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Protection Associate - UNOPS L-ICA 6

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
  • Closing Date: 2021-07-29

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This Job Opening is available to eligible UNHCR staff members and external applicants. General Background

In 2021 the number of sea arrivals is expected to be akin to 2020 in view of the fragile protection and integration prospects in countries of first asylum and transit. The size of the movement across the Central Mediterranean will lies on various factors: Covid-related economic crisis, Italian policy and EU engagement with Libya. 

By the end of 2020 the reception system is expected to host some 80,000 persons. In 2021, if the percentage of asylum seekers is alike 2020, the capacity of the system will decrease further to some 70,000 persons. In the context of COVID-19 pandemic, implementation of preventive and containment measures in both reception and detention facilities will represent the major challenge for the Government, particularly with regard to the management of quarantine procedures both offshore and onshore. The conversion law of Law Decree 130/2020 will have a positive impact on reception standards in first-line facilities for asylum seekers, particularly on PwSN.

UNHCR has promoted for many years the establishment of a consolidated and coordinated national reception system. To this end, UNHCR has supported the Italian authorities in the establishment of a dedicated monitoring methodology of reception standards based on a participatory approach aimed at increasing MoI¿s capacity at central level and local level and ensuring accountability and harmonization of reception standards. 

In 2021, UNHCR is expected to continue providing its technical support to the Ministry of Interior, in particular through: monitoring missions in both first-line and second-line reception and detention facilities, development and piloting of monitoring methodology/tools and capacity building/development addressed to Prefectures and to managing bodies of reception and pre-removal centres. UNHCR will continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 in the context of reception and detention system, through either field missions, if allowed, or through collection of information by remote from managing bodies.

UNHCR is looking for qualified candidates to perform functions of Protection Associate (UNOPS), with possibility of immediate deployment. Under the supervision of the Rome-based Senior Protection Associate, the Protection Associate (UNOPS) will be tasked with conducting monitoring missions as well as thematic training initiatives, in coordination with competent officials of the Ministry of Interior. Moreover, the Protection Associate (UNOPS) will represent UNHCR with a number of institutional counterparts, IGOs and NGOs, also in relevant training sessions with a focus on reception and detention.

UNHCR looks for suitable candidates, with a sound knowledge of the Italian operational context as well as of issues pertaining to reception and detention conditions as well as monitoring. Expertise on specific needs and International background would be an asset. Previous UNHCR experience is an asset. Fluency in both Italian and English is essential.

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

2.a Monitoring reception conditions

1. Monitor reception conditions of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, in particular by taking part in monitoring visits together with DLCI and local authorities.
2. Monitor detention conditions in pre-removal facilities (CPR) and report critical situation to competent authorities.
3. Support the MoI in the dissemination and adoption by Prefectures of the methodology and tools developed under the previous projects to ensure consistency in monitoring activities.
4. Advocate with the MoI for the adoption of ad hoc tools and methodology for monitoring pre-removal facilities in coordination with competent authorities.
5. Support UNHCR advocacy strategy on monitoring and more broadly on detention.
6. Maintain regular contacts with the Prefectures, MoI detention focal points and IOM.

2.b Training activities

1. Support in designing and delivering training and capacity building initiatives to authorities responsible for monitoring reception and detention conditions and also to all relevant stakeholders active in the field of detention (Police, Prefecture camp managements doctors).
2.Provide support and on-the-job training to relevant actors and organize and/or participate in training events.  

2.c Support to co-ordination

1. Support the co-ordination of reception and detention activities  as required.
2. Establish and maintain contacts with all relevant actors involved, in particular with the local authorities, the local Prefectures, the police and other public security forces, camp management and operators, relevant NGOs the competent officials of the Ministry of Interior and the network of Guarantors at all levels (National/Regional/Provincial/Municipal) and with all relevant stakeholders active in the field of detention.
3. Contribute to reporting exercises required by project activities.
4. Contribute to the overall coordination mechanism with all the other UNHCR activities ¿ in particular, RSD, access to territory, Specific Needs activities - as required.
5. Represent UNHCR in relevant thematic initiatives on reception and monitoring related matters.
6. Respect the confidentiality of any sensitive information and adhere to the UNHCR Code of Conduct.
7. Undertake necessary UNHCR trainings.
8. Perform other protection-related duties as required.

Qualifications and Experience


High School Diploma is required.
University Degree in law, political science or related areas is an asset.

Work Experience

3 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher. Relevant experience includes especially in the field of asylum/refugee procedures.
Previous experience in the field of reception system(s) and monitoring is an asset.

Key Competencies

Good knowledge of the EU and domestic legal framework on asylum systems, with specific reference to reception system(s), including main thematic publications at EU and domestic level.
Good communication, analysis and drafting skills.
Knowledge of monitoring methodology, mechanisms and tools.
Ability to identify significant capacity building opportunities.
Good diplomatic skills and strong institutional awareness.
Fluency in Italian and English. Core Competencies:

Organizational Awareness
Teamwork & Collaboration
Commitment to Continuous Learning
Client & Result Orientation

Managerial Competencies:

Judgement and Decision Making

Cross-Functional Competencies:

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Political Awareness
Stakeholder Management Contract type: UNOPS Local Individual Contractor Agreement, level 6 (L-ICA 6).

Initial contract duration: until 31 December 2021.

Expected entry on duty: October 2021.

Duty station: Rome, Italy.

Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

Assessment of short-listed candidates will consist of an oral interview and a written test.

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.

In case of any queries, please contact the UNHCR MCO Italy HR Team at Please note that the application closing date for this vacancy is Thursday 29 July 2021 (23:59 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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