academia and, where necessary, parties to the conflict on issues touching on grave child rights violations- through active networking, advocacy, and effective communication, and build the capacity of stakeholders to achieve and sustain results on child protection.
- Prepare communication and information materials for Country Office programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances and support fundraising for child protection programmes and emergency interventions.
Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building:
- Apply innovative approaches and promote good practices to support implementing and delivering concrete and sustainable programme results.
- Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best practices in child protection management and information systems. Assess, institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.
- Organize and implement capacity-building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients and stakeholders to promote sustainable results in child protection and related programmes/projects.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:
- A University Degree 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 2 years of professional experience in social development planning and management in child protection-related areas is required.
- Experience working in humanitarian contexts, particularly protracted humanitarian contexts.
- Relevant experience in programme development in child protection-related areas in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
- Experience in a development context is an added advantage.
- Fluency in English is required. Has a basic knowledge and can speak one or two of the local languages common to the Northeast, Knowledge of another official UN language or a local language is an asset.
Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online
- 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.
- UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable women are encouraged to apply.
- 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.
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