Standard Job Description
Associate Protection Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Associate Protection Officer reports to the Protection Officer or the Senior Protection Officer. Depending on the size and structure of the Office, the incumbent may have supervisory responsibility for protection staff including community-based protection registration, resettlement and education. S/he provides functional protection guidance to information management and programme staff on all protection/legal matters and accountabilities. These include: statelessness (in line with the campaign to End Statelessness by 2024), Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) commitments, age, gender, diversity (AGD) and accountability to affected populations (AAP) through community-based protection, Child protection, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) prevention and response, gender equality, disability inclusion, youth empowerment, psycho-social support and PSEA, registration, asylum/refugee status determination, resettlement, local integration, voluntary repatriation, human rights standards integration, national legislation, judicial engagement, predictable and decisive engagement in situations of internal displacement and engagement in wider mixed movement and climate change/disaster-related displacement responses. S/he supervises protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery in line with international standards.
The Associate Protection Officer is expected to coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern, ensuring that operational responses in all sectors mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. The incumbent contributes to the design of a comprehensive protection strategy and represents the organization externally on protection doctrine and policy as guided by the supervisor. S/he also ensures that persons of concern are meaningfully engaged in the decisions that affect them and support programme design and adaptations that are influenced by the concerns, priorities and capacities of persons of concern. To achieve this, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, authorities, protection and assistance partners as well as a broader network of stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
– Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment.
– Promote International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct.
– Foster their consistent and coherent interpretation and application through mainstreaming in all sectors and /or in clusters in applicable operations.
– Assist in providing comments on existing and draft legislation related to persons of concern.
– Provide legal advice and guidance on protection issues to persons of concern; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.
– Conduct eligibility and status determination for persons of concern in compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.
– Promote and contribute to measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness.
– Contribute to a country-level child protection plan as part of the protection strategy to ensure programmes use a child protection systems approach.
– Contribute to a country-level education plan.
– Implement and oversee Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities which integrate AGD sensitive procedures.
– Oversee and manage individual protection cases, including those on GBV and child protection. Monitor, and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.
– Recommend durable solutions for the largest possible number of persons of concern through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement.
– Assess resettlement needs and apply priorities for the resettlement of individuals and groups of refugees and other persons of concern.
– Participate in the organisation and implementation of participatory assessments and methodologies throughout the operations management cycle and promote AGD sensitive programming with implementing and operational partners.
– Contribute to and facilitate a programme of results-based advocacy through a consultative process with sectorial and/or cluster partners.
– Facilitate effective information management through the provision of disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems.
– Promote and integrate community-based approaches to protection and contribute to capacity-building initiatives for communities and individuals to assert their rights.
– Support activities in the area of risk management related to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, fraud, case-processing, data protection, and human rights due diligence at country level.
– Participate in initiatives to capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen national protection related legislation and procedures.
– Intervene with authorities on protection issues.
– Negotiate locally on behalf of UNHCR.
– Decide priorities for reception, interviewing and counselling for groups or individuals.
– Enforce compliance of staff and implementing partners with global protection policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of protection services.
– Enforce compliance with, and integrity of, all protection standard operating procedures.
– Perform other related duties as required.
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P2/NOB – 3 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1 year relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Law, International Law, Political Sciences or other relevant field
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
Protection Learning Programme
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Professional experience in the area of refugee protection, internal displacement, human rights or international humanitarian law. Good knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles.
Field experience, including in working directly with communities. Good IT skills including database management skills.
*PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
*PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)
PR-Gender Based Violence (GBV) Coordination
PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards
PR-International Humanitarian Law
PR-Assessment of IDPs Status, Rights, Obligation
PR-Climate change and disaster related displacement
CO-Drafting and Documentation
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
How to Apply
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