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Asst Representative (Prot)

UNDP/UNESP, Kabul, AFGHANISTAN (Afghanistan)

Assistant Representative (Protection)


The Assistant Representative (Protection) is the senior protection manager in a Country Office and reports to the Representative. A member of the senior management team, the incumbent has direct or reviewing supervisory responsibility for protection staff who may include community services, registration, resettlement and education. He/she has country-wide functional supervisory responsibility for all protection staff and provides protection oversight and guidance to the information and programme management functions.   

The Assistant Representative (Protection) transposes UNHCR's Global Strategic Priorities into a comprehensive protection strategy adapted to the country context. He/she is guardian of protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery at country level and represents the UNHCR to authorities, UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on protection policy and doctrine.

The Assistant Representative (Protection) is relied upon by the Office to plan, manage and guide country-wide protection delivery to populations of concern and to promote and gain support for UNHCR's protection agenda externally. This includes ensuring that operational responses in all sectors are shaped in a protection optic, mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. He/she ensures that persons and communities of concern are involved with the Office in making decisions that affect them and that their interests are effectively represented to authorities, protection and assistance partners and to the broad network of donors and stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection.



- The protection needs of populations of concern including refugees and asylum seekers, stateless persons, IDPs, returnees and other persons of concern are met through the application of International and National Law, relevant UN/HCR protection standards and IASC principles governing humanitarian coordination.
- The operation has a clear and coherent comprehensive protection strategy which incorporates a thorough age, gender and diversity (AGD) analysis and reflects the Organization's global, regional and country level priorities.
- The participation of persons of concern is assured through continuous assessment and evaluation using participatory rights and community based approaches.
- Timely and effective protection needs and risk assessment inform planning, prioritization, implementation, reporting and evaluation of protection delivery.
- Specific challenges to persons of concern in the areas of child protection, the prevention and response to SGBV and access to and enjoyment of education are effectively addressed.
- Sufficient internal financial and human resources are allocated to meet prioritized protection needs. Protection and solutions activities receive political and financial support from external partners.
- National protection capacities are improved through direct engagement, research and advocacy with all relevant external interlocutors.
- Instances of refoulement of refugees, forced return of IDPs, arbitrary deprivation of nationality resulting in statelessness and other protection incidents are immediately identified and addressed through direct intervention, advocacy and/or public exposure.
- Integrity in the delivery of protection services is assured by protection staff.


- Stay abreast of political, social, economic and security developments that have an impact on the protection environment and protection delivery capacity and advise the Representative in the overall management of UNHCR's operations.
- Manage a consultative process with government counterparts, partners and persons of concern to develop and implement a comprehensive protection strategy 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; and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) priorities with regard to these persons.
- In operations applying the Cluster Approach, ensure the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in a strategy which covers all assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations.  
- Ensure the protection strategy is fully integrated into the Country Operations Plan, the UN Development and Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and in respect of UNHCR's mandate, the Humanitarian Country Team's common humanitarian action plan where applicable.
- Ensure that necessary resources are allocated to address protection gaps.
- 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 and ensure that all sectors and /or in clusters in applicable operations fulfil their responsibilities mainstreaming protection.
- Design, deliver and monitor programmes on an AGD basis to address identified protection needs.
- Oversee the provision of expert legal advice and guidance on protection issues to internal and external interlocutors and ensure that legal assistance and documentation is accessible to persons of concern.
- Oversee Eligibility and Status Determination operations ensuring compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.
- Oversee the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection /solutions processes and systems. 
- Promote and supervise the delivery of effective measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness.
- Develop and implement a country-level education plan as part of the protection strategy. Ensure the provision of quality and protective education with an emphasis on learning outcomes and lifelong learning opportunities forging partnerships with the Ministry for Education, UNICEF and other partners as appropriate.
- Develop and implement a country-level child protection plan as part of the protection strategy ensuring programmes use a child protection systems approach.
- Ensure that appropriate interventions are undertaken by the Office, or intervene directly, in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.
- Coordinate the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related programming with implementing and operational partners.
- Ensure with governments and partners 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.
- Oversee the development and implementation of a results-based advocacy programme in consultation with sectorial and/or cluster partners.
- Advocate with authorities and stakeholders for access to and respect for the rights of persons of concern and their access to services.
- Ensure the Protection Sector or Cluster strategy has an effective information management component to provide disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems; and researches, collects and disseminates relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery.
- Build the protection capacity of national and local government, partners and civil society to assume their responsibilities vis-à-vis all persons of concern through protection training, mainstreaming and related activities.
- Coordinate capacity-building initiatives for communities and persons of concern to assert their rights.
- Advise and capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen legislation and status determination procedures and mechanisms.
- Contribute to a communications strategy to generate external support for UNHCR's operations and the Protection Sector/Cluster.
- Provide effective supervisory and managerial oversight, direction and guidance of the protection function.
- Design and establish effective protection staffing structures in all Offices ensuring staffing configurations, profiles and competencies are commensurate with protection challenges.


- Approve the comprehensive protection strategy for endorsement by the Representative and Regional Office or Headquarters.
- Chair strategic or operational protection meetings, including Protection Cluster meetings in applicable operations and represent the protection sector/cluster in inter-agency mechanisms.
- Issue advocacy statements on behalf of UNHCR or the Protection Cluster in applicable operations. Intervene with authorities on protection issues.
- Negotiate with resettlement countries and countries of return on behalf of UNHCR.
- Clear documents and reports prepared by the Protection Unit / Section.
- Take decisions on individual cases.
- Negotiate with the Humanitarian Coordinator/Resident Coordinator, the Humanitarian Country Team and partners on protection funding priorities in inter-agency funding appeals.
- Enforce compliance of staff and 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.
- Approve expenditures under the UNHCR protection budget and direct transparent and accountable financial and other resource allocation within the Protection Cluster in applicable operations. 


- Advanced university degree in Law, Political Science, and International Relations with specific focus on International Humanitarian/ Refugee law.
- Job experience: at least 15 years of experience in progressively responsible functions in an organisation or institution that administer/manage and assist a large number of asylum seekers, refugees and Displaced persons, preferably within the UN. Of the 15 years, minimum of ten years should be in the same functional area directly relevant to the current position. Thorough knowledge in International refugee law, its applications under different circumstances; ability to analyse and advocate the application of various regional refugee instruments for the benefits of the persons of concern to UNHCR. Field experience, preferably in the context of UNHCR, in repatriation and resettlement of refugees.
- Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of another UN language.

(In offices where the working language is not English, excellent knowledge of working language of duty station and working knowledge of English.)


- Solid UNHCR experience from both the Field (including Hardship Duty stations) and Headquarters.
- UNHCR specific learning/ training activities (i.e Management Learning Programme, Protection Learning Programme).
- Proficiency in local language(s) in the given region.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: UNDP/UNESP, Kabul, AFGHANISTAN (Afghanistan)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • International Relations
  • Closing Date: 2017-02-26

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