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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Bangkok
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Democratic Governance
    • Human Rights
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Public, Private Partnership
  • Closing Date: 2019-02-21

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Business and Human Rights Specialist

Bangkok (Thailand)


UNDP works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities through the sustainable development of nations, in more than 170 countries and territories. The Regional Bureau of Asia has the responsibility to guide and support 24 Country Offices in achieving the objectives of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  RBAP’ staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, governments and other relevant stakeholders; advocates for UNDP corporate messages and represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, South-South and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.

Rapid and continued economic dynamism has translated into growth and reduced poverty levels in several countries in Asia and the Pacific. Greater foreign direct investments and capital movements, accentuated by higher regional mobility, are reasons for further optimism for future regional growth. This progress has often come at the expense of the human rights of minorities, marginalized and disadvantaged and at-risk groups in the interest of investments and financial gains.

The UNDP Asia-Pacific, Governance and Peacebuilding Team, Business and Human Rights Unit, is currently engaged in promoting the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP). The UNGP clarifies the duty of states and the responsibility of businesses to uphold international norms and treaties on human rights. These Guiding Principles rest on three pillars: 1) the State’s duty to protect human rights; 2) the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and; 3) the joint-responsibility of both the State and businesses sector to provide access to remedy for victims of business-related abuses.

Momentum supporting the implementation of the UNGP through National Action Plans (NAPs) is developing quickly in the region. Nurturing this, an already well-developed community of industry advocates, human rights activists, and development practitioners are deepening their work on a wide variety of thematic area or industry-specific B&HR activities. While leading national and multi-national corporations are embedding human rights due diligence approaches into their operational policies and corporate communication profiles.

Based on the findings from a scoping phase implemented between June 2017 and June 2018, UNDP is implementing from August 2018 the regional project: Business and Human Rights in Asia: Promoting Responsible Business Practices through Regional Partnerships.

The goal of this project is to promote the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles in Asia through regional efforts focused on advocacy, policy development, technical advisory support, capacity building, awareness raising, innovation platforms, regional peer learning events, and South-South cooperation. Based on a year-long scoping and piloting phase, funded by the Regional Development Cooperation Section at the Embassy of Sweden in Thailand, the proposed project will be implemented by the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub in collaboration with UNDP Country Offices in the region and in partnership with regional initiatives, NHRIs, CSOs, other UN agencies, and the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

The Business and Human Rights Specialist, based in Bangkok, is responsible for contributing to policy and project support to Country Offices in Asia (with an emphasis on Southeast Asia) on Business and Human Rights. S/he will provide management support for Business and Human Rights project planning, administration and reporting, undertake policy research and develop knowledge products as well as support communication, partnership-building and resource mobilization.

S/he acts under the guidance of the Programme Specialist, Crisis Prevention and Rule of Law, in response to requests from country offices and in collaboration with the Governance and Peacebuilding team. S/he works with teams across the Regional Hub, Country Offices, Global Policy Centers and the UN system to ensure the execution of quality and coherent policy and project advisory services within their region as well as alignment with the Strategic Plan. S/he is responsible for performing and contributing to the following:

•           Project Management Support

•           Research, Knowledge Management, and Technical Support

•           Communication, Partnership-Building and support to Resource Mobilization

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Project Management Support

  • Provide project management expert support through effective planning, administration, coordination with country offices and partners;
  • Technically support country offices in developing and implementing country level work-streams on Business and Human Rights, particularly in light of the 2030 Agenda;
  • Conduct expert visits to focus countries in Southeast Asia, to provide high level advise to government agencies, private sector actors, UN system entities, regional organizations, civil society, and National Human Rights Institutions;
  • Provide analytical inputs on Business and Human Rights National Action Plans, legislation, strategies and initiatives;
  • Draft ad hoc and yearly reports to highlight key issues, trends, emerging opportunities, risks, potential project partners, and entry-points for the regional programme in focus countries. Draft Reports to donors;
  • Provide any other Technical Assistance in the implementation of the regional programme at country-level;
  • Draft Speeches and Talking Points for UNDP Senior Management (UN Resident Coordinators and UNDP RRs);
  • Upon Request, take charge of overall Project Implementation in the periods of absence of the Programme Specialist, Crisis Prevention and Rule of Law.

2. Research and Technical Support

  • Coordinate the production of relevant high-level research and analysis for policy advice and programme support that responds to country office needs and verify that knowledge sharing and content management is in line with guidelines and performed using corporate tools;
  • Liaise with relevant project partners and communications focal points to share relevant resources, lessons learnt and best practices;
  • Coordinate team contributions and support to corporate KM activities, at region-specific level to help influence/advance policy dialogue in the thematic area in collaboration with policy teams at HQ and in the Bangkok Regional Hub;
  • Organize regional events on Business and Human Rights to exchange best practices, encourage a regional race-to-the-top to develop NAPs, and maintain momentum Lead on a yearly basis the organization of a Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights in Southeast Asia;
  • Train government representatives on Business and Human Rights and seize opportunities to use the implementation of the UNGPs as an instrument to strengthen gender equality and promote Environmental Rights;
  • Facilitate discussions on key country-specific issues that can be incorporated into a NAP;
  • Provide Comments on Base Line Assessments and National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights;
  • Contribute to and facilitate consultations with designated government ministries to ensure quality of NAPs;
  • Support Policy coherence among different Policy documents being drafted by supported Governments.

3.  Awareness-Raising, Partnership-building, and Resource Mobilization

  • Coordinate events with partners and stakeholders to provide high visibility to the thematic area and prepare policy materials, briefing notes and speeches;
  • Cultivate new working relationships with emerging partners working on Business and Human Rights in the project focus countries;
  • Organize workshops and presentations to present key issues and discuss the partnership architecture with all stakeholders;
  • Assist with resource mobilization, including through the development of concept notes and project documents;
  • Keep up-to-date with the work of other development partners working in the area of Business and Human Rights;
  • Support partnerships, advocacy, and capacity-building activities in the areas covered by the project to all stakeholders;
  • Lead private sector engagement with regional and national companies in Southeast Asia;
  • Represent UNDP Asia-Pacific and the programme unit in Global, regional and national events on Business and Human Rights.


Competencies and Selection Criteria

Description of Competency at Level Required

(For more comprehensive descriptions please see the competency inventory)



Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Level 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them


Ability to persuade others to follow

Level 5: Plans and acts transparently, actively works to remove barriers

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Level 5: Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others


Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Level 5: Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions


Has exhibited professional knowledge of anti-corruption and understands basic concepts applicable to the UNDP environment.

Project and Programme Management

Ability to research, plan, organize, and comply with  procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Knowledge Management

Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise


Ability to communicate and collaborate with team members and partner agencies to achieve joint objectives and deliver projects, campaigns or events successfully

Level 5:Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Required Skills and Experience


Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in Law, Governance, Political Science, other social sciences or related disciplines.


  • Minimum 7 years of professional work experience providing policy advice and programme support in the areas of Human Rights and Rule of Law;
  • Previous Experience working on Human Rights is a strong asset;
  • Experience working in the Asia-Pacific region is desirable;

Language Requirements:

Fluency in English is essential, both written and oral.  Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset.


Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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