Child Protection Specialist, Europe

International Programs – International Programs /
Full-time /
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 trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 700 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.
Building on its successful model in the Americas, in Europe KIND partners with expert legal organizations and private sector pro bono attorneys in the UK and Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Slovakia to provide legal assistance to unaccompanied and separated children, and advocates for European law, policy, and practical measures consistent with children’s rights and vulnerabilities, in partnership with a Brussels based expert organization. In addition to our partnerships in Europe, KIND has been expanding its own staff and now employs an attorney in Poland, a KIND fellow lawyer in Slovakia and has recently hired a Director of Policy and Advocacy and a Project Director in Europe.

Due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, as well as increased numbers of children on the move into the region, KIND continues to develop and grow its operational and programmatic presence in order to meet the needs of unaccompanied and separated children arriving within Europe. KIND continues to bring its experience to bear in working with unaccompanied and separated children, including survivors of trauma, addressing the legal needs of this population. KIND also engages in capacity building with government and NGO agencies, advocating for systemic and practical reforms grounded in child protection to advance the rights of unaccompanied and separated children in Europe.

Position Summary:
KIND seeks an experienced Child Protection Specialist, Europe to build and expand on work KIND has done to improve counter-trafficking responses in Europe for children displaced from Ukraine. The incumbent will work with a growing team in Europe on a new 3-year project within the region to build capacity and strengthen systems for children displaced from Ukraine who have been victims of, or are at risk of, conflict related crimes including trafficking in human beings and core international crimes. KIND’s approach leverages our expertise in child migration and culturally responsive legal and social services to protect children displaced by the conflict in Ukraine from trafficking, abuse and other serious harm whilst assisting them to access improved justice as well as access their rights.
Under this new project, KIND will develop capacity strengthening and training initiatives in Slovakia, Poland, Czechia and Romania, as well as the establishment of Hubs in Slovakia, Poland, Czechia, within the offices of national civil society partners, where child-centered legal assistance and case management will be provided. Hubs will also support law enforcement agencies to pursue investigations for children displaced from Ukraine who have been victims of, or are at risk of, conflict related crimes including trafficking in human beings and core international crimes. 
The incumbent will work closely with KIND’s Senior Director, Europe and KIND’s Project Director for this project to develop child protection systems strengthening aspects of the project in ways that best complement the overarching project goal.
Activities will include the coordination of a Regional Advisory Group, which will support system-strengthening activities by leveraging this group’s combined expertise to collaborate, share good practices, and jointly promote necessary change. Activities will also include the development of modules on child protection for stakeholders and program staff as well as key information, resources and tools complementing the work of our program staff and stakeholders within the region (Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Romania). 
The Child Protection Specialist, Europe will have experience of child protection within the context of legal and protection issues impacting on children on the move, counter-trafficking responses for children and inter-agency modalities of working. The incumbent must be a strategic thinker, able to effectively implement programs across different countries for a global organization. The incumbent must have highly developed communication skills to develop and maintain relationships with experts, state agencies including law enforcement and child protection agencies, and international and national NGOS. 
The Child Protection Specialist, Europe will join a dynamic and growing staff team based in Europe. Working closely with the Project Director for this project, as well as the Senior Director for Europe and the Vice President of International Programs, the Child Protection Specialist, Europe will develop, coordinate and oversee the child protection systems strengthening aspects of this new and innovative 3-year project within Europe.
This position will be a remote-hybrid position based within Europe with a preference for the candidate to be based in Slovakia, Czechia, or Poland.  
The candidate must possess legal authorization to work in the country of residence.
This role will be a fixed term position for one year renewable OR until the end of 2026.
This role is full-time, but we will consider candidates who are available part-time.
Significant travel required within Europe.

Essential Functions:

    • Project Development and Implementation
    • Analyzes and advises KIND leadership on strategies, opportunities, and direction of programming relevant to child protection system strengthening activities.
    • Works closely with the Senior Director, Europe and the Project Director, Europe to develop child protection systems strengthening aspects of the project in ways that best complement the overarching project goal. 
    • Assists with the project design and implementation of grant and contract funded initiatives relevant to the strengthening of child protection systems to advance KIND’s goals in protecting children displaced by the conflict in Ukraine from trafficking in human beings, abuse and other serious harm whilst assisting them to access improved justice from trafficking in human beings and core international crimes as well as access their rights.
    • Oversees the development and implementation, with expert consultants from Europe and Ukraine, of multi-disciplinary interagency training modules on child protection related to child trafficking and core international crimes specific to the Ukraine response to be piloted in Slovakia and then rolled out online and in-person within a further 3 countries (Czechia, Poland and Romania) with follow up regional workshops (two) and a training simulation.
    • Works closely with the Project Director, Europe to oversee child protection considerations in the development and implementation of the Hubs within Slovakia, Czechia, and Poland.
    • Works closely with the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team to design and implement performance targets and measurable outcomes for the child protection strengthening activities linked to this project.
    • Works closely with the M&E team and KIND’s Data Strategy Team to build data collection, analytical, and reporting strategies that measure progress towards project targets in the child protection strengthening area of the project and continually inform KIND’s programming.

    • Substantive Expertise and Leadership on Child Protection  
    • Maintains and shares current knowledge of all relevant laws, policies, and developments related to child protection considerations in relation to children being victims/witnesses of conflict related crime including trafficking and core international crimes involving children in the context of the conflict in Ukraine.
    • Serves as lead advisor in this area, provides ongoing recommendations on policy and programmatic aspects of the child protection system strengthening areas of work.

    • External Engagement
    • Contributes content and, in partnership with KIND’s Communications Department, oversees the creation of resources to disseminate awareness of the child strengthening activities within the project as well as the dissemination of key resources and tools to wider audiences in the region generated by the project.
    • Identifies prospective partners and serves as external outreach lead on the strengthening of child protection systems, leveraging opportunities to expand KIND’s work, and identifying engagement and collaboration opportunities on the issue of child trafficking, child migration and child protection for leaders across KIND.
    • Identifies and develops, in coordination with KIND Data Strategy team, opportunities for the use of technology to address gaps in information or services for children vulnerable to and/or subject to abuse, exploitation and trafficking.
    • Coordinates a Regional Child Protection Advisory Group comprised of key stakeholders from government, NGO, and international organizations in the region to support child protection systems strengthening activities in the region.  Prepares terms of reference and identifies key regional stakeholders from across sectors, disciplines, and countries, to participate in the advisory group.

    • Administration
    • Monitors project implementation to anticipate potential risks and opportunities.
    • With the Senior Director, Europe, Project Director, Europe and Vice President of International Programs, and other KIND leadership input, performs administration tasks related to the project, including budget management, grant and contract reporting as well as collaborative supervision of staff contributing to the project from other KIND departments.
    • Collaborates with KIND’s Chief Legal Officer with regard to child protection matters, ensuring that KIND addresses all legal matters efficiently and promptly.
    • In close cooperation with the Project Director and Senior Director, Europe manages the project schedule in relation to child protection strengthening activities, ensuring KIND completes deliverables on time and is aligned with the budgeted labor—recalibrating, as necessary.

Qualifications and Requirements:

    • Advanced degree in law, political science, international relations, social work, child development, or other relevant professional training or equivalent professional experience demonstrating expertise in matters relating to child protection preferably in the intersection with trafficking in human beings, immigration, refugee, and child welfare, or related fields.
    • Minimum of 3 years of experience reflecting knowledge, and demonstrating a successful track record, of programmatic and budgetary management. 
    • Minimum of 3 years of experience of designing and implementing programs with a child protection focus, Experience in the intersection with children victims/witnesses of crimes including trafficking in human beings, immigration, refugee, and child welfare, or related fields would be an asset. 
    • A strong record of cultural competence, cross-cultural communication skills, and cross-sectoral relationship development. Passion for KIND’s mission of supporting unaccompanied and separated migrant and refugee children, and an ability to communicate this to others. 
    • Demonstrated experience leading working groups or similar collaborative initiatives involving actors across government, NGO, and international organizations. 
    • Knowledge of the relevant legal framework, policies, and procedures within the region relevant to working with children displaced from Ukraine and inter-agency modalities of working and key child protection safeguards. 
    • Experience of developing and delivering training modules in person, online and in a simulated format bringing together multi-disciplinary inter-agency actors together at both a national and transnational level.
    • Working knowledge of children’s migration issues, particularly unaccompanied and separated children.
    • Strategic thinker with an ability to anticipate challenges and address roadblocks as they arise. Be disciplined and nimble to ensure delivery on our core mission of access to justice and protection of children’s wellbeing and rights.
    • Maintain a positive work environment, which facilitates collaboration and information sharing and is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating diverse talent.
    • Experience working in partnership with different organizations and collaborative efforts, and in developing and maintaining relationships with a range of stakeholders. 
    • Ability and willingness to travel within Europe. 
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. Some language skills in relation to the countries the project will operate in, including Slovakian, Polish, Czech, Ukrainian or Russian or other language skills are an additional asset. 
    • 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. 

    • Compensation: Salary for this position is competitive and dependent on country of hire and experience.
Application Instructions:

Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, 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: