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Senior Protection Assistant (UNOPS LICA, level V)

Nicosia (Cyprus)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Nicosia (Cyprus)
  • Grade: Administrative Services and Support - Generally no need for Higher Education - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-28

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This position is advertised open to internal and external applicants. Senior Protection Assistant
1. General Background
(Brief description of the national, sector-specific or other relevant context in which the individual contractor will operate)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (¿UNHCR¿) is the agency entrusted by the United Nations General Assembly with the mandate to provide international protection to refugees and, together with Governments, to seek permanent solutions to the problems of refugees. Article 35 of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and Article II of the 1967 Protocol requires states parties to cooperate with the office of the UNHCR in the exercise of its supervisory responsibilities. UNHCR¿s supervisory responsibility has been reflected in European Union law, including by way of a general reference to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees in Article 78 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (¿TFEU¿), as well as in Declaration 17 to the Treaty of Amsterdam, which provides that ¿consultations shall be established with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ¿ on matters relating to asylum policy¿.  

Within the framework of UNHCR¿s supervisory responsibility, the UNHCR country office in Cyprus seeks a Senior Protection Assistant to have regular presence at the Limnes Multipurpose reception center in Larnaca for monitoring, information provision and counseling services. The Senior Protection Assistant may also be requested to provide such services at the first reception centre in Kokkinotrimithia and the reception centre in  Kofinou.

The Limnes Multipurpose Reception centre is expected to be operational by October 2021. The center is located near the village of Kofinou, in the district of Larnaka, and it has a 1000 persons capacity. 

2. Purpose and Scope of Assignment
(Concise and detailed description of activities,/ tasks and responsibilities to be undertaken, including expected travel, if applicable)

The Senior Protection Assistant is expected to monitor the protection / reception conditions in line with international and EU standards and provide timely and quality support to asylum seekers and comprehensive feedback to the management to inform UNHCR¿s strategy and advocacy interventions. The Senior Protection Assistant shall identify opportunities to mainstream protection methodologies and safeguards in operational responses. S/he shall contribute to the design of a comprehensive protection strategy and may liaise externally with local authorities and partners on protection issues, as guided by the supervisor. 

The Senior Protection Assistant shall monitor the protection / reception conditions to ensure that they are in line with international and EU standards, notably with regard to health, security, sanitation, food, access to clothing and non-food items, as well as to adequate and appropriate functional common areas. A gender-based and child-rights approach shall be followed, while ensuring that vulnerabilities are adequately identified and addressed. 

The Senior Protection Assistant shall also provide information and counseling related to the reception and asylum procedures as well as on return procedures, as suitable. The information shall enable the asylum seekers to gain access to their rights and comply with their obligations and allow them to make informed decisions. 

In addition, the Senior Protection Assistant shall provide support to UNHCR information management and Programme staff.

The Senior Protection Assistant shall ensure that asylum seekers are involved in decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying appropriate solutions to their problems. To achieve this, the Senior Protection Assistant will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, the authorities and protection and assistance partners.

Main duties and responsibilities
The Senior Protection Assistant will undertake the following tasks and responsibilities:
¿ Consistently apply International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct.
¿ Monitor Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities, identify gaps and make recommendations to remedy them.
¿ Provide information and counselling on protection issues to PoC; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.
¿ Ensure provision of information on organisations or groups of persons that provide specific legal assistance and organisations that might be able to help or inform applicants concerning the available reception conditions. 
¿ Provide return information provision in a clear, thorough, and objective manner based on facts related to information on the country of origin. Information should be in line with the conditions and possibilities of their return as well as relevant based on local security considerations.
¿ Support the management of the centers as required, particularly in relation to coordination and communication with the community¿s initiatives.
¿ Participate in individual protection case management including cases of SGBV and child protection.
¿ Support activities in protection related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.
¿ Draft reports, routine correspondence, update relevant databases and compiling statistics within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).
¿ Perform other related duties as required.

3. Monitoring and Progress Controls
{Clear description of measurable outputs, milestones, key performance indicators and/or reporting requirements which will enable performance monitoring)

The Senior Protection Assistant will work under the supervision of the Protection Officer of UNHCR. S/he will also maintain close contact with all other relevant staff in the office, and other UNHCR offices as required. S/he will have regular meetings with the supervisor where, among other things, performance issues would be discussed. Given the nature of the assignment, no interim or final report is required.

4. Qualifications and Experience
(List the required education, work experience, expertise and competencies of the individual contractor. The listed education and experience should correspond with the level at which the contract is offered.)

a. Education
(Level and area of required and/or preferred education)

- Completion of secondary education, Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in Law, Psychology, Social Science or related field. Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master¿s) or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) in these fields may also be accepted.

b. Work Experience
(List number of years and area of required work experience. Clearly distinguish between required experience and experience which could be an asset.)

- At least 3 years of previous work experience directly relevant to the position.

c. Key Competencies
(Technical knowledge, skills, managerial competencies or other personal competencies relevant to the performance of the assignment. Clearly distinguish between required and desired competencies)

- Computer skills (MS Office and People Soft applications)
- Excellent writing/drafting skills
- Analytical skills: Ability to identify trends and produce relevant and usable information; assesses needs quickly and accurately; offers well-supported recommendations for a course of action
- Planning and organizing skills: ability to establish priorities and to plan work assignments, respond to competing demands and work under pressure of frequent, multiple and tight deadlines
- Inter-personal skills: ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; ability to develop partnership and networks in community development work.
- Communication skills: Is sensitive, compelling and clear in formal and informal communication; has well developed listening skills; explains complex matters in a clear and informative way. 
- Client & Result Orientation: Understands and exceeds client needs. Ensures overall provision of quality service to persons of concern. Is sensitive to and responsive to the age, gender and diversity requirements of clients. 
- Stakeholder Management: Builds networks of mutual trust with stakeholders in order to maximize results for people of concern. Effectively engages with stakeholders and collaborates with partners.
- Political Awareness: Identifies and understands relationships, constraints and pressures affecting others as well as their motivations and objectives; in light of UNHCR's mandate to serve refugees and other persons of concern. - Fluency in English and Greek is essential, knowledge of French or Arabic is desirable. Interested external applicants are invited to apply online and complete the mandatory motivation letter.  For help with technical issues with online applications, please contact the Global Service Desk ( well before the deadline to allow sufficient time for any technical problems to be resolved. External vacancies are posted on the external UNHCR website and applicants must apply through the external UNHCR website, > Careers > Career opportunities > Other Opportunities > Vacancies, sort by Location or search by Job Opening number.

Not signed, incomplete and late applications will not be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Shortlisted candidates will be required to undertake a written test. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing or any other fees).

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted based on the information submitted during the application. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Please note that his is a local position for which a valid working permit in Cyprus is required.

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality. The closing date of this opening is 28 September 2021
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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