Assistant Protection Officer
This position is advertised open to internal and external applicants.
Procedures and Eligibility
Interested applicants should consult the Administrative Instruction on Recruitment and Assignment of Locally Recruited Staff (RALS).
Applicants must be nationals of, and be locally recruited within the country of their employment.
Duties and Qualifications
Assistant Protection Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Assistant Protection Officer reports to the Protection Officer or the Senior Protection Officer. Depending on the size and structure of the Office, the incumbent may have supervisory responsibility for protection staff including community-based protection, registration, resettlement and education. S/he provides functional protection guidance to information management and programme staff on all protection/legal matters and accountabilities. These include: statelessness (in line with the campaign to End Statelessness by 2024), Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) commitments, age, gender, diversity (AGD) and accountability to affected populations (AAP) through community-based protection, Child protection, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) prevention and response, gender equality, disability inclusion, youth empowerment, psycho-social support and PSEA, registration, asylum/refugee status determination, resettlement, local integration, voluntary repatriation, human rights standards integration, national legislation, judicial engagement, predictable and decisive engagement in situations of internal displacement and engagement in wider mixed movement and climate change/disaster-related displacement responses. S/he supervises protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery in line with international standards.
The Assistant Protection Officer is expected to coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern (PoC), ensuring that operational responses in all sectors mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. The incumbent contributes to the design of a comprehensive protection strategy and represents the Organization externally on protection doctrine and policy as guided by the supervisor. S/he also ensures that PoC are meaningfully engaged in the decisions that affect them and support programme design and adaptations that are influenced by the concerns, priorities and capacities of them. To achieve this, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, authorities, protection and assistance partners as well as a broader network of stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection.
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 UNHCRs core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
– 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 legal advice and guidance on protection issues to PoC; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.
– Conduct eligibility and status determination for PoC in compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.
– Promote and 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.
– Provide inputs for the development of protection policies and standards within the AoR.
– Implement and monitor Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.
– Manage individual protection cases including those on SGBV and child protection. Monitor, and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents.
– Recommend durable solutions for the largest possible number of PoC through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement.
– Assess resettlement needs and apply priorities for the resettlement of individuals and groups of refugees and other PoC.
– Contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.
– Contribute to and facilitate a programme of results-based advocacy with sectorial and/or cluster partners.
– Contribute to and facilitate effective information management through the provision of disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems.
– Assist capacity-building initiatives for communities and individuals to assert their rights.
– Participate in initiatives to capacitate authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen national protection related legislation and procedures.
– Intervene with authorities on protection issues.
– Assist the supervisor in deciding priorities for reception, interviewing and counselling for groups or individuals.
– Assist the supervisor in enforcing compliance of staff and implementing partners with global protection policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of protection services.
– Enforce compliance with, and integrity of, all protection standard operating procedures.
– Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P1/NOA – 1 year relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or no experience with Graduate degree; or no experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Law, International Law, Political Sciences
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles
Completion of the Protection Learning Programme, RSD- Resettlement Learning Programme.
*PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
*LE-International Refugee Law
*PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)
PR-Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Coordination
PR-PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards
PR-International Humanitarian Law
PR-Protection and mixed-movements
PR-Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Operations & IDPs Status/Rights/Obligation
PR-Climate change and disaster related displacement
MS-Drafting, Documentation, Data Presentation
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
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.
See below for this postion’s Operational Context
Desirable Applicant Profile for matching purposes
– Good knowledge of International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards, and codes of conduct.
– Good knowledge of case management including those on SGBV and child protection.
– Good knowledge of Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
– Good knowledge of Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)
– Good knowledge of Human Rights Doctrine/Standards
– Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Operations & IDPs Status/Rights/Obligation
– Training and capacity building of implementing and governmental partners.
– Strong motivation, commitment, hard-working, dynamism, persistence;
– Creativity and openness to innovation. Ability to come up with innovative and creative solutions to operational challenges;
– Strong tact, diplomacy and negotiation;
– Ability to work in integrated fashion with other units , partners and stakeholders;
– Demonstrated drafting skills in English;
– Computer skills;
– Good knowledge of UNHCR programmes and knowledge on cluster approach in IDP operation will an added advantage
In mid-December 2013 a humanitarian crisis ensued following deadly clashes between competing factions within the Government of South Sudan and impacting on neighbouring countries. The crisis created a great number of IDPs within South Sudan. This internal armed conflict has forced in its first two months approximately 740,000 civilians to internal displacement. Unity is one of the states in South Sudan most devastated by the conflict. The conflict resulted in the loss of life, extensive looting of property, cattle riding, and revenge killings. The outbreak of the conflict also broke down communal ties and weakened social cohesion. Since then, UNHCR has mounted a well-coordinated emergency response that involves Governments, Standby partners, and other UN agencies.
With the signing of R-ARCSS in September 2018 was a source of renewed hope for many across Unity. The signing of the R-ARCSS ushered in improvement in the security situation, inter-communal relations and peaceful coexistence among communities across Unity. In 2019, over 100,000 people are living within UNMISS PoC Site; while the number of IDPs outside the POC are estimated to be over 161,000.
Since the formation of the Unity Government in February of 2020, there has continued to be a new spontaneous refugee and IDP returnees settling across Unity State. Whilst each household returns due to a range of factors, in many locations an increase in households returning and relocating has led to increasing shelter, non-food item (NFI), protection, food security, and livelihood needs. Furthermore, the outbreak of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is creating more risks and challenges for vulnerable population in accessing services and safety.
The operation in Unity state is currently responding to the current IDP context. UNHCR is part of the inter-agency humanitarian response for internal displacement. UNHCRs priorities for coordination and engagement with IDPs in South Sudan in 2014 flow from the roles of UNHCR within the three Clusters of Protection, CCCM and Shelter/NFI as well as where the geographic locations of major IDP populations are congruent with UNHCRs existing operations with refugees. UNHCR leads the protection cluster in mapping, assessment, coordination, advocacy, representation at the State level ICCG.
The Assistant Protection Officer will report to the Associate Field Officer (Protection). S/he provides functional protection guidance to information management and programme staff on all protection/legal matters and accountabilities. These include:, statelessness ,age, gender, diversity (AGD) and accountability to affected populations (AAP) through community-based protection, Child protection, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) prevention and response, gender equality, disability inclusion, youth empowerment, psycho-social support and PSEA, durable solutions, human rights standards integration, national legislation, judicial engagement, predictable and decisive engagement in situations of internal displacement, IDP and refugee returnees, and engagement in wider mixed movement and climate change/disaster-related displacement responses. S/he supervises protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery in line with international standards.
The Assistant Protection Officer is expected to coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern (PoC), ensuring that operational responses in all sectors mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. The incumbent contributes to the design of a comprehensive protection strategy and represents the organization externally on protection doctrine and policy as guided by the supervisor.
S/he also ensures that PoC are meaningfully engaged in the decisions that affect them and support programme design and adaptations that are influenced by the concerns, priorities and capacities of them. To achieve this, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, authorities, protection and assistance partners as well as a broader network of stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection
Working & Living Conditions
Bentiu is in Unity State of South Sudan and is classified as an `E, non-family duty station with basic infrastructure and limited leisure facilities. UNHCR cannot provide accommodation, however the incumbent can organize his own accommodation in the common Humanitarian Hub.
Mental robustness is needed to avoid becoming demoralized by the often unreasonable demands, criticism of IDPs, refugees, returnees and host community.
There is a UNMISS medical facilities in Bentiu and referrals are sent to Juba. Therefore, staff assigned must be in good health. Candidates with conditions that would require regular treatment or medical supervision should be appropriately advised on how to cope with the situation.
– SSAFE Training: Undertaken in the last 3 years.
– Wearing of PPE may be mandatory in some field locations .
– Bentiu is categorized as security Level III, with a UN imposed curfew after dark.
Additional factors to be considered:
– The incumbent may directly supervise Protection staff.
– During rainy season, the road movements are difficult and at the same time UNHAS flights may have difficulty in landing at the airstrip. There may be occasional last-minute cancellations due to poor weather conditions or for any other reasons. Staff member may therefore wish to plan outward journeys out of Juba with this in mind.
– Rubber boots or covered shoes are advisable to wear, especially during the rainy season. It is advisable to bring a good medical kit with medicines, pain killers, mosquito or insect repellent, shampoo, bath soap/gel and personal toiletries.
– There are no reliable medical facilities
– There are no local banking facilities;
Staff member will be required to work in a culturally and ethnically sensitive environment,
– Previous experience in similar security risk operations and good security awareness needed;