Children's Rights Advocate

Tapachula
International Programs – International Programs /
Full-time /
Hybrid
About KIND:

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. Since 2008, KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to training since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 700 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.

KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care, and other comprehensive services.

To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen the protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.
KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.

Position Summary:

KIND seeks a Children’s Rights Advocate to promote and strengthen the protection of the rights of unaccompanied and separated migrant children in the southern states of Mexico, especially Chiapas, through advocacy and engagement with governmental and non-governmental representatives. To this end, among other activities, the incumbent contributes to the design, planning and implementation of advocacy strategies and initiatives for the care and protection of the rights of migrant children. The incumbent provides technical assistance to staff of government agencies, international organizations, and civil society organizations to strengthen processes for the evaluation and determination of children’s best interests and the protection of their rights. The incumbent identifies and systematizes information about practices and policies affecting migrant children’s rights and well-being. The Children’s Rights Advocate promotes best practices and proposes policies and actions that enhance children and adolescents’ access to fair legal processes, consistent with their rights and best interests.

This position may be based in Tapachula or Tuxtla Gutierrez in Chiapas, Mexico City or Xalapa, Veracruz.. This position will require frequent travel within Mexico, particularly in the southern states.

Essential Functions:

    • Analyzes and prepares reports on the changes, challenges, and advances in Mexico's policies and practices on migration and children, particularly with a focus on Chiapas and other southern Mexican states.
    • Analyzes, and evaluates the content, context, and impact in southern Mexico of immigration policies adopted by the Mexican Federal government, the United States, and Guatemala.
    • Analyzes and monitors relevant legislative proposals, public policies, and practices at the state and municipal level, identifying opportunities for action and collaboration to advance the protection of migrant children’s rights.
    • Identifies, proposes, and develops priorities and strategies for advocacy at the state and local level involving legislative, executive, and judicial matters, and government practices affecting the well-being and protection of migrant children.
    • Develops and maintains relationships, coordination and collaboration with state and municipal government officials as well as staff of civil society organizations, international agencies, law practitioners, academic and other actors, primarily in the southern states of Mexico.
    • Promotes the protection of the rights of unaccompanied children, advancing actions and initiatives that guarantee their well-being and meet their best interests.
    • Collaborates and coordinates regularly with KIND’s teams for Mexico, Central America, and Advocacy and Policy to ensure the flow of information and comprehensiveness of KIND's strategies and actions; participates in training and capacity building processes for government authorities and KIND partner organizations in Mexico, particularly those located in the southern states.
    • Drafts advocacy materials such as briefings, statements, summaries, analyses, recommendations, and other documents relevant to advocacy in Mexico, and contributes to KIND’s advocacy and policy initiatives at the regional and binational level.
    • Supports research, data analysis and institutional reports as needed.
    • Supports the organization of advocacy events, dialogues, and exchanges of best practices, and participates in working groups and other advocacy forums.
    • Provides technical or specialized assistance to authorities and governmental agencies, particularly to the offices of protection and social assistance of the DIF systems, to support and strengthen decision making in accordance with the best interests of the child in individual cases.
    • Advises and supports colleagues in designing strategies and proposals to resolve challenges that arise in assisting clients who have cases before Mexican authorities.
    • Carries out administrative duties and organizational requirements (e.g., training and evaluations).

Qualifications and Requirements:

    • Undergraduate degree in law, international relations, political science, or another related degree. Advanced degree in social sciences, law, human rights, migration, refugees, public policy, or another similar and relevant field preferred.
    • Fluent in English and Spanish preferred.
    • Minimum of 3 years of experience in advocacy, defense and/or immigration policy, asylum and/or migrant or refugee children’s issues.
    • Experience or knowledge of working directly or indirectly with governmental child welfare and/or protection of the rights of migrants and refugee children.
    • Knowledge of government structures and public policies in Mexico, including familiarity with government positions that implement immigration/refugee policies or child welfare, particularly in the southern states of the country.
    • Ability to carry out responsibilities in an independent and effective manner and to work in both remote and in office environments.
    • Ability to manage and sustain effective and regular communication and collaboration with supervisor and colleagues via telephone, video conference and email.
    • Strong ability to analyze and synthesize the social, political, and legal context, as well as to make arguments and proposals from a creative perspective, identifying and finding feasible and key solutions to challenges in the protection of children's rights and local advocacy work.
    • Ability to work proactively with diverse networks of civil society organizations and to develop and maintain relationships with a wide range of people, including U.S. and international organizations.
    • Ability to travel frequently within Mexico due to work needed to be performed at locations other than an office, including at locations such as at migrant shelters.
    • Limited travel to the United States may be involved for conferences, retreats, or other professional development opportunities.
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Spanish.
    • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suites (such as Teams, Excel, etc.).
    • Ability to work collaboratively and multi-task in our KIND environment, managing numerous priorities and emerging opportunities.
    • Excellent organizational skills with ability to work on multiple projects in a deadline-oriented environment. Ability to prioritize tasks and to delegate as appropriate.
    • Ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and communication styles.
    • Committed to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as embracing transparency and authenticity in daily work life.
    • Be disciplined and nimble to ensure delivery on our core mission of access to justice and protection of children’s wellbeing and rights.
    • Showing the ability to multi-task and work with a sense of urgency in a dynamic, fast paced environment.
    • Committed to practicing and supporting wellbeing and a work-home life balance.
    • Experience working and communicating in a remote environment.
$620,000 - $755,000 a year
Application Instructions:

Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter of two pages maximum expressing the reasons for applying to the position and highlighting significant professional achievements and work related to the position in order to be considered for the desired role.

KIND has an organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Disclaimer: KIND is committed to an ethical recruitment and hiring process and maintains a firm “no fees” recruitment policy. We will never charge a fee or ask for money as part of the application process. KIND also conducts all interviews via telephone or video conference, and at no time will KIND engage in a text or mobile app-based application or interview process. For more information, please visit the following website: https://supportkind.org/join-the-team/kind-employment-practices/.