Victim Care Officer
- Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- Location: Geneva
- Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
- Legal - Broad
- Closing Date:
Residential location (if applicable)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
ReasonRegular > Regular Assignment
Remote work accepted
Target Start Date
Job Posting End Date
Standard Job Description
Victim Care Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
In UNHCR, different mechanisms are established to manage individual complaints of sexual harassment, through both formal and informal routes, and with different entities handling specific aspects of a complaint. It is therefore likely that, in addressing a sexual harassment complaint, several entities will be involved, included (but not restricted to) the Inspector General’s Office (IGO), the Ethics Office, the Ombudsman’s Office, the Legal Affairs Service, the Field Security Service, and in the Division of Human Resources, the Psychosocial Wellbeing Section, the Medical Section, the Human Resources Staff Services and the Director’s Office. While it is important that any complainant can benefit from the services and decisions by different entities, the multiplicity of contact points and respective correlated actions may be cumbersome and/or confusing for the client. In seeking to improve the complainants’ experience of the reporting and complaints process, UNHCR established a Victim Care Officer function. The Victim Care Officer is a part of the Office of the Senior Coordinator (Prevention from and Response to SEA & SH). The Victim Care Officer reports directly to the Senior Victim Care Officer and acts as the focal point for cases of sexual harassment.
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 psychosocial support to complainants through case management including: carrying out psychosocial assessment of complainants-related needs and risks; providing guidance in relation to procedures and services available; supporting complainants in decision making; liaising with other services involved in response to incidents of sexual harassment and coordinate their actions with the complainant to meet the complainant’s needs.
- Provide guidance to the triage case management team for the Support Desk and/or SpeakUp Helpline and processes the allocated cases as per protocol.
- Strengthen standard operating procedures (SOPs) for case management in UNHCR, including trigger mechanisms, protocols for collaboration with all case management stakeholders and with the Working Group on SEA and SH. Integrate an understanding of the impact of sexual harassment on peoples' lives and behaviours into relevant protocols in order to prevent harm.
- Contribute to development, with relevant stakeholders, a process for centralized, systematic capture of anonymized data related to sexual harassment with the aim to enhance UNHCR’s risk and trends analysis capacity.
- Provide monthly reports (or as required) on typology and geographical prevalence of sexual harassment in the organization based on the collected data to the key stakeholders.
- Actively participate in anti-harassment campaigns and promotion of workplace free of harassment.
- Provide advice and support to managers who are dealing with an incident of sexual harassment in the workplace.
- Provide expertise in all activities related to SH, such as development of training modules and facilitation of sessions/workshop/training, in collaboration with other relevant offices.
- Develop a trauma-informed response to personnel-clients that enhances their choices and recognizes their strengths
- Provide an emotional and physical safe environment for personnel-clients who have experienced sexual harassment and minimize the potential for re-traumatization during the reporting process.
- Work directly with the UNHCR personnel-clients who are seeking advice or support in dealing with their complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace. The case management requires independent access to various services in the best interest of the client.
- Interact independently with the organizational entities dealing with sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace including the Staff Counsellors, Medical Officers, Office of the Ombudsman, the Ethics Office, the Inspector General’s Office; Senior Coordinator for SEA/SHA, human resources and other functions as necessary.
- Collaborate with the relevant entities within other organizations focusing on sexual harassment with a scope of sharing best practices and enriching the UNHCR anti-harassment strategy with the evidence-based approaches.
- Implement a trauma-informed psychosocial case management system that increases safety, agency and resilience for all personnel-clients that have experienced sexual harassment.
- Refer SH victims to other internal entities (e.g the IGO & Ombudsman and Mediator’s Office for resolutions, Ethics Office for Protection from Retaliation concerns, Staff Counsellors for counselling) in accordance with an established protocol.
- Provide advice, guidance and set standards on psychosocial support for SEA victims in different operational environments
- Perform other related duties as required.
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P3 - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Counselling or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
Mental Health - Other
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
University degree and registration, license, certification as a mental health professional (clinical psychology, counselling, psychiatry, clinical social work). Demonstrated clinical experience, including case management and counselling skills for a minimum of 4 years. Working experience on prevention and response to sexual harassment in the workplace. IT skills: ability to work with Microsoft Office.
Experience in interdisciplinary coordination/case management in the social or clinical setting. Understanding of the humanitarian work environment.
WF - Counselling
MD - Patient case management skills
MD - Organizational Psychology and/or Psychiatry
WF - Mediation
MD - Suicide risk assessment
MD - Application of trauma interventions in crisis situations
WB - Coaching peer advisors
WB - Ability to identify staff in distress and provide appropriate support
MD - Delivery of post rape support
MD - Treatment of vulnerable/traumatized individuals
MD - Drafting clinical notes
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Knowledge of English is essential
Knowledge of either Spanish or French is essential
All jobs at UNHCR require six core competencies and may also require managerial competencies and/or cross-functional competencies. The six core competencies are listed below.
Teamwork & Collaboration
Commitment to Continuous Learning
Client & Result Orientation
Empowering and Building Trust
Judgement and Decision Making
Planning and Organizing
Change Capability and Adaptability
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.
Desired Candidate Profile
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:
Nature of Position:
UNHCR is committed to eradicating sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), and sexual harassment (SH) in the workplace. In March 2018 UNHCR brought it efforts to tackle both SEA and SH together, recognizing the common roots of power differentials and gender imbalances, and similar needs of victims. A Senior Coordinator (SEA/SH) was appointed to lead and coordinate these efforts, working together with a multi-functional structure. In May 2018 UNHCR issued a comprehensive Strategy and Action plan [link] to tackle sexual misconduct, and in August 2020 launched a new Strategy and Action Plan (2020-2022).
Central to these efforts is ensuring, through robust internal systems, a diligent, appropriate and sensitive response to all incidents of SEA and SH that places the rights and protection of victims, survivors and persons directly affected at the centre of our actions. A key measure of this victim-centred approach is the establishment of a psychosocial case management system to ensure that persons who report SH are individually supported throughout the reporting and complaints journey and do not feel overpowered by any real or perceived hurdles of the process. The position of Victim Care Officer (SH) contributes to greater confidence in the way UNHCR responds to complaints of SH and, in turn, address the issue of underreporting. It also helps to identify areas in which we might improve our efforts to support and assist victims.
Building on the efforts taken across the organization over previous two years, in December 2020, the High Commissioner issued a new policy on a Victim-Centred Approach in UNHCR’s Response to Sexual Misconduct. The policy sets out UNHCR’s definition of a victim-centred approach and outlines high level principles. The policy provides that the Senior Coordinator (SEA/SH) has overall responsibility to guide, advise, report and follow up on the implementation and operationalization of this policy, It further provides that the Victim Care Officer (formerly the Psychosocial Case Management Officer (SH)), working closely with the Senior Coordinator (SEA/SH) is specifically responsible for guiding, advising, reporting and following-up on the implementation and operalization of a victim-centred approach in the context of SH.
The incumbent will provide direct psychosocial support, advice and guidance to victims of sexual harassment, responding to each of them within 24 hours from the time of contact. The Victim Care Officer will undertake risk and needs assessments, coordinate with other entities within the internal justice system (the IGO, LAS, Ethics and Ombudsman) and accompany victims through a resolution process. As a complement to the work with victims, the Victim Care Officer will also support managers to respond to individual situations of sexual harassment, as well as in relation to broader office wide initiatives to improve the work environment.
In addition to the direct support to victims, the Victim Care Officer plays a much broader role in the organization’s overall efforts to tackle sexual misconduct, carrying out a wide range of activities to ensure that prevention and response to sexual harassment is adequately reflected in guidance, and awareness raising and learning activities. The incumbent provides substantial input to and helps to develop learning packages on prevention and response to sexual harassment, to develop materials for, and participate in the delivery of, other training initiatives including the Reflective Leadership Dialogue deep dives, the WEM, the SELP, as well as dedicated specialist trainings such as for Peer Advisors and for Field Security colleagues.
Ensuring a victim centred approach is central to UNHCR’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual harassment, and, in line with the incumbent’s responsibilities under the Victim Centred Approach policy issued in 2020, the Victim Care Officer should work very closely with other entities – in particular the Ethics Office, Ombudsman and Field Safety and Security – to incorporate a Victim Centred Approach in their procedures and ways of working.
The incumbent will establish and maintain reference group of victims who are willing to provide input into various initiative that UNHCR is developing, including some of those referred to above, oversee research projects and other feedback initiatives to gather the perspectives of victims. The incumbent will require the necessary clinical and research skills and background to ensure that participation is safe for victims. The incumbent should ensure that the recommendations that come out of such initiatives include tangible areas for action.
In addition to the important internal coordination role, the incumbent will also play a key role in the work of the CEB Task Force on Addressing Sexual Harassment within the UN System in developing its victim centred approach statement and related initiatives. The incumbent will require expertise in trauma and psychology in order to ensure that inter-agency work producing tools and products for victims are safe and effective for use.
Living and Working Conditions:
CertificationsMental Health - Other
CompetenciesAccountability, Analytical thinking, Change capability & adaptability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Teamwork & collaboration
UNHCR Salary Calculator
CompendiumAdd.2 to Bi-annual Compendium 2022 - Part B