What we do
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies, preventive activities and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law.
We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.
What we do in the Weapon contamination (WeC) Unit
The ICRC is regularly faced with challenges related to weapon contamination. Such contamination can be of conventional or non-conventional weapons, and includes weaponized or incidental leaks of industrial chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) hazards.
The ICRC undertakes a range of activities to minimize the impact of weapon contamination on affected populations and to ensure a rapid and effective response.
The ICRC WeC services are focused on the following four strategic areas:
- Assist in managing risks posed by weapon related hazards to own staff and partners as a part of the organisations ‘duty of care’ processes,
- Assist in maintaining the integrity of the organisation by securing continuation of key operations in situations where weapons or weapons systems pose a risk,
- Assist in protecting the vulnerable in situations of armed conflict (e.g. risk education, risk management or contribute to a more robust Conduct of Hostilities reporting) and;
- Support the development of the National Societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in their implementation of WeC activities.
The WeC Delegate – CBRN response Specialist works under the administrative authority of the Head of Delegation of the duty station in which the coordinator is based or the WeC Coordinator when applicable.
The CBRN operational response specialist should be able to perform:
- CBRN Hazard identification, mapping, and analyses of the related risks,
- Role and response capacity assessment of the CBRN first responders at local and National level,
- Risk awareness and risk education on CBRN hazards, including in urban armed violence contexts,
- Risk based training to increase resilience for civilians in armed conflict,
- Non-technical survey and technical reconnaissance activities,
- Development of guidelines and SOPs,
- Clearance of CBR hazard contaminated areas,
- Capacity building of Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, government agencies and authorities.
- In her/his country of deployment, to ensure that weapon contamination related needs are effectively understood by the ICRC management team and properly relayed to the Regional Weapon Contamination Manager (or the WeC Coordinator when applicable) on top of ensuring necessary resources are availed to implement CBRN reconnaissance and risk reduction related activities.
- Develop a thorough understanding of the weapon contamination situation in her/his area of responsibility and provide ICRC management with hazards identification and risk assessments of the likely impact of weapon contamination on staff, operations and civilians in affected areas.
- Develop and maintain Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) and other guidelines for ICRC CBRN related activities.
- Manage all aspects of ICRC CBRN operations including survey, data management, planning, prioritisation and task implementation.
- Contribute to ICRC reports to authorities by providing technical forensic assessments of specific locations after a CBR event
- Provide feedback and lessons learned from programmes to further develop and improve weapon contamination operational policy at the institutional level.
- Creatively overcome challenges presented by operating in a conflict or post conflict environment.
Desired profile and skills
Motivation and generic skills:
- Strongly motivated by humanitarian work
- Ability to meet deadlines and work calmly (autonomously and in teams) under considerable pressure in a potentially dangerous environment
- Strong representation, communication, diplomatic and negotiation skills;
- Excellent organisational skills and the ability to coordinate multiple activities.
Education: Advanced university degree (master degree or equivalent) in CBRN response management or in a related scientific field (applied chemistry, human physiology, micro biology, applied physics related to ionizing radiation) with a minimum of 3 years of relevant CBRN operational response experience; OR a first level university degree (bachelor degree or equivalent) with a minimum of 5 years of relevant CBRN operational response experience;
CBRN operational response experience:
- practical operational experience in CBRN reconnaissance operations as hazard detection officer, sampling officer, or preferably as team leader in a recognized institution (such as National army or police at the senior NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) or officer level (or equivalent), OPCW, Civil Defense, Fire fighter);
- Instructor qualification and experience is a strong asset;
- An EOR training is mandatory whereas EOD qualifications is a strong asset;
- Demonstrated capabilities in management, planning and implementation of training/capacity building;
- A demonstrated ability to establish effective working relationships at all levels both internally and externally;
- Excellent oral and written English skills as mandatory;
- French, Arabic, Russian or Spanish language skills as an asset;
Our operational & field constraints
- In line with the principle of neutrality, the ICRC does not assign personnel to a country of which they are nationals
- Candidates must be in good health and will have to do a medical check-up prior to departure in the field
- Candidates must possess a driving licence (for manual transmission vehicles)
- Candidates must be prepared to accept unaccompanied postings (i.e. no spouse, partner, children or dependents) for at least the first 6 months up to 24 months.
What we offer
- Rewarding work in a humanitarian and multicultural environment
- Opportunities for further in-house training
- Attractive social benefits
- Minimum length of assignment: short term (few weeks up to 3 months) or long term mission (1 year min)