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Global Ombuds


  • Organization: SOS Children’s Villages International
  • Location: Vienna
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Ombudsman and Ethics
  • Closing Date:


About us:

The Ombuds Office for SOS Children’s Villages (the 'Ombuds Office') is an independent office supporting children and young people with concerns that have not been successfully resolved by SOS Children’s Villages safeguarding processes. An Ombuds is a trustworthy person who can listen, support, and guide children, young people, and concerned adults. Developed with input from children and young people, the Ombuds Office functions on the principles of independence, impartiality, confidentiality, and informality. Honouring these principles are critical to the success of the Ombuds Office.

SOS Children’s Villages International is the umbrella organisation for the global federation of SOS Children’s Villages. As a non-governmental social development organisation, we support children without parental care and families in difficult living conditions through services in care, education, health and emergency relief, and we advocate for the rights of children and young people, in alliance with a great diversity of partners. We work in 136 countries and territories, reaching over one million children, young people, families, and caregivers each year.


The Global Ombuds and the rest of the Ombuds Office for SOS Children’s Villages (i.e., National Ombuds, Regional Ombuds) work independently of SOS Children’s Villages while also aligning with SOS Children’s Villages International policies and processes. The Global Ombuds position is selected by and accountable to the Ombuds Board.

The Ombuds Office for SOS Children's Villages (the 'Ombuds Office') is an independent accountability mechanism that aims to strengthen SOS CV Child Safeguarding systems. The Ombuds Office operates with a child-centred and rights-based approach in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). The goal of all Ombuds within the Ombuds Office is to promote fairness of process and successful conflict resolution within the SOS Children’s Villages’ federation and member associations.

The Global Ombuds oversees the global Ombuds Office. Within this role, the Global Ombuds is responsible to oversee the recruitment, training and mentoring of Regional Ombuds and support them to find solutions at the local level through National Ombuds. The Global Ombuds identifies child safeguarding trends and gaps and reports on them to the SOS Children’s Villages Senate, National and Regional Directors, National and Regional Child Safeguarding Teams, the Ombuds Board, and national association Boards.

The Global Ombuds represents the Ombuds Office to SOS Children’s Villages executive management and Senate, the Ombuds Board, and external stakeholders. The Global Ombuds provides consistent management of the Ombuds Office and ensures it acts with independence.

The Global Ombuds also collaborates with SOS Children's Villages to strengthen safeguarding. To this end, the Global Ombuds ensures that the Ombuds Office is consistently identifying and defining themes and gaps in child safeguarding so that SOS Children’s Villages Safeguarding understands how to strengthen its systems at all levels.


About the role:

Location: Innsbruck or Vienna (Austria)

Duration: Limited term to 31 December 2027

Contract type: Full-time Employment Contract


Main activities:

  • Oversee the operations of the Ombuds Office, which includes Regional Ombuds, National Ombuds, an Ombuds Coordinator, and Ombuds Human Resources personnel.
  • Regularly meet and report to the Ombuds Board to ensure accountability across the Ombuds Office.
  • Oversee the confidential, secure Virtual Office and database.
  • Lead and manage scale-up of the Ombuds approach.
  • Train, supervise, and support Regional Ombuds. Refer Regional Ombuds to appropriate SOS Children’s Villages departments, national agencies, legal advice, mediation, and/or community resources when appropriate.
  • Support Regional Ombuds to train, supervise, and support National Ombuds in their region.
  • Report on Ombuds Office progress, challenges, global themes and gaps and actions taken in SOS Children’s Villages Safeguarding and make recommendations as appropriate.
  • Review Ombuds’ concerns and communication challenges and find help them find solutions in a timely manner with accurate and helpful information.
  • Support Regional and National Ombuds to navigate between SOS Children’s Villages policies and processes and external child safeguarding processes and systems as defined by national legislation and policy.
  • Oversee the fair and equitable treatment of Ombuds.


  • A Master degree in a relevant area, such as law, social work, psychology, sociology, child rights, or child and youth studies. A PhD or advanced degree or diploma is desirable.
  • Eight years demonstrated experience as an Ombudsperson or a closely related role in child safeguarding, child protection, or child rights (including in assessments and investigations). Experience facilitating child participation in programming is desirable.
  • Professional proficiency in English. The ability to speak and work in additional languages (particularly French, Spanish, Arabic or Russian) is strongly desired.
  • Regional or global-level management and leadership experience.
  • Highly skilled in managing people, building effective teams, and managing risk across numerous cultural contexts.
  • Highly skilled at working within and managing a remote office context with online platforms and applications.
  • An open-hearted, honest, and kind person who respects and understands children and young people.
  • Advanced understanding of children’s rights, safeguarding, and related issues, including international laws, conventions, declarations, and regulations relevant to children and young people.
  • Responsible and courageous to defend children and their rights, to offer support, and to be impartial while also advocating for and with children and young people.
  • An attentive listener with good observational skills and strong communication skills.
  • Strong ability to oversee, develop, and facilitate effective trainings, orientations, and ongoing support workshops for Ombuds Office personnel and the Ombuds scale up programme.
  • Committed to sharing information in accessible ways, to seriously consider children and young people’s views and feelings, while also ensuring careful consideration of their best interests, especially when making decisions.
  • A problem solver, adviser, and an influential mediator to resolve referrals from the Regional Ombuds promptly and effectively.
  • Committed to respect confidentiality and to act independently and impartially without bias.
  • Calm, patient, humble, flexible, and respectful.

We offer

  • Meaningful and stimulating work with the possibility to make a significant, positive contribution to innovating child safeguarding approaches and practices
  • Remote and in-person work arrangements
  • The opportunity to work for an NGO that is a member of a recognized international network

What We Stand For

SOS Children’s Villages is committed to creating and maintaining a caring and protective environment, which promotes its core values, and prevents and addresses child abuse and exploitation. We strongly condemn all forms of child abuse and exploitation, be it within or outside of our organisation, and always respond to any case of proven, alleged or attempted abuse within our sphere of influence according to its nature. Efforts ensure that mechanisms are in place to raise awareness, aid prevention, encourage reporting and ease response. They range from human resource development actions such as training and counselling to measures such as suspension, dismissal, and legal action SOS Children’s Villages is committed to creating and maintaining a safe working environment for our staff, the children and young people and the communities that we work for. The organisation prohibits harassment, exploitation and abuses by or of any employee, supervisor, manager, child, young people, community, contractor, applicant, or other individual with whom SOS Children’s Villages employees come into contact by virtue of their work. All employees are expected to carry out their duties in accordance with our prevention and protection against Sexual Harassment, Exploitation and Abuse policy. In addition, SOS Children’s Villages apply a zero-tolerance concerning any fraud situation.

In accordance with the organisation’s child protection and safeguarding policies, this position will be subject to applicable background checks, including criminal record checks. The successful candidate will be required to understand and sign the SOS CV Code of Conduct.

How to Apply*:

Closing date: 26 November 2023. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis.

To apply please click ‘apply for job’

As part of the application process, kindly submit all application documents (cover letter and CV) in English.

 * To protect the independence of the Ombuds Office, this position is not open to SOS Children's Villages employees or those who have been employed by SOS Children's Villages within the last 2 years.

** Please note that only successful candidates will be contacted.

In case you have question, please reach out to us by email:

You can find more detail about us here:

Ombuds Office - SOS Children's Villages (

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.