Protecting Environment and Children Everywhere
(PEaCE/ECPAT Sri Lanka)
Job Description – Advocacy Officer
Protecting Environment and Children Everywhere (PEaCE) is the pioneer organisation battling child sexual exploitation in Sri Lanka. PEaCE was launched as a campaign in 1991 as part of the International initiative, ECPAT (www.ecpatinternational.org) to End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes. From its inception PEaCE is dedicated to combat Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in Sri Lanka. It has been conducting country-wide awareness programs, advocacy, and community-based programs in the most vulnerable areas. With the support of the donors and international advocacy groups, PEaCE has been instrumental in bringing several paedophiles to book. Due to the tireless advocacy of PEaCE for child protection laws and mechanisms, the Sri Lankan government introduced new legislations and child protection mechanisms. PEaCE is registered as a Non-Governmental, not-for profit organisation under the Voluntary Social Services Organisations in Sri Lanka. It has been the only organisation in Sri Lanka working exclusively in the field of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
The role of the Legal and Advocacy Officer is to provide child protection services, within an applicable legal framework, to prevent children from commercial sexual exploitation. PEaCE is an implementing partner of a regional program namely Combatting Sexual Exploitation of Children Online and in Travel and Tourism.The ultimate goal of this programme is to create a violence free, peaceful environment for children affirming zero tolerance against all forms of child sexual exploitation. This program focuses on creating understanding, knowledge and awareness to effect changes in law, policy and enforcement mechanisms targeting law makers, policy makers, political leaders and public administrators.
Equip the law enforcement authorities with professional and scientific skills and prepare them to skilfully respond to emerging complex trends of sexual exploitation of children to achieve higher prosecution and conviction rates.
Providing an up to date and in-depth knowledge on internet, cyber security, IT and mobile communication service providers to forge effective strategies to trace vulnerable children, victims, survivors and track locations, sites and perpetrators of sexual exploitation. In addition, they will be adequately equipped to provide forensic evidence required for effective law enforcement.
Program will also focus on activities that address the need for appropriate legislation, lobbying for new laws as and when necessary, streamlining the prosecution and law enforcement process as well as strengthening and empowering the community, family and individual to combat Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (SECO) and Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (SECTT) at the initial level by targeting children at risk.
The Legal and Advocacy Officer will be based at the Colombo Office and travel extensively to different districts. This is a senior position reporting directly to the CEO of PEaCE and will work very closely with the programme team, documentation/information officer, child and family counsellor, and other staff. The following are the responsibilities in detail;
- Collect reliable information on the operation of online sexual exploitation and child sex tourists and travellers, networks, mode of operation etc. to communicate with the relevant country network as well as to the local police and authorities.
- Liaise with the officers in the relevant police station, National Child Protection Authority, Department of Probation and Childcare and make sure the offender is brought to book and the victim receives justice.
- Monitor the print and electronic media and conduct investigations into reports of CSEC (i.e. conduct interviews and facilitatelegal, medical or psychological examinations).
- Reviewing existing laws & policies re: SECO and SECTT and identifying gaps, disconnects, anomalies and inequalities, and advocating for amendments/new laws and policies.
- Capacitating judges and law enforcement officers, cyber security, internet, IT & mobile communication service providers on investigation skills on SECO and SECTT.
- Popularising complaint mechanisms against SECO and SECTT among the general public of target areas and providing legal aid, advisory and support services.
- Conducting training on Child Protection and introducing child friendly interview techniques for interviewing child victims.
- Developing a law enforcement procedural manual on SECO and SECTT.
Conducting awareness raising programmes on laws on SECO & SECTT in the parties involved with travel and tourist industry/ cyber cafes / internet Providers.
- Introducing advocacy tools and techniques to District NGO Consortiums and CBO networks.
- Lobbying for Incorporation of a component on SECO and SECTT in Police Training College and in-service curricular.
- Developing an advocacy strategy to strengthen law enforcement mechanisms to effectively manage SECO and SECTT cases.
Qualifications & Experience
- Attorney-at-Law or Degree in Law
- Commitment to the Rights of the Child
- Excellent, interpersonal and communication skills, with a good command of written and spoken English
- Ability to work independently using own initiative within the scope of responsibilities
- Good report writing skills and monitoring and evaluation experiences
- Proficiency in MS office applications
- Ability to work easily with other cultures in difficult circumstances.
PEaCE is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.