Emergency PSEA Officer
Bucharest, Romania (with potential travel)
: 6 months
Fluency in English is required. Fluency in Russian/Ukrainian/Romanian is desirable.
Sexual exploitation and abuse is a serious human rights violation and represents an egregious form of misconduct by the UN or other humanitarian staff. As UNHCR, we need to ensure that staff, partner staff, and persons of concern are aware of what SEA is and what they can and should do when confronted with (allegations of) SEA. We must have systems in place to prevent SEA and to respond in a victim-centered manner if SEA happens or if there are allegations, and learn from such incidents to improve systems and practice.
For the humanitarian response, emergencies increase community engagement; a number of (implementing and operational) partners; rapid recruitments and turnover; difficult working conditions and high work pressures and stress; and challenges to effective coordination and oversight. The risk of all forms of misconduct is increased, including SEA.
Over 1 million people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine have entered Romania. The profile of the refugees (mainly women and children) combined with the lack of systematic registration and vulnerability screening elevate the risks of GBV, trafficking, and SEA. Additionally, the response continues to rely on a large number of volunteers, with families often hosted in private accommodation. To fulfil our commitment towards prevention of and response to any form of sexual exploitation or abuse of persons of concern to UNHCR, we have to actively take a range of measures and/or adapt existing programmes. As the mandated agency for the refugee response, in line with the Refugee Coordination Model, we also need to ensure leadership on PSEA at the inter-agency level.
Aim of the Mission
Provide technical support to UNHCR Romania on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse-related activities and engage at inter-agency level (PSEA Network) to support effectiveness of PSEA policy, procedures and practice.
- Coordinate closely with UNHCR community-based protection (CBP), GBV, and AAP and colleagues, with a view to ensuring effective prevention and response, including support to SEA survivors and potential victims, inclusion in GBV referral pathways and adequate consideration of SEA in communication with communities planning and in the development of community-based complaints and feedback mechanisms, where appropriate.
Under the supervision of the Protection Officer the Emergency PSEA Specialist will:
- Provide technical support and advice to Partners and PSEA Network members on their PSEA policies and procedures. Depending on the needs of partners and Network members this may include:
- PSEA policy and/or Code of Conduct development/revision,
- Establishment or strengthening of reporting mechanisms, referral systems for victim support, and investigation processes.
- Support training of Network members (and their staff, when feasible/appropriate) on PSEA, including appropriate conduct for aid workers and how to submit and receive complaints under existing reporting systems.
- Support in policy, procedures, and practice on PSEA, and advising on volunteers in particular, including due diligence (both policy and guidance for orgs under RRP and beyond).
- Coordinate closely with UNHCR GBV, AAP, and community-based protection (CBP) colleagues, with a view to ensuring the inclusion of SEA in communication with communities planning and the development of community-based complaints and feedback mechanisms.
- Support AAP colleagues in the development of PSEA awareness materials and messaging to affected people.
- Support the Senior PSEA Coordinator in assessing PSEA-related training needs, adapting/localizing training tools, and implementing capacity-development for newly recruited and deployed UNHCR and partner staff, preferably in coordination with UN or other partners. This includes building the capacity of selected staff to replicate PSEA trainings and awareness raising efforts in different field locations.
- In the context of partner selection (or expansion of partnerships in response to the emergency), work closely with the Senior PSEA Coordinator and programme colleagues to ensure partner capacity on PSEA is properly assessed and monitored (meeting the standards of the guideline set out by the AI Partnership Assessment Capacity) and that PSEA efforts are appropriately included in partner programmes.
- Support country-level knowledge management efforts on PSEA, including a repository of tools, documentation of promising practices.
- Prior experience working on PSEA required, with experience establishing and strengthening SEA prevention and response systems prioritized.
- Protection experience, particularly in GBV, Child Protection, or AAP, considered advantageous.
- Work in capacity development, support, and training of staff, partners, and government counterparts desirable.
- Prior experience working in complex emergencies and under challenging conditions will be an asset.
- Minimum five years’ work experience.
- University Master’s degree required.
- Fluency in English required; Ukrainian and/or Russian language will be an advantage.
- Strong interpersonal skills and coordination expertise.
- Action-oriented and able to work with little formal supervision.
- Adaptability and flexibility in the context of the emergency response.