Associate Protection Officer
Mission and objectives
The Office of the UNHCR was established on 14 December 1950 by the UN General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country (www.unhcr.org). In line with this mandate UNHCR supports the Republic of Uganda in protecting individuals who seeks asylum in the country as well as those in the country at risk of being stateless or who already are considered stateless. UNHCR also provides direct assistance through implementing partners to refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda. As of Sept 30 UNHCR in Uganda targets approximately 1,524,352 refugees and asylum seekers for assistance in terms of basic services and legal protection. UNHCR puts a strong effort into identifying durable solutions for all refugees in Uganda and to reduce the risk of persons in the country becoming stateless.
Uganda currently hosts more than 1.4 million refugees making it Africa’s largest refugee hosting country and one of the five largest refugee hosting countries in the world. The refugee protection environment in Uganda is progressive and provides refugees with freedom of movement, the right to work and establish businesses, the right to documentation, access to social services, and allocation of plots of land for shelter and agricultural production. The duty station of the IUNV, Associate Protection Officer, will be Rwamwanja settlement in Kamwenge District, Field Unit Rwamwanja, under the management of Sub Office Mbarara in Southwest Uganda. Rwamwanja settlement was first established in 1964. As of February 2023, refugee population of Rwamwanja settlement is about 91,095 and growing. It is dominated by refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (90,504), with few refugees from Rwanda (395), South Sudan (109), Burundians (60), Somalia (11), Kenyan (7). Rwamwanja settlement is currently benefitted from some operation partners. With protection partners engaged in the protection response, it is imperative to note that the primary actor for registration in Uganda is carried out by government counterpart, the Commission of Refugees under the Office of Prime Minister (OPM). OPM uses proGres v.4 as the registration tool and BIMS for biometric enrolment. In September 2020, we rolled out Global Distribution Tool (GDT) for Core-relief items distribution. UNHCR always takes lead in Refugee influx with an objective of emergency preparedness to ensure that the strategic direction for an eventual emergency response is in place, of which the Bundibugyo situation was not an exception. Despite the complex situation, UNHCR, joined the government in extending protection and Humanitarian Assistance to the affected population. With the current registered population of 1,450 Asylum Seekers and expectations of having more influx of people running away from the rebel fighting in Congo, there is a need for UNHCR to plan at least 10,000 Asylum Seekers at Bubukwanga Transit Centre through the Rwamwanja Field Office. In collaboration with the OPM, the Rwamwanja Field Unit is responsible for border monitoring of the districts of Ntoroko and Bundibugyo to provide timely analysis on the border situation to prepare contingency plan for the Field Unit in consultation and agreement with Sub Office Mbarara and partners.The Rwamwanja settlement now receives new arrivals from the border (prima facie refugee status), and also those who go through refugee status determination (RSD) procedure conducted by Refugee Eligibility Committee of Uganda. Currently FU Rwamwanja has about 20 staff including administration (including drivers), field, protection and supply. The operation is mainly care and maintenance under the Global Refugee Compact (GRC)/Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). Based on the past five years experience of Uganda operation, the incumbent will need to prepare for any emergency supports for the country operation if needs arise.
Through relationships with persons of concern, authorities and network of partners stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment and provide advice to senior management. Ensure that the perspectives, capacities, needs and resources of the persons of concerns are reflected in the protection strategy, planning processes and operations plan addressing the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, minority groups such as sexual minorities and persons living with HIV/AIDS; Utilize the IDPs footprint during the planning process; Coordinate the promotion of international refugee law principles and standards and also IDP legislation or policies ensuring that all sectors and clusters fulfill their responsibilities mainstreaming protection; Coordinate the implementation and monitoring of programmes ensuring that identified protection needs, including an Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) approach, are adequately addressed; Provide policy guidance and operational support to UNHCR and partners on all protection related issues; 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 (civil documentation, in particular birth certificates); Monitor, and assist with the intervention in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners; Assist in the coordinated implementation and oversight of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities; Ensure that durable solutions through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement are sought and provided to the largest possible number of persons of concern; Ensure through direct action and advocacy with more senior protection staff that the necessary resources are allocated to enable protection activities to identify and address protection and assistance gaps; Support a consultative process with government counterparts at local levels, partners and persons of concern to develop and implement integrated strategies that address the key protection priorities, including, for example, child protection, education and SGBV, and solutions approaches; Promote confidence building and conflict resolution among populations of concern, authorities and host communities; Maintain protection presence through regular field missions and reports, making direct contact with persons of concern, host communities, local authorities and partners. In operations applying the humanitarian cluster system, contribute to ensuring that the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in an AGD-compliant strategy which covers all assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations; Contribute to the Protection team's information management component which: provide disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems; researches, collects and disseminates relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery and provide technical advice if necessary; Ensure participatory, community-based protection and AGD approaches are included in, strategies and plans in the country operation; Support persons of concern to develop structures that enhance their participation and protection.
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