Grade: Junior (P2), Mid (P3) and Senior (P4) Level Positions
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect and assist refugees and other persons of concern. It is constantly seeking talented, compassionate candidates with high-integrity to strengthen its capacity to respond urgently to crises with the right skills. Given the nature of UNHCR’s work, it is essential that its workforce has the right mix of skills and qualities to fulfil its mandate.
The Protection Officer leads and coordinates UNHCR’s protection programme with the objective of providing timely and effective protection to populations of concern, as well as supervising protection interventions within an office. The incumbent must be able to contribute to or lead, depending on the level, development of a multi-year protection strategy that is solutions-oriented and based on a consultative process with multi-functional teams and partners. The incumbent must also have the ability to forge strong partnerships with government entities, other UN agencies, and NGOs to facilitate the operation’s protection objectives. To achieve this the Protection Officer will need to build and maintain effective relations with communities of concern.
- Through relationships with persons of concern, authorities and network of partners stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment and provide advice to senior management.
- Ensure that the perspectives, capacities, needs and resources of the persons of concerns are reflected in the protection strategy, planning processes and operations plan addressing the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, minority groups such as sexual minorities and persons living with HIV/AIDS.
- In operations applying the Cluster Approach, ensure the Protection Cluster covers all assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected population and utilize the IDPs footprint during the planning process.
- Coordinate the promotion of international refugee law principles and standards and also IDP legislation or policies ensuring that all sectors and clusters fulfil their responsibilities mainstreaming protection.
- Coordinate the implementation and monitoring of programmes ensuring that identified protection needs, including an Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) approach, are adequately addressed.
- Provide policy guidance and operational support to UNHCR and partners on all protection related issues.
- Provide legal advice and guidance on protection issues to internal and external interlocutors; ensure legal assistance is accessible to persons of concern; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documents to persons of concern (civil documentation, in particular birth certificates).
- Monitor, and assist with the intervention in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.
- Assist in the coordinated implementation and oversight of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.
- Ensure that durable solutions through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement are sought and provided to the largest possible number of persons of concern.
- Ensure through direct action and advocacy with more senior protection staff that the necessary resources are allocated to enable protection activities to identify and address protection and assistance gaps.
- Support a consultative process with government counterparts at local levels, partners and persons of concern to develop and implement integrated strategies that address the key protection priorities, including, for example, child protection, education and SGBV, and solutions approaches.
- Promote confidence building and conflict resolution among populations of concern, authorities and host communities.
- Maintain protection presence through regular field missions and reports, making direct contact with persons of concern, host communities, local authorities and partners. In operations applying the humanitarian cluster system, contribute to ensuring that the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in an AGD-compliant strategy which covers all assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations.
- Contribute to the Protection team’s information management component which: provide disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems; researches, collects and disseminates relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery and provide technical advice if necessary.
- Ensure participatory, community-based protection and AGD approaches are included in, strategies and plans in the country operation.
- Support persons of concern to develop structures that enhance their participation and protection
Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience Required:
For positions at the P2 level
Education: Degree in Law, International Law, Political Sciences or related field.
Job experience: Minimum 2 years of relevant experience with graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s), 3 years with undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS).
Languages: Proficiency in English is required.
For positions at the P3 level
Education: Degree in Law, International Law, Political Sciences or related field with good knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law.
Job experience: Minimum 5 years of relevant (international) job experience with graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s), 6 years with undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) of which 2 years in the field and 3 years in an international capacity.
Languages: Proficiency in English is required.
For positions at the P4 level
Education: Degree in Law, International Law, Political Sciences or related field with good knowledge of International refugee, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.
Job experience: Minimum 8 years of relevant (international) job experience with graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s), 9 years with undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) of which 3 years in the field and 5 years in an international capacity.
Languages: Proficiency in English and knowledge of a second UN language (Arabic/ Chinese/French/Russian/Spanish) at B21 is required.
Desirable Qualifications and Skills for All Positions
- Knowledge of UN policies and procedures
- Field experience
- Commitment to help persons of concern and willingness to cooperate with counterparts.
- Good analytical skills
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills in a multi-cultural setting
- Experience of working with persons of concern desirable
- Ability to live and work in the difficult and harsh conditions of developing countries is essential.
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity