ISS Children’s Rights Specialist/Officer


9 month temporary position (with possible extension to 12 months total)

Established in 1924, the International Social Service (ISS) is an international NGO with a non for profit objective and works to protect families and children. ISS is present in about 100 countries through its network of branches and correspondents.

The International Reference Centre for the rights of children deprived of their family (ISS/IRC) is a program established by and within the ISS General Secretariat.  The ISS/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 measures for children deprived of parental care, with a special emphasis on national and intercountry adoption. As such, the ISS/IRC aims to apply, develop and promote the principles embedded in international texts such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and 1993 Hague Convention.

The principal activities of ISS/IRC are:

  • Drafting of articles for monthly bulletin,
  • Drafting of country situations for countries of origins related to alternative care and adoption
  • Responding to technical questions from professionals who finance the ISS/IRC
  • Management of projects that assist developing countries and those in transition
  • Training, conferences and thematic research 


Children’s Rights Specialist/Officer 60%

This position would suit candidates with a university degree in law, in International Children’s Rights,  social affairs or international relations, which would be complemented by at least three years of professional experience, linked to the theme of children deprived of their family. Extensive knowledge of the 1993 Hague Convention, 1996 Hague Convention and UN Guidelines on the Alternative Care of Children is required. A broad understanding children’s rights in the age of biotechnology, including surrogacy is desirable.

Diverse professional experiences working in developing countries is necessary, as well as knowledge of the world of NGOs, UN Agencies and other international organisations concerned by these themes. Experience of working with governments and their competent bodies is desired. Availability to travel is necessary.

Given that the working languages of the ISS/IRC are English, French and Spanish, it is essential that at least two of these languages are mastered with C1 proficiency with excellent drafting and communication skills. A proven ability to perform well within a team spirit is likewise essential.

As the position is located in Geneva and has to be filled quickly, candidates are required to be Swiss nationals or holders of Swiss permit C or B. Other nationals may apply however, and if selected, confirmation of temporary employment contract is subject to the obtaining of a work permit.


Applications with references to be submitted by 17h CET, 8 April to

Interviews: starting week of 15 April

Starting date: as soon as possible, as agreed with successful applicant and ISS