Protection Associate, LICA-6

UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Title: Protection Associate

Duty Station: Windhoek, Namibia

Duration: 6 Months

Contract Type: Individual Contractor

Closing date: 21 July 2022

Start date: As soon as possible

Organizational context:

UNHCR Namibia has a total population of over 6,800 asylum seekers and refugees registered on its PRIMES database, as of June 2022, and over 140,000 persons without civil status registration, potentially at risk of statelessness. Namibia is both a signatory to the 1959 Conventions and the 1967 protocols, as well as to the African refugee convention. It has yet to sign or accede to the Statelessness Conventions and has signed but yet to ratify the African Union Convention for the protection and assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention).

The majority of asylum seekers and refugees reside in Osire Settlement, in the Northern part of the country. Registration and documentation related to refugees is undertaken by the Government of Namibia, with technical support as need be from UNHCR. The nationality breakdown of refugees registered with UNHCR is predominantly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and a few other nationalities. The refugee situation in Namibia is assessed as a protracted situation as some refugees have been in Osire since its establishment in 1992. The Osire Refugee Settlement is situated about 220 km from Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia and about 130 km from Otjiwarongo which is the nearest town to the settlement. Beyond the protracted nature of asylum, refugees in Osire are also subject to drought and limited self-reliance or durable solution options.

The Government of Namibia is responsible for Registration, Camp Management, Education and Health interventions at the Settlement. Under the GoN umbrella, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration/COR is responsible for land allocation, camp coordination and provision of security. The Ministry of Health is in charge of the Clinic. The Ministry of Education is covering needs related to the education of refugees. Two other partners of UNHCR – Society for Family Health (SFH) and LAC, are charged with specific programmatic (distribution of food and core relief items, WASH, Shelter construction, livelihoods, lighting, Specific needs issues, community outreach and counselling, warehousing, etc) and legal responsibilities in support of refugees respectively. The National Association for Child Care Workers (NACCW) will implement activities related to child protection and community-based child and youth care in Namibia. UNHCR plays a coordination, technical and financial support role, as well as advocacy in relation to UNHCR and other global refugee compact related issues. UNHCR also participates in the UN Country Team obligations and works closely with sister UN Agencies in the country.

In 2015, UNHCR has closed its office in the country and transferred protection monitoring and support responsibilities for the country over to the Southern Africa Office, with occasional technical visits to the country. Thereafter, the GoN requested that UNHCR re-establish its presence in order to enhance international protection support to the country. Under its mandate responsibility, and over the passage of time, there is a recognised need to support the country in arriving at achieving the realisation of its Global Refugee Compact commitments and pledges in different areas such as on solutions (self-reliance, local integration, resettlement, and complementary pathways), statelessness issues, and Refugee Status Determination. The need to also strengthen foundational protection interventions in the areas of child protection, SGBV, community-based-protection, and protection counselling are also evident.

As of 2022, the impetus on UNHCR pillar (2) – Statelessness, as well as initiatives related to accountability for affected populations have both picked up pace, requiring an individual with multiple protection skills sets, to absorb in these emerging support needs of the operation, as well as offer reinforced partner support across operational areas, to ensure that protection is visibly mainstreamed and routinely monitored across all sectors. The operation is equally in a period of transition from in-kind assistance to cash-based interventions, leading to self-reliance at some point in future. There is therefore a need for a candidate with previous related experience, including with working with agencies like WFP for joint assessments and related surveys. In other words, an individual with a multi-facetted strong protection and operations background, over extensive period of time, in different settings: both humanitarian and governmental where applicable.

As of Aug 2020, a Senior Legal Officer heads the UNHCR field presence in Namibia, reporting to the MCO Representative in Pretoria. The office is currently supported by a team of six staff: Snr Adm Asst, two drivers, and two RST AWF Staff. It will be further complimented by the current position, as well as both a protection and field associate up until Dec 2022.

Please also note that 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.

The position:

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.

Duties and responsibilities:

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.

  • 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 on ad hoc basis on special agreements to be arrived at with the government, if any.
  • Contribute to measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness and closely monitoir the ongoing national process in Namibia
  • 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. Including participating in national for a on the same, to ensure inclusion of refugee and statelessness concerns and issues.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Assist 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.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required:

The ideal candidate will be required to have demonstrated and recorded professional maturity, in addition to:

Education:

  • 3 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher

Field(s) of Education:

  • Law.
  • International Human Rights Law.
  • Statelessness
  • Or other relevant field.

Relevant Job Experience:

Work Experience:

Essential

  • Previous experience working in humanitarian settings and especially with refugees
  • Previous working experience with academic institutions or otherwise, advocating for and supporting programs related to refugees and stateless persons
  • Precious national legal experience

Desirable

  • Legal/protection/ statelessness/human rights certifications.
  • Demonstrated and recorded professional maturity and sensitivity
  • Familiarity with working with national institutions and procedures
  • An ability to mobilize and bring together communities
  • Working in hardship conditions – remote setting, long working hours, complex environment.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and working knowledge of another relevant UN language or local language. (In offices where the working language is not English, excellent knowledge of UN working language of duty station and working knowledge of English.)

Competency requirements:

Core Competencies

  • Accountability
  • Communication
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Commitment to Continuous Learning
  • Client & Result Orientation

Managerial Competencies

  • Empowering and Building Trust

Cross-Functional Competencies

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Stakeholder Management

Location:

The successful candidate will be based with the team in Windhoek, Namibia.

Conditions:

The contract is for six months, and the start date is ASAP. It is a full-time role with working hours starting from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday (40 hours per week).

How to apply

For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit the UNHCR career page at www.unhcr.org/careers – click on the Vacancies tab and enter job ID 38361.

  • Interested external applicants need to apply online and complete the mandatory motivation letter. For help with logging in to the MSRP External Portal, or with online applications, please contact the HR Unit well before the deadline to allow sufficient time for any technical problem to be resolved. External vacancies are posted on the external UNHCR website and applicants who do not have internal status must apply through the external UNHCR website. https://www.unhcr.org/careers.html – Careers – Career opportunities – Other Opportunities – Vacancies – sort by Location or search by Job Opening number.
  • Applications will be accepted only via the online portals. Please do not send application via email.
  • Not signed, incomplete and late applications will not be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Shortlisted candidates might be required to sit for a written test and/or oral interview. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing, or any other fees).
  • The evaluation of applicants will be conducted based on the information submitted during the application. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision, or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
  • UNHCR is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, sexual orientation, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization. UNHCR seeks to ensure that male and female employees are given equal career opportunities. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.
  • UNHCR has a zero-tolerance policy against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA). SEA is unacceptable behavior and prohibited conduct for UNHCR personnel. It constitutes acts of serious misconduct and is therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including dismissal. Any concerns or suspicions about a possible case of SEA should be reported immediately to the Inspector General’s Office (IGO) at [email protected] or through the online complain form at https://www.unhcr.org/php/complaints.php or by confidential fax: +41 22 739 73 80.
  • UNHCR only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http://www.whed.net/.
  • For any technical problems encountered during the online application, please send an email to the below email address titled “Online VA Query-your name and surname”. Human Resources Pretoria [email protected]

Noting that Closing date is 21-Jul-22