Established in 1924 in Geneva, Switzerland, International Social Service (ISS) is an international NGO with ISS strives to protect, defend, and support children, families, and individuals separated as a consequence of cross-border migration. ISS aims to ensure that respect for human rights is accorded to every individual, especially to children.
The General Secretariat of ISS (ISS-GS) is based in Geneva since the foundation of ISS in 1924 and is tasked of coordinating the overall activities of the International Network. The International Reference Centre for the rights of children deprived of their family (IRC) is a program established by and within the ISS-GS.
The IRC aims to promote a better respect of the rights of children deprived of their family or at risk of being so. Its activities are based on questions linked to alternative care and child protection measures for children deprived of parental care, with a special emphasis on domestic and intercountry adoption.
The IRC team is made up of children’s rights and administrative professionals.
The principal activities of the IRC are:
- Drafting of a monthly review;
- Drafting of country situations on the situation of child protection, alternative care and adoption;
- Responding to technical questions from various professionals and mainly from Central adoption authorities;
- Management of projects that provide technical assistance to countries on alternative care and adoption;
- Training, conferences and research on the above-mentioned subjects.
The IRC also aims to apply, develop and promote the principles embedded in international human rights law as well as private international law, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 2009 UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, the 1993 and 1996 Hague Conventions, to cite a few.
The ISS-GS is seeking to fill in the position of the IRC Director, primarily based at ISS-GS office in Geneva. Candidates must fulfil the necessary requirements to work in Switzerland (Swiss nationality, B or C permit, EU citizenship). In view of the present pandemic and current reflections on the “office of the future” for ISS Headquarters, the ISS Secretary General will consider very qualified candidates that do not fulfil the Geneva based requirements and that could assume the work remotely.
IRC Director (Head of Advocacy and Policy Development ISS-GS) – 50%
This position would suit candidates preferably with a university degree in law, social affairs or international relations, which would be complemented by professional experience of at least 5 to 7 years, linked to children’s rights, specifically the protection and care of children deprived of their family.
Professional experience in developing countries is desired and constitutes a comparative advantage. The knowledge of the NGOs, UN agencies and IOs sector, especially those working in the field of child protection is a great plus. ISS working languages are French, English and Spanish. Candidates should be fluent in at least 2 of these languages with English being an absolute must.
The position holder will report directly to the ISS Secretary General & CEO.
- Assume the overall coordination, supervision and support of a team of dedicated children’s rights and administrative staff to ensure a smooth follow of the IRC principal activities;
- Be the focal contact point for Central Adoption Authorities on key issues pertaining to cooperation;
- Lead the drafting of technical proposals for projects, such as UN and EU calls for action;
- Participate in evaluation missions, law reform and training as required (preparation of reports with key recommendations, drafting of laws and policies, national plans of action as well as related training);
- Develop advocacy papers and strategies on ISS-specific themes;
- Represent ISS in expert meetings and working groups, including at the UN, HCCH and other fora;
- Lead and actively participate in inter-agency initiatives linked to alternative care, adoption and related fields;
- Organise events to bring ISS themes of interest to the fore (briefing sessions with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN side events, conferences, etc.);
- Liaison with journalists, media and academic institutions;
- Fundraising with private foundations, other partners as directed by the Secretary General;
- Exercise a financial oversight on the IRC functional budget (operational and project related);
- Available to travel if necessary.
The deadline for applications is close of business at 5 pm Geneva Time on March 31st, 2021.
How to apply
Apply in confidence:
Mr Jean Ayoub
ISS Secretary General & CEO