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Protection Associate


  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Gaziantep
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
  • Closing Date: Closed

Hardship Level

E (most hardship)

Family Type


Family Type


Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type

General Service


Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

September 21, 2023

Standard Job Description

Protection Associate Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The Protection Associate normally reports to the Protection Officer or the Senior Protection Officer. The incumbent monitors protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery in line with international standards and provides functional protection support to information management and programme staff. The Protection Associate is expected to coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern (PoC) and identify opportunities to mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards in operational responses in all sectors. S/he contributes to designing a comprehensive protection strategy and liaises externally with authorities and partners on protection doctrine and policy as guided by the supervisor. The Protection Associate also ensures that PoC are involved in making decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying appropriate solutions to their problems. To achieve this, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, local authorities and protection and assistance partners. 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. Duties - Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment. - Consistently apply International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct. - Assist in providing comments on existing and draft legislation related to PoC. - Provide advice on protection issues to PoC; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation. - Assist in conducting eligibility and status determination for PoC. - Contribute to measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness. - Contribute to a country-level child protection plan as part of the protection strategy. - Contribute to a country-level education plan as part of the protection strategy. - Monitor Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities. - Manage individual protection cases including those on GBV and child protection. Monitor, and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents. - Assist in identifying durable solutions for the largest possible number of PoC through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement. - Contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners. - Facilitate effective information management through the provision of disaggregated data on PoC and their problems. - Participate in initiatives to capacitate authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen national protection related legislation and procedures. - Assist the supervisor in prioritizing PoC for interview, counselling and propose protection support for individual cases. - Assist the supervisor with enforcing compliance of local implementing partners with global protection policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of protection services. - Assit the supervisor with enforcing compliance with, and integrity of, all protection standard operating procedures. - Submit individual payments request for PoC for approval. - Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Education & Professional Work Experience Years of Experience / Degree Level For G6 - 3 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher Field(s) of Education Not applicable Certificates and/or Licenses International Law, Political Science or other related field (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential Not specified Desirable Protection Learning Programme Functional Skills IT-Computer Literacy PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements 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

Languages: English and Turkish language proficiency is essential, and fluency in one of the languages including Arabic, Kurdish and/or Farsi will be considered a strong advantage.

Additional Qualifications: Completion of the Protection Learning Programme, as well as child protection and GBV related learning programmes will be considered an advantage.

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):



Desired languages



Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

Nature of Position:

The post of Protection Associate is within Gaziantep Field Unit and the incumbent will be supervised by the Assistant Field Officer (NOA) under the Head of Gaziantep Field Unit. Gaziantep Field Unit covers five provinces namely Gaziantep, Kilis, Kahramanmaras, Osmaniye and Malatya where about more than 700,000 Syrians are registered.

To perform and fulfil their duties, the incumbent will spend a substantial percentage of time working outside the office on a daily basis engaging with refugees and staff of various counterparts; NGOs and public institutions including but not limited to Provincial Directorate of Migration Management (PDMM) and Provincial Directorate of Family and Social Services (PdFSS) and other relevant state institutions, Bar Associations and Municipalities, mukhtars etc. The incumbent will be expected to interact directly with persons of concern including Syrians and other nationalities within the Field Unit's area as well especially in counselling with the refugees during voluntary return interviews at PDMMs.

The incumbent will:

  • In close contact with the Protection Unit, closely collaborate with stakeholders providing legal services and support the office in monitoring trends in access to registration and documentation, detention, and deportation. Provide legal protection guidance to the individuals and partner agencies in line with the non-refoulement principle, as well as various international and national legal instruments. The incumbent may be asked to conduct visits to PDMM registration and verification facilities as well as removal centers in scope of protection monitoring and prepare thematic reports.

  • Follow up on individual protection interventions through case processing (individual counselling and referrals to relevant state institutions and NGOs).

  • Conduct Voluntary Return Interviews with Syrians at the two border gates (Oncupinar and Karkamis) and ensure voluntariness of applicants' decision to return, provide counselling on the consequences of voluntary return and if/when encountered any specific protection cases, take appropriate action and refer to the relevant stated institution. Prepare daily and weekly reports and statistics on voluntary return interviews and record in the database.

  • Follow up with partners on their activities and conduct ad-hoc visits to monitor the activities and join regular MFT visits when required/scheduled by Program Unit, including Bar Associations, legal clinics and NGOs providing legal counselling and assistance.

  • Liaise with the local official including PDMMs, PDFSS and its units and follow up on UNHCR supported programs as well as keep close contact with Municipalities and mukhtars on the situation of refugees in urban as well as social cohesion activities of Municipalities.

  • In consultation and coordination with relevant internal and external stakeholders, conduct systematic protection monitoring to assess and report the needs including in the EQ affected areas, through site visits, key informant interviews and group discussions with affected refugee and host community members, as well as with authorities and partners.

  • Any other duties as required.

Living and Working Conditions:

On 6 February, two major earthquakes of 7.7 and 7.5 magnitude in Kahramanmaraş Province impacted eleven provinces in Türkiye’s southeast region and neighbouring Syria. The infrastructure and utilities in Gaziantep are largely preserved, and the city continues to benefit from efficient public transport system and smooth delivery of gas, water and electricity. Gaziantep is a regional industrial and trade hub, with thousands of businesses that have continued operating after the earthquake.

Gaziantep has a good network of health facilities, including both public and private hospitals, some of which offer more sophisticated services. Housing in Gaziantep is widely available, but due to economic downfall in most of 2022 and following the earthquake, rental prices have significantly increased.

Gaziantep also has a well-developed network of schools and is home to one of the largest universities in Turkiye. There are several private universities as well. However, education with international curricula is very limited and it may be challenging for families with younger children in need of adequate educational facilities in foreign language. English is not widely spoken, which may be challenging at times. However, people in Gaziantep are hospitable.

Current operational circumstances may require long working hours due to ongoing emergency mode.

Proximity to the Syrian border has led to a sensitive security in South-eastern Turkey since the Syrian conflict began. However, the level of general criminality is low. During the recent period the security situation in Southeast Turkey has been largely stable, with isolated incidents of deteriorated situation due to evolving security situation along the border with Syria. Following an increased engagement in the Syrian conflict by the Turkish Government the number of incidents targeting Turkish security forces has somewhat increased, but number of cross border incidents is rather limited in scale and frequency of occurrence.

The current security levels in Southeast Turkiye is Level 2, with some parts of the AOR (10 Km distance from the border area, plus Reyhanli and Mardin in the east) at Level 4. There are no known direct threats towards the United Nations and its staff in the area but vigilance and awareness is required in the changing security environment. Due to the relatively recent developments at the border areas, the UN staff in Gaziantep are advised to increase their precaution measures in general. Area Security plans and Security levels are being updated.

Gaziantep is a base for three UNHCR separate facilities- the SO Gaziantep (refugee operations), Resettlement Hub inaugurated in Dec 2022, and the Cross Border Operation that is engaged in the humanitarian interventions in Northwest Syria. SO Gaziantep provides support to Resettlement and Cross Border Operations through Admin and logistics functions, with occasional expansion to other types of support from various units in the office.

Additional Qualifications


IT-Computer Literacy, PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators, PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework



International Law - Other, Political Science - Other

Work Experience


Accountability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Judgement & decision making, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Stakeholder management, Teamwork & collaboration

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Additional Information

Recruitment as a UNHCR staff member and engagement under a UNHCR affiliate scheme or as an intern is subject to proof of vaccination against Covid-19, successful reference checks, and integrity clearance.

The English version is considered original and authoritative, translation to other language(s) serve the purpose of advertisement of local positions where applicable but are not considered as official translations

Staff members should serve for a minimum of one year following assignment before being considered eligible to apply for another position within the same category. This requirement is waived in respect of staff members whose position is being changed or whose assignment/appointment through the joint staff/management review body is in a replacement capacity.

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

Only short-listed candidates will be notified. The recruitment process might include a written test and/or oral interview for this job opening. No late applications will be accepted.
External candidates should be legally present in Türkiye at the time of application, recruitment, and hire.

Non-Turkish citizens are required to upload their residence permits or relevant documents under the ‘Certifications’ section, by selecting the type ‘Personnel Administration – Other’, to be considered for this job opening. Applications by non-Turkish citizens will NOT be considered if a valid residence permit is not attached to the application.

For further information on how to apply, please visit the ‘UNHCR - Application and Selection’ page, at

Functional clearance

This position doesn't require a functional clearance
This vacancy is now closed.
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