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Associate Protection Officer NOB  (Temporary Appointment)

Washington D.C. (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Washington D.C. (United States of America)
  • Grade: NO-B, National Professional Officer - Locally recruited position - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-11

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This Job Opening is available to eligible UNHCR staff members and external applicants. National Professional Officers should be nationals of and be locally recruited within the country of their employment. US Citizenship is required for this position. Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Associate Protection Officer reports to the Protection Officer or the Senior Protection Officer. Depending on the size and structure of the Office, the incumbent may have supervisory responsibility for protection staff including community-based protection registration, resettlement and education. S/he provides functional protection guidance to information management and programme staff on all protection/legal matters and accountabilities. These include: statelessness (in line with the campaign to End Statelessness by 2024),  Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) commitments, age, gender, diversity (AGD) and accountability to affected populations (AAP) through community-based protection, Child protection, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) prevention and response, gender equality, disability inclusion, youth empowerment, psycho-social support  and PSEA, registration, asylum/refugee status determination, resettlement, local integration, voluntary repatriation, human rights standards integration, national legislation, judicial engagement, predictable and decisive engagement in situations of internal displacement and engagement in wider mixed movement and climate change/disaster-related displacement responses. S/he supervises protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery in line with international standards.

The Associate Protection Officer is expected to coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern, ensuring that operational responses in all sectors mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. The incumbent contributes to the design of a comprehensive protection strategy and represents the organization externally on protection doctrine and policy as guided by the supervisor. S/he also ensures that persons of concern are meaningfully engaged in the decisions that affect them and support programme design and adaptations that are influenced by the concerns, priorities and capacities of persons of concern. 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.

- Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment.
- 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 through mainstreaming in all sectors and /or in clusters in applicable operations.
- Assist in providing comments on existing and draft legislation related to persons of concern.  
- Provide legal advice and guidance on protection issues to persons of concern; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.
- Conduct eligibility and status determination for persons of concern in compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.
- Promote and contribute to measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness.
- Contribute to a country-level child protection plan as part of the protection strategy to ensure programmes use a child protection systems approach.
- Contribute to a country-level education plan.
- Implement and oversee Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities which integrate AGD sensitive procedures.
- Oversee and manage individual protection cases, including those on SGBV and child protection. Monitor, and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.
- Recommend durable solutions for the largest possible number of persons of concern through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement.
- Assess resettlement needs and apply priorities for the resettlement of individuals and groups of refugees and other persons of concern.
- Participate in the organisation and implementation of participatory assessments and methodologies throughout the operations management cycle and promote AGD sensitive 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.
- Facilitate effective information management through the provision of disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems. 
- Promote and integrate community-based approaches to protection and contribute to capacity-building initiatives for communities and individuals to assert their rights.
- Support activities in the area of risk management related to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, fraud, case-processing, data protection, and human rights due diligence at country level.
- Participate in initiatives to capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen national protection related legislation and procedures.
- Intervene with authorities on protection issues.
- Negotiate locally on behalf of UNHCR.
- Decide priorities for reception, interviewing and counselling for groups or individuals.
- Enforce compliance of staff and implementing 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.
-       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
Law, International Law, Political Sciences or other relevant field

Certificates and/or Licenses
Protection Learning Programme

Relevant Job Experience
Professional experience in the area of refugee protection, internal displacement, human rights or international humanitarian law. Good knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles.

Field experience, including in working directly with communities. Good IT skills including database management skills.

Functional Skills
*PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
*LE-International Refugee Law
*PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)
PR-Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Coordination
MG-Projects management
PR-PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards
PR-International Humanitarian Law
PR-Protection and mixed-movements
PR-Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Operations & IDPs Status/Rights/Obligation
PR-Climate change and disaster related displacement
PR-Community-based Protection
MS-Drafting, Documentation, Data Presentation
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.

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. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.  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.
See below for this postion's Operational Context
======================================================================================================== Nature of the position
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Multi-Country Office in Washington has several units, one of which is the Thematic and Operations Support Unit (ToSU) that hosts the Information Management Unit, Program and Operations, and the Caribbean Protection Unit (CPU). ToSU is headed by a P4 manager whom the Associate Protection Officer will report to.
The CPU provides protection and assistance to asylum-seekers, refugees, and stateless persons in a particularly dynamic, unique, and challenging context throughout the Northern Caribbean. The Unit covers 18 different countries and territories in the Caribbean, most of which do not have functioning asylum systems; UNHCR is physically present on three islands- the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Haiti. UNHCR works with governments in Caribbean countries to develop and strengthen protection space for asylum-seekers, refugees, and stateless persons, conducts registration, refugee status determinations and case management  and monitors and reports on the treatment of refugees and stateless persons throughout the Caribbean region.
The Associate Protection Officer will manage a team of 4-6 staff based in Washington DC, Haiti and The Bahamas and will coordinate very closely with the office in the DR; each of the staff holds a specific function and TOR which the Associate Protection Officer will supervise and guide on to ensure full coverage of the different thematic areas.
The Associate Protection Officer is the direct manager of CPU, Haiti and the Bahamas and is ultimately responsible and accountable for the outcomes, strategy, capacity building and activities of UNHCR¿s work in the Northern Caribbean (minus the DR which is managed by the respective Chief of Mission). The officer is also responsible for planning and coordination of regional trainings and participation of Caribbean counterparts in a variety of regional or global meetings and capacity-building initiatives in addition to undertaking a variety of reporting functions for CPU and building government relations.  Reporting responsibilities require regular consolidation and synthesis of information received from UNHCR¿s offices in the Caribbean and drafting and editing of both internal and external situation reports, briefing notes, fact sheets, talking points, presentations and other documents as required.  As such, the position requires the incumbent to keep abreast of developments in the region, including UNHCR¿s activities and the operational context, and have a solid understanding of international protection issues in order to effectively undertake reporting and external relations functions. Finally, the Officer is also in charge of guiding and supervising the Caribbean team in their follow up on registration, refugee status determination, detention and deportation monitoring, case management, partnerships, and durable solutions through direct supervision and coordination with the office in the DR and the Protection and Solutions Unit within MCO-Washington. In lines with the upscale in MCO-Washington¿s strategy, this position is critical to ensuring that UNHCR¿s presence remains consistent in the Northern Caribbean and mandate upheld through its activities and partnerships with Governments, INGO/NGO and persons of concern.

The Associate Protection Officer (NOB) will be based in Washington DC, within CPU, with missions to the field as per the annual mission plan.

Living and Working Conditions
Multi-Country of Washington (MCO) is an H duty station. No particular security considerations in the USA or the Caribbean in general, save for Haiti which the incumbent may conduct field missions to. Comfortable and safe working and living conditions in Washington D.C. Frequent mission travel to the field locations. Current operational circumstances might require frequently long working hours along with remote management of staff, partners and government officials throughout the Northern Caribbean. Need for security awareness, especially about criminality, when traveling to certain locations.  MCO Washington is under the purview of a regional staff safety officer based in Mexico who will guide on missions to Haiti as needed.
Additional Skills, certificate, language:
Candidates with excellent communication, both written and oral, leadership and time management skills are highly desired. Fluency in Spanish and French is an asset as well as previous work with UN agencies, humanitarian organizations, or UNHCR. Candidates need to demonstrate a strong experience in analysis of migration trends, understanding of UNHCR¿s mandate, international protection and statelessness globally or within the region. This is a Temporary Position located in Washington D.C., USA (6 month duration with the possibility of extension pending confirmation of a budget allocation)
Expected Entry on Duty Date: 01/07/2021
Expected end date of assignment: 31/12/2021 The closing date for submission of application is Friday 11 June 2021 (Midnight Geneva time). No late applications will be accepted.

Internal candidates: Your application must be submitted by: MSRP - Self-Service - Recruiting - Careers - USA - NAME OF THE POSITION
External candidates: Candidates must submit their application through UNHCR's official application site:
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For any technical problems encountered during the online application, please contact the Global Service Desk ( prior to the deadline to allow sufficient time to resolve the issues. For any questions regarding the selection process, please contact Human Resources (

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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