PSEA Safeguarding Specialist (Human Rights Adviser), P-4

UN Office of the Special Coordinator on Improving the UNs Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Mar 28

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

These positions are located in the Office of the Special Coordinator on improving the United Nations response to sexual exploitation and abuse (OSCSEA) in the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This Office supports the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General and the leadership of United Nations offices, departments, funds and programmes, along with other Implementing Partners, to strengthen the UN's response to sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping, humanitarian, development and human rights sectors. The incumbents report through the Senior Political Affairs Officer (P5) to the Special Coordinator (USG). The position will support the advancement of UN’s work to meet its institutional accountabilities as well as contribute to strengthening UN systemwide and Inter-agency efforts on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA). This includes supporting the advancement of the Secretary General’s strategy set out in his report on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse: a new approach (A/71/818 (2017) through enhanced system-wide coordination of PSEA with relevant stakeholders, policy and programme development, advocacy, training and support to PSEA efforts in the field.


Within delegated authority, the PSEA Safeguarding Specialist may be responsible for the following duties: 

Technical support

  • Serve as a key resource and global subject matter expert in the Office of the Special Coordinator, by providing expert technical advice and guidance in support of the systematic integration of protection from sexual exploitation and abuse into all United Nations activities and programmes.
  • Facilitate the development, simplification, harmonization, and dissemination of policies, guidelines, SOPs and relevant tools, to strengthen, align, and mainstream the United Nations PSEA systems, practices and programs, in line with good practice and safeguarding approaches.
  • Support and reinforce the delivery of PSEA efforts to counterparts in HQ and regional offices, and at the field and country levels, including through the provision of on the ground surge support.

Advocacy, networking, and partnership building

  • Coordinate and liaise with UN entities and relevant stakeholders in the sector in support of the coordination mandate of the Office and participate in and contribute to PSEA high-level and technical forums to promote PSEA efforts.
  • Strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with UN partners, including Member States, civil society organizations, donors, internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organizations, research institutes, the private sector, international, regional, and sub-regional organizations, national human rights institutions, academic institutions, think tanks, and others as deemed appropriate, to leverage these relationships to enable the UN system and its partners to more effectively address PSEA.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Support the roll out of training and capacity building initiatives for PSEA practitioners, including coordinators, focal points, and networks,
  • Contribute to the development of global knowledge acquisition by systematically collecting experiences (including lessons learned, best practices, reviews, and evaluations) on PSEA, in peacekeeping, humanitarian, and development settings and facilitate the sharing of this information among relevant UN offices and the broader community of practice on PSEA.
  • Contribute to advancement of research, and identify research gaps, with institutional key partners in the area of PSEA, specifically on evidence-based programming to advance the agenda on PSEA at the field level.
  • Promote critical thinking and innovative approaches on PSEA, keeping abreast of current research and introducing and implementing innovative practices on reporting, victim/survivor support and protection, accountability, and prevention.

Programme development, planning and management

  • Contribute to the establishment of specific programmatic goals, objectives and strategies, and implementation plans for the sector, using results-based planning and management.
  • Participate in major monitoring and evaluation exercises to assess progress globally and contribute to the preparation of programme reports, as required, for senior management, intergovernmental bodies, donors, and partners.
  • Support the development of programme proposals and take other actions to help mobilize funding for PSEA priorities. 
  • Perform other duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of a wide range of human rights, humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping, emergency relief, and related issues, with a focus on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), with experience in inter-agency coordination, development of policies, risk management structures and/or embedding safeguarding or related practice into programmes. Good facilitation and interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate, negotiate and influence at all levels. Experience in developing and facilitating training and capacity-building activities. Ability to work with different stakeholders and build consensus and advocacy across various stakeholders. Demonstrated problem-solving skills and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of complex issues/problems. Ability to negotiate and to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment. Knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to institutions of the UN system and knowledge of the same for the NGO sector. Demonstrated ability to complete in-depth studies and to formulate conclusions/recommendations. Ability to relate peacekeeping/ humanitarian affairs/ development issues and perspectives, including gender issues, to political, economic, social and human rights programmes, in affected country/regions. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
  • Client orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems. Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects. Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
  • Judgement/decision making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly. Gathers relevant information before making a decision. Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them. Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization. Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information. Checks assumptions against facts. Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision. Makes tough decisions when necessary.


  • An advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in human rights, international law or other relevant social science field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with 2 years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 7 years of professional experience in human rights, international humanitarian law, child protection, protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), sexual and gender-based violence and other related areas at the international level is required. A minimum of 2 years of experience working in peacekeeping, humanitarian or development contexts is required. Experience working on and addressing sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and/or the protection of civilians is required. Experience working in the UN system or similar international organization, in the areas of protection from sexual exploitation and abuse or human rights is desirable. Experience networking and advocating at the international level to build support for and facilitate strategic partnerships, is desirable. Experience working with non-governmental organizations (NGO), in the areas of protection from sexual exploitation and abuse or human rights is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. Fluency in English, including both excellent written and oral communication skills, is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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