Job Description

This vacancy is opened in the context of the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) scheme sponsored by the Government of the USA and is addressed exclusively to candidates WITH THE US NATIONALITY ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT.

UNHCR works in the Dominican Republic to provide protection and durable solutions to Asylum Seekers, refugees and persons pending a nationality solution.

Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, UNHCR reopened its office in the Dominican Republic to coordinate the humanitarian response to the thousands of Haitians, who arrived seeking international protection.Since the onset of the Venezuela crisis in 2017, the number of Venezuelans in the DR has been increasing. According to the R4V platform, the DR hosted around 114,050 Venezuelan refugees and migrants by end-2020. Currently, the office works to ensure a coordinated response to the needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the country, to strengthen the asylum space and provide protection to refugees and asylum-seekers of all nationalities, and to facilitate access to nationality solutions for Dominicans of Haitian descent through law 169-14.

The vast majority of Venezuelans arrived to the DR by air and entered with a tourist card, which is by now expired, thus putting them in an irregular situation, exposing them to labor and sexual exploitation, violence, trafficking and discrimination. The response to the Venezuela situation is coordinated through the National Inter-Agency Platform for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants, which is co-led by UNHCR and IOM and includes the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders from the UN system and civil society. UNHCR also works closely with community leaders and Venezuelan community-based associations to support their work. In addition to Venezuelan nationals, there is also a number of Haitian refugees and asylum-seekers in the DR who have undergone mandate RSD and are in a protracted situation of displacement,  as well as a small number of refugees and asylum-seekers of other nationalities (including Cubans, Afghans, Syrians etc.).The DR is a signatory to the 1951 Convention for Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, UNHCR is working with authorities to improve the quality of the asylum system, including through on-the-job coaching, advisory opinions, Capacity Development activities and technical guidance.

A significant component of UNHCR¿s work in the DR is focused on persons pending a nationality solution. On January 26, 2010, a new Constitution was adopted in the Dominican Republic introducing a restriction to the automatic acquisition of nationality for those born in the territory of the country to foreign parents who, at the time of birth, resided illegally on Dominican territory. On September 23, 2013, by judgment 168-13, the Constitutional Court in the context of the resolution of an individual case, collectively and retroactively revoked the nationality of those born in the Dominican Republic since 1929, from parents with an irregular immigration status at the time of their birth. The vast majority of the population impacted by this ruling were Dominicans of Haitian descent. Seeking to mitigate the impact of this Judgment, Law 169-14 was adopted in May 2014. UNHCR has been following up with the authorities to ensure that nationality solutions are provided to those in need.

Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted UNHCR's persons of concern in the Dominican Republic. As most of the population of concern lack documentation or a regular status, they were not included in the government's social protection programmes. Many of those who worked informally, also lost access to livelihoods, thereby presenting important temporary vulnerabilities which are yet to be resolved. Therefore, the operation scaled up direct assistance initiatives, including CBI and delivery of hygiene and food items to the most vulnerable persons of concern.

In this context, under the direct supervision of the Chief of Mission, and in close collaboration with other colleagues, the Associate Protection Officer is expected to contribute to the design and implementation of a comprehensive Community-Based Protection strategy, encompassing components of Communication with Communities, Community Outreach, Participatory and Inclusive Approach, Community Mobilization and empowerment as well as social cohesion and peaceful coexistence with the host community. Additionally, s/he will also reinforce the overall protection capacity across both Pillars on a variety of tasks, including reporting.

S/he is expected to work in a multifunctional team with other UNHCR colleagues to maintain effective professional relationships with a wide variety of government officials, community networks, implementing partners, UN agencies, community-based organizations, persons of concern, and other actors. Through collaboration with diverse stakeholders, the Associate Protection Officer is expected to gather, analyse and disseminate relevant information about the main needs and capacities of the different population groups of concern to UNHCR, and will deploy a solutions-oriented approach to propose activities with a view to addressing those needs.

The Associate Protection Officer will receive general guidance and support from the Chief of Mission. However, the incumbent should be able to work under minimum supervision and be creative and innovative, and in close collaboration with the Protection colleagues of Pillars 1 and 2. Guidance may also be given by the various specialised units in the office, including Protection, Programme and Public Information.

Within UNHCR: Close contacts with all units to gather and analyse information.

With EXTERNAL Parties: Implementing partners, community-based organizations, community networks, UN agencies, R4V partners, and governmental counterparts.

Impact of Work:  Efficient, ethical and continuous engagement with community actors across all population groups of concern to UNHCR in the Dominican Republic will ensure UNHCR's Accountability to Affected Population.


Accountability (key results that will be achieved) 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.

Responsibility (process and functions undertaken to achieve results) - Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment.

- Promote International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and Codes of Conduct.

- Foster their consistent and coherent interpretation and application through mainstreaming in all sectors and /or in clusters in applicable operations.

- Assist in providing comments on existing and draft legislation related to persons of concern.

- Provide legal advice and guidance on protection issues to persons of concern; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.

- Conduct eligibility and status determination for persons of concern 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 to ensure programmes use a child protection systems approach.

- Contribute to a country-level education plan.

- Implement and oversee Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities which integrate AGD sensitive procedures.

- Oversee and manage individual protection cases, including those on SGBV and child protection. Monitor, and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.

- Recommend durable solutions for the largest possible number of persons of concern 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 persons of concern.

- Participate in the organisation and implementation of participatory assessments and methodologies throughout the operations management cycle and promote AGD sensitive programming with implementing and operational partners.

- Contribute to and facilitate a programme of results-based advocacy through a consultative process with sectorial and/or cluster partners.

- Facilitate effective information management through the provision of disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems.

- Promote and integrate community-based approaches to protection and contribute to capacity-building initiatives for communities and individuals to assert their rights.

- Support activities in the area of risk management related to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, fraud, case-processing, data protection, and human rights due diligence at country level.

- Participate in initiatives to capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen national protection related legislation and procedures.

- Intervene with authorities on protection issues.

- Negotiate locally on behalf of UNHCR.

- Decide priorities for reception, interviewing and counselling for groups or individuals.

- Enforce 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.

Authority (decisions made in executing responsibilities and to achieve results) The Associate Protection Officer is expected to coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern, 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 persons of concern 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 persons of concern. 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.


EDUCATION/QUALIFICATION: University degree in Law, International Law, Political Sciences or other relevant field. The degree must have been obtained in an accredited institution listed under

WORK EXPERIENCE: 3 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1 year relevant experience with Doctorate degree.

Professional experience in the area of refugee protection, internal displacement, human rights or international humanitarian law is required.

Good knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles.

SKILLS: *PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators *LE-International Refugee Law DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS & COMPETENCIES.

Field experience, including in working directly with communities. Good reporting skills; good IT skills including database management skills.

Desirable skills (not required for the position but a strong asset): *PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) PR-Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Coordination MG-Projects management PR-Community-based Protection 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; REQUIRED COMPETENCIES Code Managerial Competencies M001: Empowering and Building Trust M003: Judgement and Decision Making Code Cross-Functional Competencies X001: Analytical Thinking X004: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution X007: Political Awareness LANGUAGE KNOWLEDGE - Essential: English, Spanish - Desirable: French SUPERVISION: The JPO will be under the direct supervision of the manager indicated under `Supervisor title and position number¿.  The supervisor will be responsible for the performance evaluation of the JPO. The manager will also ensure that the JPO is provided a thorough induction and orientation briefing, followed by on-the-job training as well as continuous guidance for training/learning opportunities throughout the assignment. In support to the manager, the JPO Unit provides the Supervisory Guidelines upon recruitment/reassignment of the JPO.

TRAINING COMPONENTS AND LEARNING ELEMENTS TRAINING COMPONENTS: - Mandatory Training Courses: 1. Basic Security in the Field (NB: needs to be retaken every 3 years) 2. Advanced Security in the Field  (NB: needs to be retaken every 3 years) 3. Protection Induction Programme (PIP) 4. UN Course on Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority 5.    Orientation to IPSAS - Recommended training courses - Statelessness - Age, Gender and Diversity Approach - The Identification of Refugees in Need of Resettlement - Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Persons in Forced Displacement (LGBTI) ¿ Training package LEARNING ELEMENTS The incumbent will have direct and first-hand experience of working in refugee operation. The JPO position offers an opportunity to practically learn the intricacies of the international refugee protection. Through on the job learning, the JPO will learn: The JPO will learn elements of UNHCR's work under the Multi-Country Office Washington, its structure and processes. The learning elements result from the tasks the JPO has to carry out during the assignment, such as knowledge of UNHCR policies, the UN system and its policies particularly in relation to SGBV, AGD and human rights issues.

Additionally, the JPO will strengthen her/his drafting skills as a result from daily reporting of meetings/events/developments; presentation and negotiation skills as the JPO will assist in advocating for the inclusion of UNHCR's persons of concern into social policies having a direct impact on refugees, IDPs, and stateless persons. The JPO assignment in Santo Domingo provides an opportunity to raise political awareness and professional networking at an international level.

The JPO will also learn how to promote UNHCR¿s objectives in the field through presentations, provision of written advice, and the participation in briefings and inter-agency meetings, with a view to influencing policy development, 2030 agenda, GRF and IBelong priorities.

LIVING CONDITIONS AT THE DUTY STATION Housing/Accomodation: Available - Incumbent must find her/his own housing.

Health care: Available - private/public health care is available in Santo Domingo and other parts of the country.

Educational Facilities: Available Security: The DR's security level is ranked at 2 (low).

Other: Banking institution and public transportation are available.

Please note that the closing date for this JPO advertisement is Wednesday 31 March 2021 (midnight Geneva time).

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