ChildFund Alliance is seeking an intern to support the Advocacy goals for the Alliance, a key element in our ChildFund Alliance FY22 plan (Annex 1).
ChildFund Alliance is a non-profit, global network of 12 child-focused development organizations working in 70 countries. We help more than 23 million children and their families overcome poverty and the underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential.
Background on Ending Violence against Children
We believe every child has an inherent, universal right to survive and develop, in a life free from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. Yet today, more than one billion children – more than half the world’s children – are exposed to violence each year.
In September 2015, the United Nations unanimously adopted Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a set of universal goals, targets and indicators to frame the global development agenda for the next 15 years. The Agenda includes a stand-alone target (16.2) on violence against children: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children. ChildFund Alliance worked assiduously for the inclusion of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.2 in the global agenda through its Free from Violence and Exploitation Campaign and in partnership with others. SDG 16.2 provides the overall framework for all of our activities at ChildFund Alliance.
The Volunteer Advocacy Intern will have the opportunity to further their educational and career interests in the non-profit sector through hands-on training and experience by assisting ChildFund Alliance’s Advocacy & Policy Advisor and UN Representative as the Alliance embarks on the first campaign of our Strategic Plan FY22-25: Working Together to Address Emerging Threats against Children (Annex 1), focused on Online Safety. The Volunteer Advocacy Intern will also provide support to ChildFund’s efforts to reduce the threat of online child sexual exploitation and abuse by supporting worldwide action to empower and protect children and by mobilizing key stakeholders to help children reach their full potential.
Likely projects include but are not limited to:
- Tracking developments on global policies related to ChildFund Alliance strategic priority 1: Global Advocacy to advance the Strategic Plan FY22-FY25: Working Together to Address Emerging Threats against Children.
- Supporting research activity and assisting in developing resources to support advocacy efforts at the national, regional, and global levels
- Assisting in advocacy and policy components of the EVAC campaign
- Supporting the NY Advocacy Team to promote ChildFund Alliance’s organizational priorities and key messages with UN policy makers and decision makers.
- Tracking Member States’ engagement in key UN processes.
- Assisting in preparations for the following ChildFund Alliance activities:
- ChildFund EVAC Campaign on Online Safety: January 2022 – May 2022
- Commission on the Status of Women (CSW): 14-25 March 2022
- Financing for Development (FfD): April 2022
- High-level Political Forum (HLPF): 5-15 July 2022
To be considered for the Volunteer Advocacy Intern position, the candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree and must be pursuing a graduate degree in a relevant graduate program. The candidate must also be proficient in English. The ideal candidate will also have a basic understanding of the United Nations system and multilateral systems; international development work and international non-profit organizations; and human rights principles related to children’s rights.
The volunteer internship will run from January 2022 through July 2022. It is generally expected that the Volunteer Advocacy Intern will provide volunteer services 2 to 3 days per week in ChildFund’s New York office. Specific days and hours are flexible and will be established based on the Volunteer Advocacy Intern’s school and work schedule.
The Volunteer Advocacy Intern will be an unpaid volunteer position. ChildFund Alliance will provide a modest stipend to help the Intern defray their costs. The Volunteer Advocacy Intern will not be entitled to employment with ChildFund Alliance at the conclusion of the internship.
Acceptance into the internship program will require: receipt of two satisfactory references; a writing sample; proof of eligibility to work in the United States; and certain background checks in conformity with ChildFund Alliance’s child safeguarding policy.
The internship is open immediately. Please send Cover Letter and CV to: email@example.com.
ChildFund Alliance Strategic Plan FY22 –FY25
Priority 1: Addressing Emerging Threats to Children’s Safety
ChildFund is committed to ending violence against children and reducing emerging threats to their online safety. The number of children participating in the online environment is increasing rapidly — more than 175,000 children go online for the first time each day across the globe, with the majority gaining access through mobile phones. Children leverage digital technology to socialize, communicate, learn, and play, all of which are essential to their well-being and development. Yet, studies conducted in diverse geographies have all indicated that a mix of increased access, lack of safeguards, and low awareness of risks amongst children and their caregivers makes children particularly vulnerable to online threats.
The risks to children online are diverse — from discrimination and hate speech, to cyberbullying, and privacy invasions. Perhaps none is more alarming than the radical increase in online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) in recent years. While available data on the prevalence of online CSEA has gaps, particularly in the Global South, it is clear that the danger to children is global. Consider that in Cameroon, The Gambia, Kenya, Togo and Uganda, more than fifty-percent of children report having seen someone their age in child sexual abuse material online.
Experts globally indicate child sexual abuse material has skyrocketed during the pandemic, with children even more vulnerable to such threats due to increased social isolation and unstructured time online. Currently, legislation to address the issue of child exploitation and abuse exists, but it is often fragmented or does not cover the online incidence of this troubling phenomenon. Further, enforcement of existing laws is uneven at best.
We seek to address the gaps in international and regional legislation and policymaking to increase children’s online safety, by building on recent advances such as the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child General Comment 25 on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) updated Guidelines on Child Online Protection COP. Where laws do exist, we will seek to address weaknesses in implementation and enforcement.
We also recognize that empowering children’s participation in society cannot be achieved without empowering children and young people to become active digital citizens. Ensuring affordable and reliable access for all children and young people and equipping them with a full portfolio of skills and knowledge to help them avoid online risks, maximize online opportunities, and exercise their rights in the online world, are essential to active citizenship (both on and offline). ChildFund aims to support children as effective digital citizens, equipped to participate in online civic engagement safely, ethically, and responsibly as part of their heathy development.