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Associate Complementary Pathways Officer


  • Organization: UNV - United Nations Volunteers
  • Location: Bogotá
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: Closed


Mission and objectives

UNHCR works to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home.  Since 1950, UNHCR has provided support in the face of multiple crises globally, and provided vital assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people, many of whom have nobody left to turn to.  UNHCR helps save lives and build better futures for millions forced from their homes. 


Colombia is the country most impacted by the outflow of over 7.7 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants, hosting over 2.8 million Venezuelans, the majority of whom in the process of regularization. In addition, and despite the 2016 Peace Agreement, conflict and armed violence continue to uproot Colombians (an estimated 1 million people newly displaced by the internal conflict since November 2016) and, in a growing and worrying trend, also Venezuelans and other nationalities. Afro-Colombians and indigenous people continue to be disproportionally affected by large-group displacement events and confinements, particularly in the Pacific Coast. UNHCR and partners work to strengthen preventive actions as well as to respond to emergencies, providing protection and solutions for the people with and for whom UNHCR works. Over 2.4 million Venezuelans who live in Colombia have registered to benefit from the Temporary Protection Status (TPS), issued by the Government of Colombia in February 2021. The TPS provides a 10-year protection status and access to a full range of rights including healthcare, education, formal employment, and financial inclusion. More than 1.8 million permits have been delivered, however challenges remain in terms of access to rights and services. Xenophobia against Venezuelans persists, as misinformation and the perceptions that Venezuelans will take away job opportunities from Colombians, fuel general discontent. UNHCR supports the TPS roll-out and believes it is a promising pathway for addressing the vulnerable situation of Venezuelan refugees and migrants and continues to work towards durable solutions. Mixed movements of refugees and migrants continue to increase in the region, including more than 500,000 people transiting through the Darien into Panama and towards Central and North America in 2023; a similar trend is estimated for 2024. UNHCR continues to advocate for the expansion of lawful pathways, including resettlement, that avoid the risk of irregular, dangerous journeys, while, at the same time, preserving the fundamental human right to seek asylum. Since July 2023, with the support of the Government of the United States, UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are co-leading the ‘Safe Mobility’ initiative which opens an alternative for eligible refugees and migrants to be considered for humanitarian and other regular pathways to the United States or other countries that may offer such opportunities.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the Regular Resettlement Program Coordinator, the UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks: Strategy and SOPs (Standard Operatin Procedures): • Conduct research and analysis on global trends, policies, and best practices related to complementary pathways for refugees. • Draft a multi-year Complementary Pathways strategy for the operation. • Draft a Complementary Pathways SOP (Standard Operatin Procedures). • Promote and support the establishment of mechanisms for preventing fraud in complementary pathways activities to maintain the integrity of the complementary pathways process in the Area of Responsibility (AOR). • Contribute to comprehensive protection and solutions strategy in the country operation. Coordination and training: • Facilitate coordination and collaboration among relevant stakeholders, including UNHCR, governments, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), and international organizations, to promote a comprehensive approach to complementary pathways. • Support capacity-building initiatives aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of stakeholders involved in complementary pathways programs. • Organize meetings and workshops with different stakeholders on complementary pathways topics. Remain updated on new developments/opportunities: • Stay abreast and analyze the implication or political, social and economic developments in the AOR (Area of Responsibility) and recommend policy/strategic approaches to further UNHCR objectives with respect to complementary pathways. • Regular participation in the special Community of Practice for complementary pathways with the purpose of resources gathering, updating rest of the staff. Monitoring and Reporting: • Monitor and evaluate the impact of complementary pathways initiatives and identify areas for improvement. • Contribute to the preparation of reports, briefings, and other documents on resettlement and complementary pathways issues. Individual case support and data management: • Respond to individual queries sent regularly by different embassies, legal representatives and other stakeholders involved in complementary pathways both for refugees and asylum seekers. • Assist with the quick departure of persons of concern on complementary pathways. • Recording regularly all the departures on complementary pathways indicating the type of visa. • Produce all type of regular statistics (monthly, quarterly and annual), analytical reports, updates and briefing notes on complementary pathways. Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to integrate the UN Volunteers programme mandate within their assignment and promote voluntary action through engagement with communities in the course of their work. As such, UN Volunteers should dedicate a part of their working time to some of the following suggested activities: • Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day); • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country; • Provide annual and end of assignment self- reports on UN Volunteer actions, results and opportunities. • Contribute with articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.; • Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers; • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.

This vacancy is now closed.
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