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UNOPS Human Mobility Consultant DP - LOJA

Cuenca | Quito

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Cuenca | Quito
  • Grade: Consultancy - International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed

Hardship Level (not applicable for home-based)

U (unclassified)

Family Type (not applicable for home-based)


Staff Member / Affiliate Type


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

September 21, 2023

Terms of Reference

Title: UNOPS Human Mobility Specialist Consultant DP - LOJA
Project: UNHCR – Protection of refugees in Ecuador
Duty station: Loja, Ecuador
Section/Unit: Public Defender
ICA Level: Local - Specialist ICA, Level 5 UNOPS (USD $2.073)
Duration: from 18 September 2023 to 31 December 2023 (with possibility of extension)
Supervisor: Public Defender's Office, Provincial Defender.
UNHCR, Mr. Juan Rivadeneira, Senior Protection Associate.

1. General Background (Antecedentes generales del proyecto/asignación)

The Public Defender of Ecuador is an autonomous body of the Judiciary whose purpose is to guarantee full and equal access to justice for people who, due to their state of defenselessness or economic, social, or cultural condition, cannot hire legal defense services to protect their rights.

UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency. Since 2000, UNHCR has been working in Ecuador supporting the State in the protection and search for solutions for the refugee population. Ecuador is a State Party to the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, as well as to the main international and regional human rights instruments that recognize the right to asylum. It is also a party to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (since 1970), and in 2012 acceded to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

Ecuador is the country in South America that hosts the largest refugee population in the region. According to statistics provided by the Directorate for International Protection, more than 70,000 people have been recognized as refugees and Ecuador has become a main destination and transit country for Venezuelan refugees and migrants. Ecuador receives the third largest number of Venezuelans in the region. Since 2016, more than 5.4 million Venezuelans have left their country, making it the largest exodus in Latin American history. Of these, 2.2 million have entered Ecuador, of which 400,000 have settled in the country.

Most of the people who enter or move through Ecuador in search of international protection do so through its land borders, mainly through the Rumichaca International Bridge (Carchi) and the Ecuador-Peru (Huaquillas). Within the framework of the Declaration and Plan of Action of Brazil (2014), border areas are recognized as areas of entry and transit, and of permanence and return so that people who participate in migratory movements, including those who seek protection international. Likewise, it is highlighted that in order to preserve the borders as safe and protective areas for individuals and for States, it is proposed to carry out a "Solidarity and Secure Borders" program that includes, among other actions, the development of guidelines for the identification, immediate care, and timely referral of people in need of international protection, ongoing training for state officials in border areas, and the execution of extensive dissemination and information campaigns, both at border posts and in other spaces along the migratory route , on the risks and dangers to which people who travel in mixed migratory movements are exposed and on the existing protection mechanisms.

In order to support the adequate implementation of the protection strategy and the Solidarity and Secure Borders program, UNHCR Ecuador promotes the strengthening of the capacities of national human rights institutions that work in border areas and in areas of greater concentration of population in need of international protection. The objective of the strategy is to help persons of concern to UNHCR to gain access to the territory, obtain information and access to the asylum procedure in Ecuador, as well as prevent protection risks that may affect the population in human mobility, such as abuse, extortion or human trafficking.

2. Purpose and Scope of Assignment (Propósito y alcance de la asignación)

The consultancy will be based in the canton of Loja and its activities will be carried out in the offices of the Public Defender's Office, with regular missions to other cantons of the Loja Province if duty justified. Under the direct supervision of the Provincial Public Defender and the National Coordination of Defense Management, and with the support of the Protection Unit of the UNHCR Field Office, the contractor will be responsible for:

- - Coordinate and strengthen the mechanism for referral and counter-referral of cases between the Public Defender's Office, Legal Clinics, UNHCR and its partners through the reception and follow-up of referrals, acquittal of queries and periodic meetings with the different actors.
- - Carry out personalized training under the action-education methodology, to the Public Defenders assigned to human mobility in the respective jurisdictions.
- - Support local training organized by the National Coordination of Defense Management, Human Talent of Public Defender and UNHCR.
- - Serve the public in order to:
- - Provide advice to users who require it on the refugee status determination process and access to alternatives for migratory regularization.
- - Interview users and determine if the case fits the profile to be dealt with in the refugee status determination process.
- - Make references to other institutions, if necessary.
- - Assist public defenders in the user preparation interview for the refugee status determination process.
- - Prepare appeals at administrative headquarters and train the Public Defender assigned to the case on the presentation of this appeal, the defense strategy and possible scenarios.
- - Identify cases that require comprehensive attention, document them and refer them to the National Coordination of Defense Management and the National Human Mobility Consultant.
- - Prepare monthly reports on the cases dealt with and send them to the National Coordination of Defense Management.
- - Coordinate with local actors, training activities organized by the National Coordination of Defense Management.
- - In coordination with the Provincial Director, ensure that the Public Defenders duly register the cases dealt with in the SGDP. Conduct other duties as needed.

3. Monitoring and Progress Controls (Seguimiento y control de los progresos)

- Number of cases for which analysis or legal opinions have been carried out for attention in the refugee status determination process.
- Number of interviews on counseling in the refugee status determination process.
- Number of challenge appeal projects presented.
- Number of documented cases that require comprehensive care.
- Consulting information uploaded in the SGDP.
- Number of training workshops carried out.
- Number of cases referred to other institutions (UNHCR, Clinics, DPE, etc.)
- Preparation of monthly reports on the activities carried out.

4. Qualifications and Experience (Calificaciones y experiencia)
(List the required education, work experience, expertise and competencies of the individual contractor. The listed education and experience should correspond with the level at which the contract is offered.)

a. Education (Educación) (Level and area of required and/or preferred education)
- University Degree in Law (4 years).
Master's Degree in Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Human Rights. (Desirable)

b. Work Experience (Experiencia laboral)

- At least three years of experience in issues related to human mobility and human rights.
- Experience working with public institutions (desirable).  

c. Key Competencies (Competencias clave)

- Objective analysis capacity
- Ability to work with vulnerable groups
- Capacity for teamwork
- Ability to work under stress
- Ability to deal with confidential and sensitive information in a professional manner
- Availability to move to other cities
- Computer skills: Word, Excel, internet    

5. Submission of applications}

A) Shortlisted candidates may sit a technical test.
B) Foreign candidates, to be considered eligible for this position, must have a temporary or permanent residence in Ecuador that allows them to carry out work activities in the country.
C) Once hired, the candidate must submit a current and updated Single Taxpayer Registry RUC; and a certificate of voluntary contribution before the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security IESS. IESS voluntary values will be covered by the staff member.
D) If you wish to be considered for this vacancy, please submit your application according to the following instructions:

- CANDIDATES WITH ACCESS TO THE WORKDAY: In order to apply, you must first create your profile in the WORKDAY system.
- EXTERNAL CANIDATES: Candidates who do NOT have access to the WORKDAY system should submit their application through UNHCR's official site for applications:

For any questions about the selection process, please contact Human Resources (


UNHCR is committed to diversity and welcomes applications from qualified candidates regardless of disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, race, color or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training or any other fees).

If you are a person with a disability and need additional assistance during the application and/or recruitment process, please contact us by email:



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This position doesn't require a functional clearance
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