: Associate Child Protection Officer
: 6 months
: English is required. Russian/Ukrainian is an asset.
The escalation of conflict in Ukraine, which started on 24 February 2020, has resulted in civilian casualties and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, forcing people to flee to surrounding countries such as Moldova seeking safety, protection, and assistance. As of 13th March 2022, over 106, 000 refugees have crossed from Ukraine into Moldova, primarily women and children. The Government of Moldova has the primary responsibility, including ensuring access to services and assistance and serves as the overall coordinator for the refugee response.
The Republic of Moldova is organizing, in collaboration with UNHCR, IOM and EU Member States, free transportation by plane directly from Moldova to selected EU countries, where support will be organized and temporary protection provided under the EU Solidarity Platform. The Solidarity Platform, established by the European Commission, aims to support EU Member States and associated States on responsibility-sharing for the reception of arrivals from Ukraine in the context of the Temporary Protection Directive.
The most vulnerable refugees will be prioritized for transfer, including people with disabilities, older people, those with severe medical conditions, and mothers with young children. Unaccompanied and separated children will only be transferred following best interest procedures and family tracing, as reuniting children with their families and caretakers is the priority. Safeguards against smuggling and trafficking networks will also be included.
In addition to airlifts, a bus and train green corridor has been established by the Moldovan and Romanian authorities with the support of UNHCR Romania and UNHCR Moldova, IOM and ACTED Moldova. The aim of this corridor is to provide safe, dignified, and timely onward movement for refugees
Against this backdrop, UNHCR is working to scale up protection staffing for the airlifts; in particular child protection staffing focused on ensuring the implementation of Best Interests Procedures for all UASC.
Aim of the Mission
Working in close collaboration with all protection units, strengthen identification mechanisms for UASC in refugee hosting areas, inclusive of border, ensuring that all UASC proceeding on airflights are thoroughly assessed and best interests assured. This position will undertake direct service case work, working closely with relevant partners and government actors to ensure the protection of children and holistic case management for all identified cases.
- Establishment of effective case management systems for children on the move, particularly children moving through organized air transfer, ensuring BIP are applied consistently.
Under the supervision of Protection Officer/Child Protection Officer, the Associate Child Protection Officer will undertake:
- Individual child protection case work according to best interests’ procedures; conducting best interests assessments (BIA), best interests determinations (BID) and family tracing/reunification in accordance with relevant protection standards and guidance, ensuring appropriate case tracking and follow-up of child protection cases;
- Support staff and partners in the strengthening of a functioning child protection system: identification, assessment, referral, response and assistance, monitoring and documenting of cases of children at risk.
- Working together with the CP Officer, ensure that cross border mechanisms for case follow-up are functional and a referral system exists;
- In collaboration with the CP Officer, undertake training and capacity building for partner organizations, including on-the-job training and shadowing as needed;
- Contribute to effective child protection reporting and information management through the provision of disaggregated data on populations of concern and needs that arise, inclusive of undertaking rapid site assessments as needed;
- Support other child protection activities and initiatives in coordination with colleagues in the operation.
- Advanced University degree in social work, child development, psychology, law, international relations, or other relevant field of child protection;
- Fluent in English (Moldovan, Ukrainian, Russian, or Romanian is an asset), with strong drafting capacity;
- At least 3 years of work experience in relevant areas (e.g., child protection, case management, capacity building, etc.);
- Previous experience in working with communities;
- Ability to manage information, in a confidential manner, and to use database management systems;
- Ability to conduct individual and group assessments and to identify protection risks, to liaise with partners and pro-actively find solutions.
- Knowledge of the international legal framework governing refugees, asylum seekers and returnees;
- Knowledge and good understanding of the 2021 UNHCR Best Interests Procedure Guidelines;
- Awareness of gender issues and how to apply a rights and community-based approach;
- Knowledge of and/or preparedness to become familiar with and abide by UNHCR’s principles, code of conduct and humanitarian goals;
- Excellent child friendly interviewing, counselling, drafting and analytical skills;
- Strong knowledge of 2021 UNHCR Best Interests Procedure Guidelines;
- Ability to conduct child protection assessments and identify protection risks of individuals, in particular refugee children, and refer to relevant partners as needed;
- Experience giving advice on BIP and BID related issues, experience working with BID panels and knowledge of working with government child protection systems (desirable);
- Experience in facilitating child protection training (desirable).
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively as a self-starter, but also with a team;
- Previous experience in child protection is a great advantage;
- Skills in conducting trainings and exercises with large groups of people (e.g. trainings, participatory evaluations);
- Ability to work in stressful situations, under pressure, and extended working days, inclusive of weekends.