Director, Policy and Advocacy (Europe)

28 Aug, 2023


Director, Policy and Advocacy (Europe)

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
Brussels, BE

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. KIND provides pro bono legal representation and promotes positive systemic change in both law and policy to improve the protection of unaccompanied migrant and refugee children. Its psychosocial services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.

Building on its successful model in the Americas, KIND partners with expert legal organizations and private sector pro bono attorneys in Europe, specifically the UK, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy and Poland 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, Child Circle.

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 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 is growing its operational and programmatic presence within Europe. Having established a Brussels base and hired a Senior Director, Europe, it is currently expanding its staffing and programs in Poland and Slovakia. As a result, KIND seeks a Director, Policy and Advocacy – Europe to oversee its increasing policy and advocacy portfolio within Europe, representing KIND in all relevant regional and international fora as well as supporting the policy and advocacy initiatives of its national programs.

The Policy and Advocacy Director will join a dynamic and growing staff team based in Europe. Working closely with the Senior Director, Europe, the Vice President, Policy and Advocacy, as well as its Brussels based policy and advocacy partner, Child Circle, the Director, Policy and Advocacy – Europe will develop and coordinate KIND’s advocacy in Europe.

This post will further advance the protection and rights of unaccompanied and separated children in Europe, promoting policy, practice and procedure that addresses their needs in Europe as well as promoting awareness of KIND’s work and services on behalf of this group of children.

The Director, Policy and Advocacy- Europe must combine a deep understanding of the applicable legal frameworks and policy environment for unaccompanied and separated children within the region, with a talent for developing relationships with key stakeholders.

This is a remote position and can be based from any location in Europe with a preference for Geneva or Brussels.

This role is a full-time position, but we will consider candidates who are available part-time.

This role will involve travel within Europe with occasional travel to other locations.

Salary for this position is competitive and dependent on country of hire and experience.

Essential Functions:

  • Acts as senior policy and advocacy expert on unaccompanied and separated children for KIND in Europe.
  • Develops and coordinates, KIND’s policy and advocacy strategy and activities across Europe, working closely with the Senior Director, Europe and the Policy and Advocacy, and Communications teams and Brussels partner, Child Circle, to ensure synergy and coherence across KIND’s work in Europe with KIND’s core mission.
  • Builds and maintains strong relationships with key institutions, strategic stakeholders and networks within the region (including at the level of EU, Council of Europe, UN and other IGOs who have a base within Europe) with respect to child protection and migration policies and initiatives, representing and briefing on KIND policy issues whilst building and managing KIND’s credibility and profile within the region.
  • Builds collaborative relationships with NGOs and international organizations to foster transnational approaches ensuring access to international protection for unaccompanied and separated children, offering assistance where an understanding of international, regional or national laws and policy is needed.
  • Identifies opportunities for KIND to participate in collaborations, networks, and initiatives maximizing opportunities to advance KIND’s core mission.
  • Identifies, monitors and evaluates regional legal and policy developments which impact on the rights and protection of unaccompanied and separated children in Europe.
  • Advances and advocates for systems, policies and practices which protect and advance the rights and best interests of unaccompanied and separated children.
  • Identifies key advocacy targets and strategies to engage them.
  • Engages and coordinates with KIND’s partners and programs in Europe in order to 1) identify, monitor and evaluate national trends, challenges and best practices, utilizing this information to inform KIND’s policy and advocacy work; and 2) support and amplify partner’s policy and advocacy priorities at national, regional and international levels where appropriate to do so.
  • Engages and coordinates with KIND’s programs globally in order to monitor and integrate global patterns of concerns and best practices applying such learning to KIND’s work in Europe.
  • In coordination with the International Programs and Policy and Advocacy team, provides analysis and advice to KIND senior management with respect to the intersection of legal and policy initiatives and identify key opportunities for promoting a regional response to migration challenges faced by unaccompanied children.
  • Coordinates with the KIND staff teams in Europe and the US, as well as KIND partners in Europe including Child Circle, to develop impactful and timely policy documents (for example briefings, position papers, reports, factsheets and recommendations)
  • Develops and leads training and other capacity strengthening work with policy makers, NGOs, and other key stakeholders regarding the protection and rights of unaccompanied and separated children.
  • In coordination with the KIND staff teams in Europe and the US, provide expert analysis and commentary at public events and within the media and represents KIND at engagements with government officials, scholars, and national and international organizations.
  • Works closely with KIND M&E officer and data management team to ensure that KIND activities are appropriately tracked and recorded for purposes of program evaluation and grant reporting.
  • Performs other duties as required.

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 migration and unaccompanied children.
  • At least 5 years of experience reflecting knowledge of regional law and policies affecting unaccompanied and separated children within Europe.
  • Demonstrated successful track record in advocacy role.
  • Knowledge of the relevant administrative and legislative processes within Europe and an ability to leverage relationships to meet advocacy goals.
  • Working knowledge of children’s immigration issues, particularly unaccompanied and separated children and experience with European and UN agencies international organizations serving refugees and migrants.
  • Experience working with or within the European legal, advocacy or child welfare community.
  • Strategic thinker with an ability to anticipate challenges and address roadblocks as they arise.
  • Passion for KIND’s mission of supporting unaccompanied and separated migrant and refugee children, and an ability to communicate this to others.
  • 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 and occasional travel to other locations.
  • Strong record of cultural competence and cross-cultural communication skills, and ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and communication styles.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and persuasively both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to take initiative, multi-task, and work both independently and collaboratively within a remote environment.
  • Excellent organizational skills with an ability to multi-task and work on multiple projects and priorities in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. Ability to prioritize tasks and to delegate as appropriate.
  • Be disciplined and nimble to ensure delivery on our core mission of access to justice and protection of children’s wellbeing and rights.
  • Committed to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as embracing transparency and authenticity in daily work life.
  • Committed to practicing and supporting wellbeing at work and a work-home life balance.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills (the working language is English)
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (such as Teams, Excel, etc.)

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:


Job posted: 2023-08-28