Protection Legal Officer
The Danish Refugee Council assists refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe: we provide emergency aid, fight for their rights, and strengthen their opportunities for a brighter future. We work in conflict-affected areas, along the displacement routes, and in the countries where refugees settle. In cooperation with local communities, we strive for responsible and sustainable solutions. We work toward successful integration and – whenever possible – for the fulfillment of the wish to return home.
The Danish Refugee Council was founded in Denmark in 1956, and has since grown to become an international humanitarian organization with more than 7,000 staff and 8,000 volunteers. Our vision is a dignified life for all displaced.
All of our efforts are based on our value compass: humanity, respect, independence and neutrality, participation, and honesty and transparency.
DRC has been operating in Iraq since 2003 and in Northern Iraq since 2010. It is currently implementing a broad range of activities relevant to conflict-affected communities and persons. The activities are categorized into ten sectors: Shelter and Non-food Items, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), Livelihoods, Protection, Mine Risk Education, Camp Coordination, and Camp Management (CCCM).
Overall purpose of the role:
- Provision of legal aid services including legal information dissemination, counselling, assistance, and representation to beneficiaries in Baaj
- The Protection Officer (legal) will also be responsible for maintaining their case data within relevant legal trackers and databases, following up on referrals, and contributing report inputs.
- Ensure quality of the planning, implementation and follow up on legal services provided
- Support Protection Team Leader – Legal in capacity building and technical support to Protection Assistants – Legal.
This role has a focus on Baaj and ensures compliance to DRC procedures and guidelines within DRC Iraq and the Tel Afar area office. The role contributes to the implementation of protection strategies for Baaj, which are translated into action plans and day-to-day tasks
Programming and operations:
- Provide legal services, in line with DRC Iraq guidance and standard operating procedure (SOP) to community members of different ages (youth, adults and older persons), gender (men and women) and abilities (including people with disabilities).
- Monitor that information management principles are respected at all times to ensure the confidentiality and quality of services provided.
- Disseminate accurate and impartial information to the beneficiaries through individual counselling, collective/group events, advisories, and leaflets.
- Identification of people in need of individual legal aid (legal counseling or legal representation) and ensure timely response.
- Identification of vulnerable people in need of individual protection support (case management and/or individual protection assistance), ensure timely referral and coordinate on multidisciplinary response.
- Report urgent and high-risk cases to Protection Team Leader (legal)
- Undertake individual sessions providing legal information and legal counseling as per the established work plan.
- Provide legal representative services to qualifying individuals, including for civil documentation and housing, land, and property issues. Where appropriate and agreed with the Team Leader, undertake local advocacy and mediation for the mutual resolution of legal cases (e.g. eviction threats, property disputes).
- Assess whether selected beneficiaries qualify for financial assistance under the legal aid program fund to cover costs related to resolving legal issues.
- Update and maintain legal case files on individual developments, ensuring the timely entry of accurate data, following DRC Standard Operating Procedures and ensuring clients’ data and confidentiality are protected.
- Conduct regular visits to targeted field location and provide inputs for an up-to-date service mapping of the service providers operating in the area.
- Lead on induction and initial protection training of newly recruited Protection Assistants (Legal Aid).
- Train and supervise the work of Protection Assistants (legal aid), ensuring accuracy, quality, and timeliness.
- Participate in internal and external trainings, as requested by the Protection Team Leader.
- Support capacity building activities of community groups, civil society organizations and local NGOs.
- Draft CM team workplan based on urgency and prioritization criteria, and in coordination with other protection teams.
- Provide monthly or weekly work plan for CM staff to Protection Team Leader (CM).
- Provide feedback to Protection Team Leader on protection issues, trends, risk and gaps in response to continuously improve service delivery.
Coordination and representation:
- Maintaining effective working relationship with relevant stakeholders including relevant legal entities (CAD, courts, etc), local government institutions/municipalities, (I)NGOs, community leaders and service providers; report any changes to these relationships/policies to Team Leaders.
- In coordination with the other team members, regularly brief and report to Protection Team Leader on coordination and representation efforts.
- Representation and active participation in the local working groups and any other meetings as requested.
- Remain up-to-date on legal procedure and policy developments, providing Legal officer with situation reports as needed.
- Maintain up-to-date mapping of the service providers operating in the area and when necessary coordinate with the Case Management team and CBP/PSS team.
- Advocate for the needs of vulnerable individuals both internally and through coordination mechanisms through evidence-based advocacy.
- Plan and coordinate proactively logistics and movements of staff from and to different operational areas.
- Support protection assistants (legal) with financial procedures (cash advances, settlements, documentation) required during implementation.
- Ensure all legal aid activities are recorded and documented accurately and in a timely fashion on DRC Iraq’s IM system.
- Maintain up to date legal aid case files, oversight of legal tracker (if designated legal focal point) and ensure information management principles are respected at all times.
- Support Protection Team Leader and Project Manager in submitting internal reports as requested, and providing inputs for evidence-based advocacy.
- Organize the implementation of monitoring and evaluation exercises, tracking target achievements of the legal aid program.
- Ensure compliance with DRC guidelines and policies on HR, admin, finance, and supply.
- Ensure adherence to DRC national staff policy guidelines and Code of Conduct.
- Ensure compliance with DRC AGD policy and AGD programmatic minimum standards.
- Ensuring compliance with the zero-tolerance to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse policy.
- Perform any other relevant tasks as requested by the Protection Team Leader.
Experience and technical competencies: (include years of experience):
- Minimum 2 years of relevant work experience in the legal sector, with experience in Companies law, Labor law & workers' rights.
- Prior experience or familiarity with DRC and/or persons of concern (including internally displaced persons, returnees and refugees).
- Understanding of protection principles, protection minimum standards
- Excellent IT skills (Microsoft Excel, Outlook, Word and PowerPoint)
- Excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality and always prioritize the safety and dignity of beneficiaries.
- Ability to work flexible hours.
- Fluency in Arabic; Ability to communicate and write in English.
- Candidates with contextual understanding and legal experience will be given preference over English language requirements.
Education: (include certificates, licenses etc.):
- University Degree in Law
Languages: (indicate fluency level):
Key stakeholders: (internal and external)
- DRC staff
- CADs and Court houses officials
- Persons of concerns
- Other actors working staff
- Contract length: 3 months with possibility of extension subject to funds
- Salary Band: H
- Designation of duty station: Baaj with Roving to surrounding area
- Start date: As soon as possible.
- Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Nationals; please refer to drc.ngo under Vacancies.
In this position, you are expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:
- Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.
- Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.
- Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.
- Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.
- Demonstrating integrity: You act in line with DRC’s vision