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Associate RSD Officer

Beirut (Lebanon)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Beirut (Lebanon)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - International Law
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
    • Refugee rights and well-being
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-26

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This Job Opening is available to eligible UNHCR staff members and external applicants. Staff members must serve for a minimum of one year following assignment before being considered eligible to apply for another internally or externally advertised position within the same category. The minimum one year requirement is waived in respect of a staff member whose position is being discontinued/reclassified. Associate RSD Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Associate RSD Officer provides legal, operational and strategic support on mandate or national RSD at global, regional or country operations level. The position may be located at Headquarters (within the Division of International Protection), in a Regional Bureau or in a Country Office and reports to the RSD Officer or Protection Officer or other staff with delegated authority, as appropriate.

The incumbent provides advice and guidance on legal and procedural matters related to RSD whether in the context of mandate RSD and/or national asylum/RSD systems (as applicable), is responsible for conducting RSD (where required), reviewing and providing advice on individual cases in line with requirements under the RSD Procedural Standards. The incumbent is also responsible for contributing to the development of an RSD strategy and, where required, methodologies to promote the effectiveness of RSD as a protection tool and implementing broader organizational objectives and priorities, in compliance with relevant UNHCR standards and policies. Whether in the context of national or mandate RSD, the incumbent provides advice and support to staff engaged in RSD and related activities, monitors trends of RSD decision-making, and conducts training and other capacity-development/strengthening activities to promote consistency in RSD procedures and decision-making. S/he contributes to developing and enhancing regional and global RSD standards and policies, as necessary.

If based in a country operation, the Associate RSD Officer advocates with and supports Government authorities and legal partners in further developing their capacities in line with the GCR and other key UNHCR planning considerations.

The Associate RSD Officer works closely with RSD staff as well as staff responsible for registration, resettlement and training activities. S/he also liaises with relevant focal points in DIP, in particular within the RSD and PNS Sections and other HQ Divisions as required.
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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.

Duties
- Provide legal/procedural advice and support on RSD adjudication issues within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).
- Stay abreast of legal, political, security and other developments relevant to mandate RSD, the protection environment, including developments in relation to national asylum/RSD systems, as applicable.
- Support engagemnt with relevant national authorities and structures in identifying and expanding opportunities in view of developing or strengthening national asylum/RSD systems. 
- Support the quality review of RSD Assessments in line with UNHCR policies/guidelines related to mandate RSD and endorse RSD decisions as required.
- Conduct interviews and draft RSD Assessments including for complex/sensitive cases per relevant standards and guidelines.
- Provide ongoing coaching as well as training on the inclusion criteria; principles/procedures related to exclusion; cancellation/revocation; international humanitarian law; human rights law; interviewing techniques and credibility assessment/establishing the facts; and legal drafting.
- Provide training to other UNHCR units on the refugee criteria and related issues as needed.
- Assist with the development of a RSD strategy and support senior management to ensure its full and effective integration into the protection and solution strategy of the Country Operations Plan.
- Assist with developing/enhancing regional and global RSD standards and policies, as required.
- Assist with the design and implementation of operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of RSD operations in line with relevant standards/policies, including UNHCR's AGD policy and Forward Plan, ensuring the prioritisation of persons with specific needs, or, if based in a Regional Bureau, provide support to operations on the above.
- Monitor trends and systematically compile statistics related to RSD case processing.
- Analyze key indicators of the quality and efficiency of decision-making in RSD processing to assess capacity and resource requirements of operations in the region or the operation to which the RSD Officer is assigned.
- Evaluate and contribute to projecting RSD staffing and financial needs using the RSD Staffing Benchmarks, and support allocation of appropriate human, material and financial resources.
- Contribute to identifying and preventing fraud in RSD through oversight, advice and guidance to UNHCR personnel, partners and persons of concern.

If based in DIP or a Regional Bureau:
- Conduct support missions, as required.
- Assess training needs in UNHCR RSD operations and assist RSD Supervisors to provide coaching/capacity building for UNHCR personnel and deployees under their supervision, in coordination with the GLC as appropriate.
- Maintain and manage a consultative process with operations and other stakeholders in the region.

If based in a country operation, together with competent host authorities and partners, contribute to developing processes aiming at developing national institutional capacities and the timely identification of international protection needs in line with the GCR and other key planning considerations.

- Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications
Education & Professional Work Experience
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
International Refugee Law International Human Rights Law; International Humanitarian Law;
International Criminal Law;         Social Sciences; or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
RSD Learning Programme Management Learning Programme Protection Learning Programme
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
Essential:
3 years of experience working directly with procedures and principles related to adjudicating individual asylum claims in RSD procedures. In-depth knowledge of International Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law and ability to apply relevant legal principles in the RSD context, including exclusion decision-making. Thorough knowledge of the "Procedural Standards for RSD under UNHCR's Mandate" and other guidelines and standards governing UNHCR's mandate RSD activities. Experience in counselling asylum-seekers and individual case management. Experience and demonstrated skills in refugee law training.

Desirable:
Experience as a decision-maker in UNHCR or Government SD procedures is highly desirable. Experience in providing legal representation to asylum seekers in UNHCR or Government SD procedures. Experience in supervising a team. Completion of the RSD Learning Programme and other UNHCR Learning Programmes relevant to RSD. Training and coaching experience. Experience in working with vulnerable or traumatized individuals.

Functional Skills
PR-Individual Case Management (People of Concern)
PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
PR-Interviewing and counselling refugees/asylum seekers
PR-Government Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedures
PR-UNHCR RSD Principles and Procedures
PR-Adjudication of individual asylum claims in RSD
LE-International Refugee Law
PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards
PR-International Humanitarian Law
LE-International Criminal Law
LE-Draft legal opinions
CM-Cross-cultural communication
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements
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.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates. Please also note that Arabic & English are essential for this Job Opening. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training, etc.). Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for written test and/or oral interview.

UNHCR is committed to diversity and welcomes applications from qualified candidates regardless of disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, race, color or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. UNHCR has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and sexual harassment. Successful candidates will be subject to mandatory UN Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment clearance check prior to receiving an offer. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training or any other fees). All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.
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See below for this postion's Operational Context
======================================================================================================== Refugee Status Determination (RSD) is a labour and resource intensive exercise.  UNHCR Lebanon has a backlog of 1,700 cases of non-Syrian/Iraqi asylum-seekers currently awaiting first instance interview.
In order to process the backlog and reduce the waiting time from REG to FI interviews the unit has implemented temporary measures to prioritize first instance decisions. In reaction to COVID-19 restrictions, the RSD unit has also implemented additional measures to reduce vulnerability of staff and persons of concern to risk of COVID-19 infection.
The RSD unit is responsible for processing those determinations for Syrian applicants presenting with exclusion or serious credibility concerns who are being processed by the Resettlement (RST) unit. In addition, the RSD unit is responsible for processing those determinations for Iraqi applicants presenting with exclusion or serious credibility concerns who are being processed in the Resettlement stream. In addition, the RSD unit is responsible for processing those determinations for non-Syrian/Iraqi asylum seekers.
The Incumbent will be based in the Branch Office Beirut (Lebanon), she/he will be supervised directly by the RSD Officer. Monthly planning schedules will be made based on the operational direction and priorities of the RSD unit. The Incumbent is a member of the Protection Unit and the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) team.
The incumbent will manage a team of RSD caseworkers and be expected to ensure the expeditious and fair determination of refugee status by managing that team and reviewing RSD assessments and recommendations in order to reduce the FI backlog. In addition the incumbent may be expected to interview and draft determinations for complex cases such as Syrian/Iraqi applicants presenting with exclusion or serious credibility concerns who are being processed by the Resettlement unit as well as non-Syrian/Iraqi applicants presenting with or without exclusion concerns or serious credibility concerns.. The incumbent assists in designing, implementing and revising operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of the RSD operation in accordance with applicable standards and policies; In addition the incumbent acts as the reporting focal point assisting in compiling and analyzing information related to the RSD activities of the operation and has the responsibility of overall management of the scheduling of RSD interviews, file assignment and supervise the RSD admin support  staff. The incumbent may be assigned responsibility for managing the filing team of three staff members based at BO Beirut and the digitization processing of files and act as officer in charge in the absence of the RSD Officer. Interested qualified Group 1, Group 2 and external candidates meeting the requirements of the Job Descriptions posted online can apply as follows no later than 26 October 2020 Midnight Geneva Time.
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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