United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Associate Refugee Status Determination Officer

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Job Description

This Job Opening is available to eligible UNHCR staff members and external applicants. National Professional Officers should be nationals of and be locally recruited within the country of their employment. US Citizenship is required for this position.

Associate RSD Officer Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Associate RSD Officer provides legal, operational and strategic support on mandate or national RSD at global, regional or country operations level. The position may be located at Headquarters (within the Division of International Protection), in a Regional Bureau or in a Country Office and reports to the RSD Officer or Protection Officer or other staff with delegated authority, as appropriate.

The incumbent provides advice and guidance on legal and procedural matters related to RSD whether in the context of mandate RSD and/or national asylum/RSD systems (as applicable), is responsible for conducting RSD (where required), reviewing and providing advice on individual cases in line with requirements under the RSD Procedural Standards. The incumbent is also responsible for contributing to the development of an RSD strategy and, where required, methodologies to promote the effectiveness of RSD as a protection tool and implementing broader organizational objectives and priorities, in compliance with relevant UNHCR standards and policies. Whether in the context of national or mandate RSD, the incumbent provides advice and support to staff engaged in RSD and related activities, monitors trends of RSD decision-making, and conducts training and other capacity-development/strengthening activities to promote consistency in RSD procedures and decision-making. S/he contributes to developing and enhancing regional and global RSD standards and policies, as necessary.

If based in a country operation, the Associate RSD Officer advocates with and supports Government authorities and legal partners in further developing their capacities in line with the GCR and other key UNHCR planning considerations.

The Associate RSD Officer works closely with RSD staff as well as staff responsible for registration, resettlement and training activities. S/he also liaises with relevant focal points in DIP, in particular within the RSD and PNS Sections and other HQ Divisions as required.

¿ 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 - Provide legal/procedural advice and support on RSD adjudication issues within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).

- Stay abreast of legal, political, security and other developments relevant to mandate RSD, the protection environment, including developments in relation to national asylum/RSD systems, as applicable.

- Support engagemnt with relevant national authorities and structures in identifying and expanding opportunities in view of developing or strengthening national asylum/RSD systems.

- Support the quality review of RSD Assessments in line with UNHCR policies/guidelines related to mandate RSD and endorse RSD decisions as required.

- Conduct interviews and draft RSD Assessments including for complex/sensitive cases per relevant standards and guidelines.

- Provide ongoing coaching as well as training on the inclusion criteria; principles/procedures related to exclusion; cancellation/revocation; international humanitarian law; human rights law; interviewing techniques and credibility assessment/establishing the facts; and legal drafting.

- Provide training to other UNHCR units on the refugee criteria and related issues as needed.

- Assist with the development of a RSD strategy and support senior management to ensure its full and effective integration into the protection and solution strategy of the Country Operations Plan.

- Assist with developing/enhancing regional and global RSD standards and policies, as required.

- Assist with the design and implementation of operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of RSD operations in line with relevant standards/policies, including UNHCR's AGD policy and Forward Plan, ensuring the prioritisation of persons with specific needs, or, if based in a Regional Bureau, provide support to operations on the above.

- Monitor trends and systematically compile statistics related to RSD case processing.

- Analyze key indicators of the quality and efficiency of decision-making in RSD processing to assess capacity and resource requirements of operations in the region or the operation to which the RSD Officer is assigned.

- Evaluate and contribute to projecting RSD staffing and financial needs using the RSD Staffing Benchmarks, and support allocation of appropriate human, material and financial resources.

- Contribute to identifying and preventing fraud in RSD through oversight, advice and guidance to UNHCR personnel, partners and persons of concern.

If based in DIP or a Regional Bureau: - Conduct support missions, as required.

- Assess training needs in UNHCR RSD operations and assist RSD Supervisors to provide coaching/capacity building for UNHCR personnel and deployees under their supervision, in coordination with the GLC as appropriate.

- Maintain and manage a consultative process with operations and other stakeholders in the region.

If based in a country operation, together with competent host authorities and partners, contribute to developing processes aiming at developing national institutional capacities and the timely identification of international protection needs in line with the GCR and other key planning considerations.

- Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications Education & Professional Work Experience Years of Experience / Degree Level For P2/NOB - 3 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1 year relevant experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education International Refugee Law International Human Rights Law; International Humanitarian Law; International Criminal Law;         Social Sciences; or other relevant field.

(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses RSD Learning Programme Management Learning Programme Protection Learning Programme (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential: 3 years of experience working directly with procedures and principles related to adjudicating individual asylum claims in RSD procedures. In-depth knowledge of International Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law and ability to apply relevant legal principles in the RSD context, including exclusion decision-making. Thorough knowledge of the "Procedural Standards for RSD under UNHCR's Mandate" and other guidelines and standards governing UNHCR's mandate RSD activities. Experience in counselling asylum-seekers and individual case management. Experience and demonstrated skills in refugee law training.

Desirable: Experience as a decision-maker in UNHCR or Government SD procedures is highly desirable. Experience in providing legal representation to Asylum Seekers in UNHCR or Government SD procedures. Experience in supervising a team. Completion of the RSD Learning Programme and other UNHCR Learning Programmes relevant to RSD. Training and coaching experience. Experience in working with vulnerable or traumatized individuals.

Functional Skills PR-Individual Case Management (People of Concern) PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators PR-Interviewing and counselling refugees/asylum seekers PR-Government Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedures PR-UNHCR RSD Principles and Procedures PR-Adjudication of individual asylum claims in RSD LE-International Refugee Law PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards PR-International Humanitarian Law LE-International Criminal Law LE-Draft legal opinions CM-Cross-cultural communication (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, including in particular when supervising others, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties by demonstrating no tolerance for sexism, gender inequality, discrimination, abuse of power, harassment including sexual harassment, and sexual exploitation and abuse. As individual workforce members and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and take these issues seriously by speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources, as well as, when required/appropriate, report, for corrective action to be taken, whilst considering a victim-centered-approach.

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.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.  Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for written test and/or oral interview.

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 has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and sexual harassment. Successful candidates will be subject to mandatory UN Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment clearance check prior to receiving an offer. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training or any other fees). All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

Nature of the position

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Multi-Country Office in Washington (MCO-W) has several units, one of which is the Thematic and Operations Support Unit (ToSU) that hosts the Information Management Unit, Program and Operations, and the Caribbean Protection Unit (CPU). ToSU is headed by a P4 manager whom the Associate RSD Officer will report to.

The CPU provides protection and assistance to asylum-seekers, refugees, and stateless persons in a particularly dynamic, unique, and challenging context throughout the Northern Caribbean. The Unit covers 18 different countries and territories in the Caribbean, most of which do not have functioning asylum systems; UNHCR is physically present on three islands- the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Haiti. UNHCR works with governments in Caribbean countries to develop and strengthen protection space for asylum-seekers, refugees, and stateless persons, conducts registration, refugee status determinations and case management  and monitors and reports on the treatment of refugees and stateless persons throughout the Caribbean region.

The Associate RSD Officer will manage a team of 1 staff based in Washington DC and liaise closely with the RSD staff and manager within the office of the DR. The incumbent will also work very closely with the Protection and Solutions Unit within MCO-Washington who manages resettlement submission for persons of concern within MCO-Washington¿s AOR.

The Associate RSD Officer is responsible for overseeing, guiding, and managing the office¿s registration and refugee status determination activities as well as coordination on durable solutions with the relevant units and government officials.  The officer is also responsible for planning and coordination of regional trainings and participation of Caribbean counterparts in a variety of regional or global meetings and capacity-building initiatives on refugee status determination, building of national asylum systems and the likes.  As such, the position requires the incumbent to keep abreast of developments in the region, including UNHCR¿s activities and the operational context, and have a solid understanding of international protection issues in order to effectively undertake this task. Finally, the Officer will work closely with the Associate Protection Officer for the Caribbean as well as the DR to ensure that UNHCR¿s identification of persons with specific needs, strategic use of RSD, and  referral for timely durable solutions for persons of concern in the Northern Caribbean is in lines with the office¿s upscale strategy.

The Officer will also serve as the reviewing and appeal officer, conduct RSD as needed, manage the RSD scheduled and backlog and serve as the office¿s anti-fraud focal point in charge of drafting, updating and disseminating standard operating procedures that ensures that UNHCR MCO-Washington¿s procedures and systems are in lines with the global guidance and include integrity measures and anti-fraud safeguards.

The officer will be based in Washington DC, within CPU, with missions to the field as per the annual mission plan.

Living and Working Conditions Multi-Country of Washington (MCO) is an H duty station. No particular security considerations in the USA or the Caribbean in general, save for Haiti which the incumbent may conduct field missions to. Comfortable and safe working and living conditions in Washington D.C. Frequent mission travel to the field locations. Current operational circumstances might require frequently long working hours along with Remote Management of staff, partners and government officials throughout the Northern Caribbean. Need for security awareness, especially about criminality, when traveling to certain locations.  MCO Washington is under the purview of a regional staff safety officer based in Mexico who will guide on missions to Haiti as needed.

Additional Skills, certificate, language: Candidates with excellent communication, both written and oral, leadership and time management skills are highly desired. Fluency in Spanish and French is an asset as well as previous work with UN agencies, humanitarian organizations, or UNHCR. Candidates need to demonstrate a strong experience in legal Analysis of international protection, refugee status determination , understanding of UNHCR¿s mandate, international protection and statelessness globally or within the region.

This is a Temporary Position located in Washington D.C., USA Expected Entry on Duty Date: 01/08/2021 The closing date for submission of application is Monday 6 July 2021 (Midnight Geneva time). No late applications will be accepted.

HOW TO APPLY: Internal candidates: Your application must be submitted by: MSRP - Self-Service - Recruiting - Careers - USA - NAME OF THE POSITION External candidates: Candidates must submit their application through UNHCR's official application site: www.unhcr.org/careers.html In case of technical problems, please login with a different browser For any technical problems encountered during the online application, please contact the Global Service Desk (hqussd@unhcr.org) prior to the deadline to allow sufficient time to resolve the issues. For any questions regarding the selection process, please contact Human Resources (usawaadm@unhcr.org) CVs/Resumes will not be accepted by email. ONLY THOSE APPLICATIONS SENT THROUGH THE SYSTEM WILL BE CONSIDERED.

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