Snr Protection Assistant

  • Contract
  • Erbil

Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

This position is advertised open to Group 1, Group 2, if applicable,  and external applicants.

Internal candidates (Group 1 and Group 2):
Interested staff members should consult the Administrative Instruction on Recruitment and Assignments of Locally Recruited Staff (RALS) (UNHCR/AI/2020/1/REV.2 dated 16 March 2021). If you have questions regarding your eligibility, you may also contact the HR Unit. Internal candidates are Group 1 and vetted group 2  candidates. 

Group 1:  Comprises current GS staff members holding an indefinite or fixed-term appointment who, at the date of the deadline for application, are serving in the country of the vacancy at the grade of the position or one grade below or above.

Group 2:  Group 2 comprises candidates from the categories listed below after completion of one cumulative or continuous year of service in the country of the vacancy. The Group 2 status will be confirmed by DHR or the HR/Admin in the relevant country, as applicable:
– Current locally recruited UNHCR staff members holding a temporary appointment
– Former locally recruited UNHCR staff members who held an indefinite or fixed-term appointment (within 2 years of separation for males and 5 years for females)
– National United Nations Volunteers currently working for UNHCR
– National UNOPS and individual contractors currently working for UNHCR
– Current GS staff members holding an indefinite or fixed-term appointment applying to a position in the same category two grades above the staff member’s personal grade
– Current UNHCR staff members in the International Professional category holding an indefinite or fixed-term appointment
– Current UNHCR staff members in the NPO category holding an indefinite or fixed-term appointment.
– Current locally recruited female staff members from other UN system Organizations holding the equivalent of an indefinite or fixed-term appointment.

External Candidates: External candidates are those who are not in Group 1 or Group 2.
Senior Protection Assistant

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Senior Protection Assistant normally reports to a more senior Protection colleague. 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 Senior Protection Assistant provides quality, timely and effective protection support to persons of concern (PoC) and identifies opportunities to mainstream protection methodologies and safeguards in operational responses. S/he contributes to designing a comprehensive protection strategy and may liaise externally with local authorities and partners on protection issues as guided by the supervisor.

The Senior Protection Assistant 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.

– Consistently apply International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct. 
– Provide counselling on protection issues to PoC; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.
– Support activities in protection related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.
– Conduct preliminary information gathering and interviews in support of eligibility, status determination, durable solutions and social needs assessment.
– 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 for PoC as part of the protection strategy. 
– Monitor Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.
– Participate in individual protection case management including cases of GBV and child protection. Monitor and report on cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents.
– Assist in identifying durable solutions for PoC in 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.
– Draft reports, routine correspondence, update relevant databases and compiling statistics within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).
– Contribute to initiatives to enhance national and local protection capacities.
– Select PoC for preliminary interviews and decide which relevant information to share.
– Enforce integrity in the delivery of protection services by local implementing partners.
– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
G5 – 2 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 1 year relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher

Field(s) of Education
Not applicable

Certificates and/or Licenses
International Law;
Political Science;
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
Essential: Not specified.
Desirable: Not specified.

Functional Skills
IT-Computer Literacy
PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework
(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.
Core Competencies
Organizational Awareness
Teamwork & Collaboration
Commitment to Continuous Learning
Client & Result Orientation

Cross-Functional Competencies
Analytical Thinking
Political Awareness
Stakeholder Management
Knowledge of English, Arabic and Kurdish are essential.
Important Notes:

Please update all academic and professional experiences before submitting applications (guidance notes are attached for easy reference).
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Shortlisted candidates will be required to do the written test, only successful candidates will be invited for oral interviews. (eliminatory)
Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, traveling, processing, training, or other fees).
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as
an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce.
Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Should you face any technical problems, please reach out to the HR team by (Iraq HR – [email protected]) within the window period of the vacancy notice. Please note that offline applications
or applications by email will not be accepted.


See below for this postion’s Operational Context

UNHCR Field Office Erbil covers Erbil governorate, serving refugees and IDPs residing in urban areas and camps. Erbil Governorate hosts about 50% of all the refugees in KRI with the vast majority being Syrian refugees but also substantial number of Iranian, Turkish and Palestinian refugees. Almost 80% of refugees reside in urban areas and the remaining refugees reside in four refugee camps for Syrian refugees. Non-Syrian refugees (mainly Turkish and Iranians of Kurdish origin) mainly live in urban areas and informal settlements. Erbil governorate also hosts six IDP camps, while the majority of IDPs in Erbil are living in non-camp locations.

The Senior Protection Assistant will be part of the Protection Team and support protection activities mainly at individual case level. The incumbent will work directly with UNHCR¿s persons of concern (PoCs) to identify the risks they face, conduct protection assessments, provide counselling, and make referrals as appropriate. The incumbent will closely collaborate with protection partners and other stakeholders and provide guidance in search for solutions. Therefore, relevant experience working with refugees and/or IDPs is essential. Strong interpersonal and communication skills (both written and verbal), as well as demonstrated skills in engaging with refugees and/or IDPs at individual level and with different age, gender, and diversity characteristics, are also required. Experience in counselling of persons of concern including working in any of the four areas of accountability to affected people such as feedback and response, participation and inclusion, communication, and transparency, and learning and adaptation and proven experience in conducting protection assessments is required. Knowledge of the refugee/IDP context in KRI is considered as a strong asset.
Demonstrated skills in prioritizing, planning, and organizing work efficiently and attention to detail are considered an asset as are skills in analysing protection needs and drafting concise and sound protection documents.

Additional Relevant Skills

Mandatory: CL-Protection & Solutions Awareness, PR-Interviewing and counselling refugees/asylum seekers and in individual case management
Mandatory,PR – Accountability to Affected People –  Principles and Framework, PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework, PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)

Desirable: PR-Policy and Protection/Legal related issues
Closing date – 2nd June 2022

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