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Prot Officer

Tunis (Tunisia)

Protection Officer


The Protection Officer is a senior member of the protection team in a Country or Sub-Office and may, depending of the size and structure of the Office, be Head of the Protection Unit. He/she may report to the Senior Protection Officer, Head of Sub-Office or to the Assistant Representative for Protection. In smaller Offices, the post may report directly to the Representative.  The incumbent has direct supervisory responsibility for protection staff who may include community services, registration, resettlement and education. He/she provides functional protection oversight to information management and programme staff; and supervises protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery at local or country level. The incumbent also acts as an advisor to senior management in designing a comprehensive protection strategy and represents the organization to authorities, UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on protection doctrine and policy.

The Protection Officer is relied upon by the Office to plan, lead and coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern. This includes ensuring that operational responses in all sectors are shaped in a protection optic, mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. Another important function of the position is to ensure that persons of concern are involved with the Office in making decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying appropriate solutions to their problems. 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.



- The protection needs of populations of concern are met through the application of International and National Law, relevant UN/UNHCR 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.
- National protection capacities are improved through direct engagement, research and advocacy with all relevant external interlocutors.
- Protection incidents are immediately identified and addressed through direct intervention, advocacy and public exposure.

- Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment.
- Facilitate 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; Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) priorities with regard to these persons.
- In operations applying the Cluster Approach, seek to ensure the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in a strategy which covers all assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations. 
- Support senior management to ensure the protection strategy is fully integrated into the Country Operations Plan, the UN Development and Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the Humanitarian Country Team's common humanitarian action plan where applicable.
- Promote International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct and ensure that all sectors and /or in clusters in applicable operations fulfil their responsibilities mainstreaming protection.
- Implement and monitor programmes on an AGD basis to address identified protection needs.
- Provide technical guidance and support to UNHCR and partners on all protection related issues.
- Oversee and manage individual protection cases including those on SGBV and child protection.
- 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).
- Oversee and undertake eligibility and status determination ensuring compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.
- Promote and implement effective measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness.
-  Develop and implement a country-level education plan and ensure partnerships are forged 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.
- Monitor, and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.  
- Implement and oversee 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.
- Coordinate the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related 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.
- Ensure that the Protection Sector or Cluster has an effective information management component which: provides disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems; 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 individuals to assert their rights.
- Advise and capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and civil society to strengthen legislation and status determination procedures and mechanisms.


- Approve the protection strategy for endorsement by the Senior Protection Officer, Assistant Representative Protection or the Representative. 
- Chair protection coordination meetings, including Protection Cluster meetings in applicable operations.  
- Intervene with authorities on protection issues. Negotiate locally and as appropriate with resettlement countries and countries of return on behalf of UNHCR.
- Take review decisions on individual cases.
- Enforce compliance of staff and partners with global protection policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of protection services.
- Approve expenditures under the UNHCR protection budget.


- Education: Advanced University degree in Law, International Law, political Sciences or related field with good knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law.
- Job Experience: Minimum 8 years (6 years with Advanced University degree) relevant professional experience of which 2 years in the field.
- Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of another UN language.

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

***For National Officer positions, very good knowledge of local language and local institutions is essential.


- Diverse field experience desirable.
- Good IT skills including database management skills.
- Completion of the Protection Learning Programme, RSD- esettlement Learning Programme. C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
M004L3 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
M002L3 - Managing Performance Level 3
M001L3 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 3
M005L3 - Leadership Level 3
M006L3 - Managing Resources Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X002L3 - Innovation and Creativity Level 3
X003L3 - Technological Awareness Level 3
X004L3 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Level 3
X009L3 - Change Capability and Adaptability Level 3
X006L3 - Policy Development & Research Level 3
X007L3 - Political Awareness Level 3
X008L3 - Stakeholder Management Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3 Under the direct supervision of the Senior Protection Officer, the Protection Officer has supervisory responsibility of registration, community services, RSD and RST. S/he also provides functional protection oversight of information management of UNHCR and partners work and service delivery of refugees and asylum seekers in UNHCR¿s current 03 Community Development Centers in Tripoli and in Benghazi which are soon to be expanded into 06 centers including the South of Libya. All the centers are managed by UNHCR¿s partners with monitoring and supervision by UNHCR staff in Libya and Tunis. 

The Protection Officer is expected to take a leading role in coordination, guidance and overall supervision of UNHCR¿s partners who are responsible to support in screening of refugees and asylum seekers (pre-registration), counselling, identification and referral of the most vulnerable, including with focus on SGBV, Child protection for UNHCR¿s follow up.The Protection officer is also required to monitor the outreach activities, undertaken by partner and essential to communicate with POCs in a challenging set up. The Protection officer is also in charge of maintaining and updating UNHCR¿s SOP in relation to registration, RSD, RST and cash assistance.  The Protection Officer is also required to maintain and further develop relationship and solid coordination mechanism with the relevant authorities in Libya (MOI, MoFA, MoH, MoE..etc.) With regards to language requirements, the incumbent must be communicating easily with the authorities where Arabic language is a key requirement and knowledge of English language is lacking. Almost all working authorities are only familiar with Arabic language, it is essential to build good bridges which require speaking the same language. This is also necessary to build stronger bridges with the Libyan NGOs and Civil Society and within the capacity building plan, where knowledge of Arabic language is essential. Civilians in Libya continue to suffer as a result of conflict, insecurity, political instability and a collapsing economy. The direct humanitarian impact has been that hundreds of thousands of people across the country are now suffering, living in unsafe conditions, with little or no access to life-saving health care assistance, essential medicines, food, safe drinking water, shelter and education. A total of 1.3 million people, including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), returnees, vulnerable Libyans, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Migrants and refugees transiting or remaining in Libya face particularly dire conditions and are victims of physical and mental abuse, discrimination, forced and unpaid labour, financial exploitation, gender based violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, and marginalization. They are targets for smugglers and human trafficking networks promising high-risk journeys across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe and victims of exploitation and abuse within Libya. Loaded into overcrowded boats, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to lose their lives in the Mediterranean Sea in the attempt to reach Europe.Currently, there are 38,670 registered refugees and asylum seekers in Libya (out of an estimated 100,000) Over 180,000 people reached Italy by sea in 2016, of whom 90% departed from Libya.

Since the evacuation of its international staff in mid-2014 , the UN, including UNHCR, has progressively moved to emergency remote management of its operations in Libya  with remote management mode from Tunisia. Gradually, there have been short-missions of international staff in Libya which are undertaken  after necessary security clearances. At the time being, all international staff are based in Tunis with remote management work modalities of the work inside Libya. There are short-missions which are currently undertaken by international staff, on rotational basis, to Libya until the final return of International UN missions to Libya.

Libya is a non-family duty station. Its classification as C duty station by the ICSC proceeded the 2014 hostilities and departure of most of service providers and expatriates from the country including medical professionals. UNHCR, together with other agencies and embassies is renting for its international staff in a compound in Tripoli where international staff are required to stay at. Limited use of ATM machines in the country. Security places further limitations on frequenting the limited recreational facilities in the country. Highly stressful work context, therefore capacity for self-care is critical. The security situation in Libya remains volatile and unpredictable as a result of various factors and problems associated with lack of state control. Tension between key government actors, sustained sporadic lawlessness and the continuing widespread availability of arms, interference from non-state actors and increasing regional and intra-regional divides political problems all contribute to a current existing precarious security environment. Attacks against the interim government, local population and international community inclusive of UN in the East, South and West of Libya continues to take place including armed attacks, kidnappings, demonstrations, armed clashes between various militia groups, tribal clashes, IED and VBIED attacks and strikes. Violent crime has increased and incidents of terrorism such as assassination of officials, and use of VBIED to terrorise the populace have become a regular occurrence. Tripoli was recently lowered from level 6 to level five securities but this might change. Curfew and other security limitations apply. 1. Knowledge of Arabic language  is an essential requirement.
2. Work modalities is "remote-management" from Tunisia with frequent short-term missions to Libya (mainly tripoli).

Please note that the closing date for all vacancies in the Add. 1 to March 2017 Compendium is Wednesday, 3 Mayl 2017 (midnight Geneva time).

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: Tunis (Tunisia)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2017-05-03

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