Child Protection (Emergencies and Migration) Specialist, Mexico City, Mexico

Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

Country: Mexico

City: Mexico City

Office: UNICEF Mexico

Closing date: Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Re-advertisement: Child Protection (Emergencies and Migration) Specialist, P-4, Mexico City, Mexico #121186 [Temp Appointment]

Job no: 552789

Position type: Temporary Appointment

Location: Mexico Division/Equivalent: Latin America and Caribbean Regional Off

School/Unit: Mexico

Department/Office: Mexico City, 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, all the rights.

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 not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will 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 is a country of origin, transit and destination for migrant children from the countries of northern Central America, seeking safety and opportunity in Mexico or the United States. These are children fleeing from gang-related and gender-based violence, organized crime, extortion, poverty and limited access to education and social services. They have been repeatedly exposed to threats, intimidation and insecurity in a lawless environment. Many also want to be reunited with their families who reside in the United States.

The migration flows to and along Mexico have increased due to the direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuation of the pre-existing root causes and push factors, including armed and family violence and economic hardship. According to the Migration Policy Unit, from January 2018 to February 2022 a total of 175,988 migrant children were detained in Mexico; of these 43,730 were unaccompanied. In 2021, Mexican immigration authorities returned 17,711 children and adolescents to their countries of origin. Of these, 8,004 (45%) were unaccompanied. Almost 90% (15,361) of all returned children and adolescents are of Honduran and Guatemalan nationalities. The Mexican government has also reported the highest number of asylum applications since they began to keep records. Some 18,000 people applied for refugee status in November alone, increasing last year’s total to 131,413. Of these, 31,607 were children and adolescents. The large flows have strained the capacities of the Mexican authorities to respond, especially in the last couple of months, when migrants have been concentrating in the Southern and Northern borders.

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 a child rights governance and coordination mechanisms within a National Integrated Child Rights Protection System, to redress 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 Children’s Law also opened new opportunities for the protection of migrant and refugee children through the creation of special protection mechanisms such as the child protection authorities at federal, local and municipal levels.

After several years of advocacy, both the Migration Law and the Refugee, Complementary Protection and Political Asylum Law were amended in November 2020, reinforcing the principles of non-detention and protection for children and adolescents on the move, as well as best interest determination. UNICEF support DIF in the development of a care and reception model for migrant and refugee children that is part of a more ambitious care reform.

UNICEF is supporting state and local authorities for the rapid identification, registration and care of unaccompanied and separated children and adolescents who have entered the country or are moving through Mexico at both the northern and southern borders. UNICEF is providing technical assistance to child protection authorities to implement standard procedures and case management. UNICEF is also supporting implementation of alternative care options for short and long-term solutions. UNICEF is also a key actor providing mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to children on the move, and their families, currently housed in different shelters across the country, through recreational and sport activities with support from implementing partners.

México is also an emergency prone country. Mexico’s complex landscape, extensive coastline, and unique geological and climatic setting make it vulnerable to a variety of natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis, flooding and landslides, volcanic eruptions, and meteorological hazards. Each of these primary hazards in turn is associated with a variety of secondary hazards (e.g., flooding from tropical cyclone precipitation or landslides triggered by an earthquake).

How can you make a difference?

The Child Protection Specialist (Emergency/Migration) will work in a Country Office (CO) where Chief of Child Protection and Deputy Representative is at P4 level and the Representative is at the D1 level. Child Protection Programme is a key component of the Country Programme.

Under the direct supervision and overall guidance of the Child Protection Chief, the Child Protection Specialist (Emergency/Migration) is responsible for leading and managing both UNICEF’s child protection migration and emergency preparedness and response programs and related work plan output. The incumbent is responsible for managing the related output of UNICEF Annual Work Plan. The Specialist works in close collaboration with the chiefs of field offices and child protection officers responsible of the different relevant technical areas, including system strengthening, case management and care reform. The incumbent will supervise a team of national and international colleagues.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

Managerial leadership

Programme development and planning

Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

Advisory services and technical support

Advocacy, networking and partnership building

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

1. Managerial leadership

Regarding the migration and emergencies related work plan output:

As output manager, establish the section’s annual work plan on migration and emergency; set priorities/targets and performance measurements. Monitor work progress and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards.

Establish clear individual performance objectives, goals and timelines; and provide timely guidance to enable the team to perform their duties responsibly and efficiently. Plan and ensure timely performance management and assessment of the team.

Supervise team members by providing them with clear objectives and goals, direction and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently.

2. Programme development and planning

Regarding the migration and emergencies related work plan output:

As output manager, provide technical advice and operational support to the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis to ensure that current and comprehensive evidence based data on child protection issues is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, intervention and development efforts on child rights and protection, and to set programme priorities, strategies, design and implementation plans.

Keep abreast of national, regional and international development priorities on child protection and rights to leverage UNICEF’s position and competencies with donors, national governments, communities and constituents to advocate and promote child protection interventions, policies and social change to achieve goals on child’s rights, protection, survival and wellbeing, as productive members of society.

Supervise the development of child protection programmes/projects (as a full component of the CO and/or UNSDCF programmes). Establish plans of action, programme goals and results, using results-based planning methodology and terminology (RBM).

Guide and coordinate the timely preparation of programme recommendations and related documentation for inclusion in the Country Office Programme recommendation ensuring alignment with overall UNICEF Strategic (Child Protection) Plans, regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.

Collaborate with national and global colleagues, partners and allies to develop partnership frameworks to address specific needs and to leverage resources for enhancing and scaling up child protection programmes/projects. Ensure synergy, integration, coherence, and harmonization of programmes/projects with UNICEF Strategic Plans and priorities, donors‘ development strategies/policies, national priorities/competencies and UN System development interventions/initiatives.

Ensure emergency preparedness is contained in national programmes/projects to ensure the protection and well being of children in cases of violence, disasters from natural hazards and other humanitarian situations.

Act as Child Protection Officer in Charge (OIC) in absence of the Child Protection Chief when required.

3. Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

Regarding the migration and emergencies related work plan output:

As output manager, plan and collaborate on monitoring and evaluation initiatives to establish benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators, to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results in child protection programmes.

Participate in major monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and to engage stakeholders to take required action and interventions to achieve results.

Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths, and/or weaknesses in programme management. Identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.

Monitor programmes/projects to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems. Take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.

Plan, approve, monitor, certify, and control the use of programme resources (financial, human, administrative and other assets) certifying/verifying compliance with organizational rules, regulations and procedures, donor commitments and standards of accountability and integrity. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.

Submit and prepare programme/project reports to donors and other partners to keep them informed on programme progress and critical issues.

4. Advisory services and technical support

Regarding the migration and emergencies related work plan output:

As output manager, provide technical advice to key government officials, NGO, UN system and other country office partners on strategies and best practices to influence approaches/policies, support social/economic/political/legal development planning & implementation, and to support delivery of results on child protection, human rights and other related issues.

Coordinate and ensure the availability of technical experts (with Regional Office/HQ) to ensure timely support throughout all stages of programming/project processes.

Participate in strategic discussions to influence policy and agenda setting for combating poverty and all forms of discrimination against women/children by advising on and advocating strategies and approaches to promote and catalyze social changes for a protective environment for children.

Lead in country discussions on child protection emergency preparedness, programming and contingency planning to ensure proactive and appropriate responses are in place to meet onset of emergencies nationally, or in other designated locations.

5. Advocacy, networking and partnership building

Regarding the migration and emergencies related work plan output:

Output manager, build and strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with local/national governments, UN system agency partners, donors internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organizations, research institutes and private sector to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities to promote goals and achieve sustainable and broad results on child protection.

Develop advocacy strategies to promote policy changes, enhance UNICEF’s presence and visibility and support fundraising for the UNICEF Country Office and its Field Offices.

Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on child protection and related issues to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNSDCF process in development planning and agenda setting. Collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNSDCF planning and preparation of programmes/projects including emergency preparedness, response and early recovery.

6. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

Regarding the migration and emergencies related work plan output:

As output manager, promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for sustainable child protection programme/project initiatives through advocacy and technical advisory services.

Keep abreast, research, benchmark, introduce, and implement best and cutting edge practices on child protection management and information systems. Institutionalize and disseminate best practices and knowledge learned.

Contribute to the development of policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.

Organize, plan and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients and stakeholders to promote sustainable results on child protection and related programmes/projects.

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


An advanced university degree (Master’s Degree) in one of the following fields is required: international development, human rights, psychology, sociology, international law, or another relevant social science field. Alternatively a bachelor’s degree with additional years of experience will be accepted in lieu of the master’s degree


Required experience:

A minimum of eight years of professional experience in social development planning and management in child protection related areas is required.

Knowledge and experience in child protection in emergencies are required.

Experience in managing teams is required.

The following experiences are not required but will be considered an asset:

International experience in child protection.

Relevant experience in child protection in migration contexts and children on the move.

Experience working in an upper middle-income country.

Experience in both development and humanitarian contexts.


Fluency in Spanish is required.

A proficient level in English is required, and fluency is preferred. However, if the person hired is not fluent, he/she will have to commit to improving their English skills in the first months of work.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

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

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (2)

Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (3)

Works Collaboratively with others (3)

Builds and Maintains Partnerships (3)

Innovates and Embraces Change (3)

Thinks and Acts Strategically (3)

Drives to achieve impactful results (3)

Manages ambiguity and complexity (3)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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.

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 may 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: Jul 18 2022 Central Daylight Time (Mexico) Application close: Aug 08 2022 Central Daylight Time (Mexico)

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