E (most hardship)
Non FamilyDanger Pay
Residential location (if applicable)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
Regular > Regular Assignment
December 15, 2022
Senior Protection Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
In the Bureaux, the Senior Protection Officer works under the direct supervision of the Bureau Deputy Director or Head of Bureau Protection Service or Senior Protection Coordinator. In the Field, the incumbent normally reports to the Representative, Deputy or Assistant Representative (Protection) or Head of Sub Office as appropriate. The incumbent has direct supervisory responsibility for protection staff whose work may include RSD, community-based protection, registration, resettlement, internal displacement, complementary pathways, and education, among other areas. In HQ, the incumbent may report to a Chief of Section or Deputy Director and may lead a Unit and/or supervise other protection staff.
The incumbent acts as a key advisor to senior management and leads the development of a comprehensive protection strategy under the area of responsibility (AoR). S/he represents the Organization to authorities, UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on protection policy and doctrine.
The Senior Protection Officer plans, leads and coordinates quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern under the AoR. This includes ensuring that operational responses in all sectors are shaped in a protection optic, are consistent with and promote respect for relevant international law and UNHCR's doctrine, mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. Another important element of the incumbent¿s functions is to ensure that persons of concern of all age, gender and diversity groups are involved with the Office in making decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying and implementing appropriate solutions to their problems. To undertake this role effectively, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with other relevant teams within the operation or the Bureau (including programme; PI and external relations; IM) and with DIP, communities of concern, authorities, protection and assistance partners as well as a broader network of stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection and achieving solutions.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
- Provide technical guidance and support to UNHCR and partners on all protection related issues.
- Stay abreast of legal, political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment.
- Manage a consultative process with government counterparts, partners and persons of concern to develop and implement a comprehensive protection and solutions strategy addressing the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation and/or gender identities (LGBTI persons), persons living with HIV/AIDS; gender equality and Gender Based Violence (GBV) priorities with regard to these persons.
- In operations applying the Cluster Approach, ensure the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in a strategy which covers all assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations.
- Ensure that the protection strategy is fully integrated into the Country Operations Plan, the UN Development and Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and the Humanitarian Country Team¿s common humanitarian response plan as well as with the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and the Three Year Strategy on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways.
- Promote relevant International, Regional and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct and ensure that all sectors and /or in clusters in applicable operations fulfil their responsibilities in mainstreaming protection.
- Promote the implementation of the AGD policy, including UNHCR¿s updated commitments to women and girls, and design, deliver and monitor programmes on an AGD basis to address identified protection needs.
- Develop, implement and monitor community-based protection strategies and ensure systematic application and integration of participatory and community-based approaches in protection and solutions planning, programming and strategies.
- Support the establishment of feedback and response systems and the incorporation of feedback received from persons of concern into programme design and adaptation.
- Guide the operation in the development and implementation of robust prevention, identification, and responses to fraud within protection processes and procedures, including registration, RSD, and resettlement, ensuring the integrity of interventions across all protection activities.
- Oversee the management of individual protection cases including those on GBV and child protection.
- Provide legal advice and guidance on protection issues to internal and external interlocutors; ensure legal assistance is accessible to persons of concern; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documents to persons of concern (including women and others in need of civil documentation in particular birth certificates).
- As designated Data Protection Focal Point, assist the data controller in carrying out his or her responsibilities regarding the Data Protection Policy (7.2 DPP).
- Oversee eligibility and status determination in the Operation(s) under the AoR, ensuring compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.
- Promote and implement strategies and measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness.
- Develop and implement an education plan as part of the protection strategy within the AoR as relevant.
- Develop and implement a child protection plan as part of the protection strategy within the AoR, ensuring programmes use a child protection systems approach.
- Monitor and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.
- Work to safeguard the rights of persons of concerns in the context of mixed movements as relevant.
- Coordinate the preparation of, implement and oversee Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.
- Ensure that durable solutions through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement and complementary pathways are sought and provided to the largest possible number of persons of concern including undertaking, supporting, and/or overseeing resettlement and complementary pathways activities, including implementation of the GCR Three Year Strategy.
- Coordinate the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related programming with implementing and operational partners.
- Develop and implement a programme of results-based advocacy through a consultative process with sectorial and/or cluster partners.
- Ensure that the Protection Sector or Cluster has an effective information management component which provides disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems.
- Research, collect and disseminate relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery.
- Develop the protection capacity of national and local authorities, partners and civil society to assume their responsibilities vis-à-vis all persons of concern through protection training, mainstreaming and related activities.
- Coordinate capacity-development initiatives for communities and individuals to assert their rights.
- Advise and capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and civil society to strengthen legislation and status determination procedures and mechanisms.
- Perform other related duties as required.
For positions in Bureaux
- Support the Regional Bureau and Country Operations to reflect the protection and solution angle in support of persons of concern with regional processes.
- Support Country Operations in the development of strategies to build and further develop national asylum/RSD systems with a view to ensuring their fairness, efficiency, adaptability and integrity, favourable protection environment and solutions.
- Assist UNHCR management at country level to comply with policies and commitment on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse measures.
- Support Country Operations and ensure they meet their complementary pathways objectives and resettlement quotas.
- In close collaboration with DIP, (a) contribute to the development of background and general normative, policy, and legal positions, in compliance with UNHCR¿s global protection policies and standards; (b) contribute to the development of strategies at the regional and country level on the usage of law and policy approaches, including legislative and judicial engagement and UN human rights mechanisms ¿and/or regional ones ¿ and other protection frameworks, and integrated human rights standards in protection strategies and advocacy; and (c) coordinate and review UNHCR¿s country reports to the UN human rights mechanisms.
- Engage in relevant international and regional fora and forge regional partnerships to advocate for key protection and mandate issues, and engage in cross-cutting protection-related matters, including mixed movement, internal displacement and climate change/disaster-related displacement responses, as well as Statelessness in cooperation with DIP and where relevant RSD.
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P4/NOD - 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Law, International Law, International refugee Law, International Human Rights Law,
International Humanitarian Law, Refugee and Forced Migration, Political Sciences
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
Protection Learning Programme RSD-Resettlement Learning Programme
Management Learning Programme
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Minimum 7 years of relevant professional experience in the area of refugee protection, internal displacement, human rights or international humanitarian law, including experience in working directly with Field Offices. Very good knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles, and of UNHCR¿s protection strategies and policies. Excellent legal research, analytical skills and drafting.
Diverse field experience. Good IT skills including database management skills.
*PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
*PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)
PR-Refugee Coordination Model
PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards
PR-International Humanitarian Law
PR-Assessment of IDPs Status, Rights, Obligation
PR-Comprehensive Solutions Framework
PR-Climate change and disaster related displacement
PR-Accountability to Affected People - Principles and Framework
PR-Gender Based Violence (GBV) Coordination
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.
As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.
This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.
Desired Candidate Profile
Candidate is expected to have a solid protection experience in both refugees and IDP settings, sound management skills and adoptability and strong commitment to accommodate competing protection priorities.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:
To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:
Nature of Position:
The Senior Protection Officer (SPO) is a key member of the protection team in the CO Office Kabul. Reports to the Assistant Representative (Protection) who heads the CO Kabul Protection Unit and is responsible for protection country-wide. The SPO supervises a Protection Officer, Assistant Protection Officer and Assistant Repatriation Officer. Should be well-versed in all aspects of UNHCR 's protection mandate both in refugee and IDP settings. Oversee protection standards operation procedures and practices in protection delivery at country levels for matters relating to IDPs, returnees, and refugees. Support the Assistant Representative (Protection) in designing a comprehensive protection strategy and provides support in representing the organization to authorities, UN agencies, stakeholders on protection agenda and policy . Possess excellent drafting, analytical and stakeholder management skills. In the current context, it will be expected to continue efforts to capacitate National Professional Officers on protection related issues with the objective to support Business Continuity.
He/she provides support in planning, leading and coordinating quality effective protection responses in an increasingly complex operational context, in which returnees, new and protracted IDPs, members of host communities, and, in some areas, refugees may reside in the same areas with similar protection and assistance needs. As a result, the office has adopted a `whole of community` approach that seeks to respond to these common needs, as well as enhance the resilience of individuals and communities. Other responsibilities include ensuring that operational responses in all sectors reflect protection principles and priorities, mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards and ensuring persons of concern are involved in making decisions that affect them through assessments and community-based protection monitoring. To achieve these objectives, regular communication with the Sub and Field Offices that are in contact with communities of concern, authorities, protection and assistance partners as well as a broader network of stakeholders will be necessary. The Senior Protection Officer will also work closely with the Protection Cluster Coordinator, as well as external interlocutors, including government and NGO counterparts, to ensure a cohesive, consistent protection presence in the overall humanitarian response in Afghanistan.
Living and Working Conditions:
Afghanistan is a high-risk country with a very complex operational environment, characterized by uncertainty and frequent security incidents.
Movement by all personnel is restricted and closely coordinated and monitored by the security officers.
UNHCR Representation Office in Kabul is located within the ICON Compound on the Supreme road of the Police district 9. It occupies 40 rooms for staff accommodation with each room having its own washroom and other facilities. Offices are within the ICON compound. Afghanistan has a senior management structure comprising of a Representative (D2), Deputy Representative (D1), Senior Operations Coordinator (P5) and Assistant Representative (Administration) (P5).All international staff are accommodated in MOSS compliant shared compounds and/or UNHCR rented guest houses. Visits to restaurants, other social venues, friend 's houses are prohibited except in UN compounds and Embassies. The situation is frustrating and increase stress making it difficult for some colleagues to cope with this type of life. UNHCR along with other sister UN agencies signed an MOU for Joint Medical Services (JMS) with Level 1 medical care equipped laboratory, an Armoured Ambulance and pharmacy. Staff member on special prescription drugs are advised to travel with some quantity to avoid a situation where the medication may not be available.Medical facilities in Kabul- German Clinic, French Medical Institute for Mothers & Children (FMIC), Blossom hospital, Iqarus International and ICON compound.
The security situation continues to be unstable, volatile and unpredictable in the whole country. The situation is expected to continue during 2020-2022.Because of this,it is mandatory upon all staff to make a daily radio check.. All movements within the AoR is strictly by means of Armoured Vehicle while movement to other UNHCR offices within Afghanistan is by air. There is absolutely no road movement due to the high security uncertainties. UNHCR Afghanistan has 6 weeks RnR cycle and staff are highly encouraged not to delay. Considering the serious restrictions on staff movement, it is crucial to demonstrate a record of maintaining a positive attitude whenever confronted with adversity and restraints in his/her social life. Staff interested in the position should be mentally, psychologically and physically fit and ready to face situations when required to be locked down in the compounds and the bunkers for an extended period due to security incidents.
PR-Developing Strategic Protection Framework, PR-International Legal Standards on Statelessness
BA: International Law (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Political Science (Required)
HCR Management Learning Program - UNHCR, HCR Protection Learning Program - UNHCR, HCR Resettlement Learning Program - UNHCR
Annual Budget OL in Operation/Office, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Workforce to Supervise, Working with Persons of Concern: Asylum Seekers, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned IDPs, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Stateless
Accountability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Political awareness, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration
Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022
This position doesn't require a functional clearance