Julie Lillejord (Norway) is a former UN Volunteer with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). She currently works as a Gender Policy Junior Professional Officer (JPO) with the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
As a UN Volunteer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 2009 to 2011, Julie worked as a UNV Child Protection Officer with UNICEF. Her main task was the coordination and facilitation of a national study on violence against children. The study was facilitated by UNICEF, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Muhimbili University, in close collaboration with the Tanzanian government, in order to address the problem of violence against children.
During this national study, more than 4000 Tanzanian youth between the ages of 13 and 24 were interviewed about their experiences with sexual, physical and emotional abuse. A report on the study, launched in 2011, revealed that a large number of children are exposed to physical, sexual and emotional abuse before the age of 18, often by someone they know in their communities, schools or homes. It highlighted a widespread and, to a large extent, hidden problem.
Working for UNICEF was very interesting, meaningful and important. It made it clear to me that this is the line of work I want to be in. The memories of living and working in Tanzania will stay with me for life. It gave me valuable insight into complex development issues many, particularly African nations, face today.
Currently, as a Gender Policy Officer at UNOCHA headquarters in New York, Julie is part of a Gender Advocacy Team that is responsible for mainstreaming gender issues. The goal of her work is to ensure that women and girls, and boys and men, have equal access to and benefit from humanitarian assistance.