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Associate Protection Officer

Zwedru | Liberia

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Zwedru | Liberia
  • Grade: Junior level - P-2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
  • Closing Date: Closed

This vacancy is opened in the context of the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) scheme sponsored by the Government of the USA and is addressed exclusively to candidates WITH THE US NATIONALITY The protection unit of the Field Office in Zwedru cordinates all protection activities at the field level. Zwedru is the largest field office Liberia covering PTP Refugee and Little Wlebbo camps as well as settlements with host communities in Zwedru township and a Transit Centre in Toe Town. UNHCR is currently implementing the Comprehensive Solutions Strategy on Ivorian Refugees which includes voluntary repatriation, local integration as well as exemption processes. in 2022, it is estimated that a total of 10, 000 refugees will be assisted to return voluntarily to Ivory Coast, the majority of which will be from Grand Gedeh and Maryland Counties, which are covered by Zwedru. The Associate Protection Officer will be expected to coordinate all activities of said vol rep under the general supervision of the Head of Field Office but with technical guidance from the Senior Durable Solutions Officer.

Under Cessation and Exemption, UNHCR and LRRRC have developed and adopted a workplan which includes capacity building of government officers, interviewing applicants for exemption, providing counselling to applicants who decide to appeal against negative decisions including those lodging the appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia. Being the key protection staff in the field, the staff will be expected to provide said counselling and guidance to such refugees and ensure that all relevant protection protocols are adhered to.

For those refugees who will remain in Liberia after exemption as well as those not affected by cessation, there is continued need to follow up on all relevant protection disciplines including gender mainstreaming, Child protection, SGBV, Justice & Peace, education and sustainable development goals (SDGs).

At the moment, the protection unit in Zwedru is headed by a national staff at grade GL 6. With the implementation of Cessation and Exemption, it will be rather difficult for the said national staff to monitor implementation of such technical protection processes.

The JPO will also support the efforts of the Field Office to improve self-reliance and deliver durable solutions for refugees who opt for local integration in the relevant counties.



The protection of populations of concern is achieved through the application of International and National Law, relevant UNHCR protection standards and principles.  
¿ The protection strategy incorporates a thorough age, gender and diversity (AGD) analysis and reflects the Organization's global, regional and country level priorities.
¿ The Participation of persons of concern is assured through continuous assessment and evaluation using participatory, rights and community based approaches.
¿ Protection incidents are immediately identified and addressed.
¿ Durable solution is achieved for the largest number of population of concern through voluntary repatriation in line with protection standards.


Provide guidance and direction to the Protection staff working with and under his/her supervision.
¿ Keep abreast with political social economic and cultural developments that that impacts on the protection environment in Liberia.
¿ Promote International, national and UNHCR policies, standards and code of conduct.
¿ Implement and oversee strict compliance and adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection and or durable solution activities.
¿ Supervise and manage individual protection cases including those on SGBV and child protection.
¿ Monitor and report cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents for immediate intervention with the authorities.
¿ Implement Comprehensive Solutions Strategy for Ivorian Refugees which inludes assessing, identifying and facilitating voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate resettlement in line with the operational priorities.
¿ Supervise the protection screening team in liaison with other protection staff to ensure that effective screening mechanisms are implemented and maintained for adequate and effective reception and registration of persons of concern
¿ Contribute to harmonization and integration of the use of proGres database as a protection tool in recording and generating protection needs and information.
¿ Update proGres with relevant protection information on persons of concern and apply relevant protection events as appropriate.
¿ Assist in assessment and identification of resettlement needs and apply appropriate priorities and categories for resettlement of individuals.
¿ Contribute to and assist in the design and implementation of capacity building for staff, partners and local authorities on protection and assistance related matters.
¿ Facilitate and supervise the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related Age, Gender and Diversity mainstreaming (AGDM) with partners.
¿ Perform any other duties as may be assigned by the supervisor.


Negotiate locally on behalf of UNHCR with prior approval of supervisor/head of office.
¿ Decide priorities for reception, interviewing and counseling for groups or individuals in liaison with Supervisor.
¿ 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.



University Degree in either Law, International Law, Political Science, Social Science or related field.


3 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1 year relevant experience with Doctorate degree. Minimum of 2 years relevant professional experience in field work, international protection, refugee protection, or human rights. Experience in the legal profession, knowledge of interviewing techniques, interpersonal skills, and previous work experience with refugees would be an asset.

Strong analytical and communication skills; computer skills; ability to translate theory into practice; and good drafting skills.

The incumbent should also have good interpersonal skills, and be culturally sensitive, particularly in light of the fact that he/she will be required to live in an environment requiring continuous interaction with a small group of colleagues of very diverse cultural background, without outside amenities/entertainment.


* Protection Learning Programme/Protection Induction Programme.
* BID Guidelines Training
* RSD and Resettlement Learning Programme
* Statelessness Learning Programme
* Tarining in Child Protection, SGBV, Sexual Exploitation; REQUIRED COMPETENCIES

Code Managerial Competencies               

M001: Empowering and Building Trust
M002: Managing Performance
M003: Judgement and Decision Making

Code Cross-Functional Competencies      
X001: Analytical Thinking
X004: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
X009: Change Capability and Adaptability LANGUAGE KNOWLEDGE

- Essential: English,     
- Desirable: French SUPERVISION: The JPO will be under the direct supervision of the manager indicated under `Supervisor title and position number¿.  The supervisor will be responsible for the performance evaluation of the JPO. The manager will also ensure that the JPO is provided a thorough induction and orientation briefing, followed by on-the-job training as well as continuous guidance for training/learning opportunities throughout the assignment. In support to the manager, the JPO Unit provides the Supervisory Guidelines upon recruitment/reassignment of the JPO. TRAINING COMPONENTS AND LEARNING ELEMENTS

- Mandatory training courses:
1. Basic Security in the Field (NB: needs to be retaken every 3 years)
2. Advanced Security in the Field  (NB: needs to be retaken every 3 years)
3. Protection Induction Programme (PIP)
4. UN Course on Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority
5.    Orientation to IPSAS

- Recommended training courses

* Training in Age Gender and Diversity Mainstreaming; and
* Training in proGres version 4


By the end of her/his assignment, the incumbent will have acquired all-round protection competencies, including, Refugee reception, protection screening and registration, refugee caseload management, resettlement, exemption processes, protection monitoring skills, basic negotiation, and advocacy skills in the UNHCR context.  These will be assessed on the basis of the quality of the reports and assessments produced as well as the appropriateness of the interventions/demarches made. LIVING CONDITIONS AT THE DUTY STATION

Housing/accommodation: Commercial accommodations are available in Zwedru city for rent even though most times they require some work to make it habitable and MORSS compliant. There is running water in the city that is provided on a weekly basis. Electricity is sometimes supplied to certain areas of the city with occasional cuts. However, UNHCR has a Guest House in Zwedru with electricity (2 generators) at certain hours of the day and night, running water and DSTV in the living room.  There a cleaner at the Guest House who provides free laundry service. Food can be requested by special private arrangement with the cook.

Health care: Medical facilities available in Zwedru are basic. Besides the state-run hospitals, Martha Tumbman Memorial Hospital, there also some privates clinic that carter to minimun health services.  For critical cases, patients can be referred to the referral hospital in Harper in Marylan County as well as Tappita, also located in Nimba County. At Monrovia level, A UN Clinic located on the Ground Floor of the One UN House, provides medical care for UN staff members in Liberia. Immunization Requirements, Common Ailments, medical referral and medical evacuations are taken care of by the UN Medical facility.  Very few privately operated Medical Facilities (Doctors, Clinics, Laboratories, Hospitals), Dental Care, Physiotherapy and other Specialized Services, medical evacuation, Pharmacies and Medicines are operational in Liberia.  Malaria is still a major health concern, although can be treated. Mosquito nets are widely available, they are very hot to sleep under and are not used consistently. Malaria treatment is available at the larger clinics. Tuberculosis and Lassa fever are also prevalent in Liberia.  UN Clinic Contacts: Doctors / Nurses: Dr. Filmon Beraki ¿ email:, Cell: +231770003845; Dr. Mohammed Kamara -  email:, Cell: +23177003840 /+231886513902; Nurse - Ms. Annie Robinson  - email:, Cell: +231770003841 / +231886-778021; Nurse - Mr. Martin Mambu - email:, Cell: +231770003880

Educational facilities: Monrovia is a non-family duty station.

Security: Liberia is a post conflict country. The country is generally safe, with the exception of petty crimes especially in the cities.  Security Briefings are conducted by UNDSS for all new arrivals within 72 hours of arrival in the Country. Human Resource arranges time with UNDSS office. It is also mandatory that all UN staff members should complete the BSAFE Security Training, prior to commencement of their travel. If you have not yet done so, please go to: to complete the training.  UNDSS processes Identification Cards for all UN staff members in Liberia. HR ensures that ID cards are processed for new arrivals. Staff members are required to return their UN ID cards to Administration, BO Monrovia at the end of mission/assignment prior to departure from Liberia.  For proper identification, all UN staff members are to show their UN identification card before entering any UN premises and keep it displayed on them while in a UN premises and during in-country travels by road or by air.  Liberia is currently assessed at UN Security Level System (LSL) II, with a country-wide mission curfew: 00:00hrs to 05:00hrs (Monday-Friday) and 02:00hrs to 0:500hrs (Saturday and Sunday).  Personal Security is not applicable. Residential Security can be arranged with security companies identified by UNDSS that are available to render security services as prefer by the staff.  It is mandatory to complete the following mandatory security courses: BSAFE, UN Programme On The Prevention Of Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Abuse Of Authority [Multilanguage], Protection Induction Programme, Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), ICT Information Security Awareness Training (InfoSec) - [Multilanguage], Fundamentals of Fraud and Corruption Awareness.

Other (transports, banks, etc): The US dollar is widely used and accepted everywhere and can be easily exchanged into the Liberian Dollar, the official currency. Travelers checks are not accepted in Liberia; but cash machines/ ATMs are available. A few hotels, shops and restaurants in Monrovia accept credit cards. Liberia has serious infrastructural challenges. Most roads outside of Monrovia are very bad and during the rainy season (June ¿ November) most roads become difficult to maneuver. Please note that the closing date for this JPO advertisement is Sunday 22 May 2022 (midnight Geneva time).
This vacancy is now closed.