Legal Advisor, Human Rights
OBJECTIVE OF THE OFFICE/DEPARTMENT
This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO)
Provides advice and legal counsel to PAHO/WHO's Governing Bodies, Executive Management, PAHO/WHO Representations (PWRs), Centers, and Country Offices on all legal matters, including the application of national and international law to the Organization's programs and activities, constitutional, administrative, and procedural matters, as well as technical legal matters related to legislation and human rights law. Drafts, reviews, and/or negotiates contracts, treaties, agreements, resolutions, and any other type of instrument which has legal implications for the Organization. Represents and defends the Organization before the internal appeals process as well as the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labor Organization and other national or international judicial and quasi-judicial fora, as appropriate.
DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES
Under the direct supervision of the Legal Counsel, Office of Legal Counsel (LEG), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:
- Advise Member States, in collaboration with Country Offices, on all international human rights issues and action strategies to promote the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (“Right to Health”) and other related human rights in Member States, and on the formulation/review of national health-related laws, policies, programs and practices consistent with regional and international human rights laws and standards, PAHO Resolutions, especially Resolution on Human Rights and Health (CD50.R8), and Resolution on Health-Related Law (CD54.R9);
- Plan, design, and participate in training activities in Member States and within the Organization on international and human rights norms and standards that protect the Right to Health and other related human rights, especially in areas such as communicable diseases, noncommunicable diseases, risk factors, determinants of health, cross-cutting themes (Gender, Ethnicity, and Equity), the life course, health systems and services and outbreaks and crisis responses;
- Coordinate human rights efforts at the regional, national, and local levels and communicate regularly with Country Offices in coordination with ombudsperson offices, human rights commissions and other governmental officials working in the field of human rights; non-governmental institutions: members of civil society; consumer organizations and family members (among others) in order to prepare common activities and strategies on human rights and public health issues;
- Support the Organization’s technical cooperation in the formulation, review and, if necessary, reform of national health policies, plans and legislation, incorporating the applicable international and regional human rights instruments, norms and standards;
- Serve as WHO focal point on Human Rights for the Americas (AMRO) in close collaboration with the corresponding WHO Headquarters Office and other regions of WHO and communicate with them virtually and face to face, as appropriate;
- Participate in on-site visits to national institutions such as hospitals, health services and health centers amongst others and prepare reports and/or draft strategies/plans of action for presentation to PAHO's Governing Bodies, Member States, Country Offices and Technical Units, as appropriate, in order to promote the application of regional and international human rights norms and standards;
- Collaborate with the UN treaty bodies and with the corresponding Special Rapporteurs and working groups in order to promote and protect the Right to Health and other related human rights in the Americas. Responsibilities include the drafting of PAHO/WHO's recommendations on country/thematic reports, observations and recommendations in close collaboration with WHO (HQ) and to be considered by the UN treaty bodies, working groups and Special Procedures, as appropriate;
- Collaborate with the Organization of American States’ (OAS) organs, working groups and treaty bodies such as the Inter-American Commission and Court on Human Rights, as appropriate, in order to promote and protect the right to health and other related human rights in the Americas and especially in relation to the Rapporteurships of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Responsibilities include the drafting of legal instruments and technical opinions on the right to health and other related human rights to be considered by the OAS’ organs, working groups and treaty bodies; participation in general and specific hearings, as appropriate; coordination of promotional activities such as training workshops and on-site visits to national institutions and other public health facilities, as appropriate;
- Provide training and guidance to staff of the Organization to ensure that technical cooperation programs related to health delivery incorporate and implement the regional and international human rights instruments, norms and standards in the programs of work;
- Promote the elaboration of publications and virtual courses as part of the strategy to build capacities inside and outside the organization to promote the use of the applicable international and regional human rights instruments, norms and standards;
- Participate in the PAHO Cross-Cutting Themes (CCTs) Secretariat, Working Groups and Technical Advisory Groups to provide advice on human rights issues as applicable throughout the entire Organization;
- Promote and stimulate collaboration and research with academic institutions, the private sector, civil society organizations, and other social actors, when appropriate, to promote and protect human rights, in keeping with the regional and international human rights instruments, norms and standards related to health;
- Foster relationships with prestigious academic institutions in the field of international law and human rights and actively promote opportunities to build a network of new collaborating centers to support the work of the Office of the Legal Counsel;
- Promote the sharing of good practices and successful experiences among the Member States in close collaboration with Country Offices so as to prevent stigmatization, discrimination and exclusion of individuals, groups and peoples;
- Promote and provide support for mobilization of national and international resources to support the implementation of programs under areas of responsibility;
- When called upon to directly supervise staff, establish clear work objectives, conduct timely and effective performance appraisals, provide coaching and feedback, and support staff development opportunities;
- Perform other related duties, as assigned.
Essential: A university degree in law and a master’s degree in international law, political science, international relations or other discipline related to Human Rights, from a recognized institution.
Desirable: Admission to practice law in a PAHO Member State would be an asset.
In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degrees/diplomas required for this position. WHO, only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED). The list can be accessed through the link: http://www.whed.net/.
Essential: Nine years of combined national and international experience preferably within the Regional and/or International Human Rights Systems in juridical work and human rights research, with emphasis on the Right to Health and public health issues; familiarity with human rights and public health, and legislative, judicial and socio-political issues.
- Overall attitude at work: Maintains integrity and takes a clear ethical approach and stance; demonstrates commitment to the Organization’s mandate and promotes the values of the Organization in daily work and behavior; is accountable for work carried out in line with own role and responsibilities; is respectful towards, and trusted by, colleagues and counterparts.
- Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences: Relate well to diversity in others and capitalize on such diversity - Relates well to diversity in others and capitalizes on such diversity. Treats all people with dignity and respect. Relates well to people with different cultures, gender, orientations, backgrounds or positions; examines own behavior to avoid stereotypical responses; considers issues from the perspective of others and values their diversity.
- Teamwork: Collaborate and cooperate with others - Works collaboratively with team members and counterparts to achieve and build rapport; helps others when asked; accepts joint responsibility for the team’s successes and shortcomings.
- Communication: Write effectively/Share knowledge - Writes down ideas in a clear, structured, logical and credible way; drafts and supports the development of guidelines, policies and procedures. Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.
- Producing Results: Work efficiently and independently/Deliver quality results - Monitors own and others’ work in a systematic and effective way, ensuring required resources and outputs. Aligns projects with Organization’s mission and objectives. Consistently solves own and team’s problems effectively as needed. Proactively engages in projects and initiatives, accepting demanding goals, in line with Organizational Strategies and Program of Work. Demonstrates accountability for work of team and sets an example, while explicitly articulating lessons learned for own and team’s benefit.
- Ensuring effective use of resources: Strategize and set clear objectives/Monitor progress and use resources well - Sets specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely objectives for own team and/or the Organization; systematically analyses and anticipates priority projects for own team and allocates necessary resources to achieve them; identifies the cross-Organizational resources needed for large-scale projects in line with key Organizational objectives. Anticipates foreseeable changes and adapts own and team’s projects in the face of unforeseen circumstances and/or challenges; creates measures and criteria to monitor progress of overall projects against key Organizational objectives; creates cost-effective solutions for the Organization.
- Building and promoting partnerships across the Organization and beyond: Develop networks and partnerships and encourage collaboration - Builds and negotiates strategic partnerships and alliances with a wide range of key stakeholders to ensure Organizational results and success. Creates innovative opportunities for promoting synergies for the Organization to improve Organizational success.
- Expert knowledge of the basic principles of constitutional law and regulations concerning public and individual health.
- Expert knowledge of health law, public health law and public international law, at the national and international levels.
- Sound knowledge of human rights and social/economic determinants of health.
- Demonstrated competence in policy and legislative analysis; experience analyzing and addressing policy issues; skills in overseeing and implementing policy and advocacy work.
- Sound knowledge of most relevant aspects of current issues in health and safety which could form the basis for policy making and legislation.
- Strong research skills. Knowledge of data collection and analysis methods. Familiarity with databases related to legislation. Experience conducting quantitative and qualitative participatory evaluations.
- Sound knowledge and understanding of global/international health policy, organizations and actors and technical and financial cooperation in health as applied to health legislation processes.
- Demonstrated ability to consult, build relationships/partnerships and work with stakeholder groups.
- Excellent interpersonal skills. Ability to function in complex, changing environments, and to work with diverse groups as well as independently.
- Ability to write, analyze and discuss the potential impact of health-related legislation and its surrounding environment.
- Ability to develop model legislation alternatives in support of or as part of policies dealing with specific health problems. Ability to adapt health legislation approaches/models to the specific national context and analyses and propose measures to strengthen the legislative process related to health issues and policies.
- Knowledge and skills to assess the effectiveness of the enforcement of specific legislation and ability to negotiate with high-ranking political and civil authorities to harmonize national legislation within the context of globalization and regional integration.
- Strong written and oral communication skills. Expertise in synthesizing complex issues and presenting to policymakers, academics and other audiences.
Very good knowledge of English and Spanish. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.
Demonstrated ability to effectively use current technology, software, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and management information systems. Other IT skills and knowledge of programs such as Visio and Project would be an asset.
Annual Salary: (Net of taxes)
USD $75,602.00 post adjustment
Post Adjustment: 54.1% of the above figure. This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.
Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.
PAHO/WHO maintains high standards of integrity and accountability. People joining PAHO are required to maintain these standards both in their professional work and personal activities.
PAHO/WHO promotes a work environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, and other types of abusive behavior. PAHO conducts background checks and will not hire anyone who has a substantiated history of abusive conduct.
PAHO/WHO personnel interact frequently with people in the communities we serve. To protect these people, it has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. People who commit serious wrongdoing will be terminated and may also face criminal prosecution.
PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity. PAHO/WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
PAHO/WHO offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy.
Candidates appointed to an international post with PAHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
Candidates will be contacted only if under serious consideration. A written test and/or interview will be held for this post. The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.