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UN Jobs – Refugee Status Determination Officer – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Job Title:   Refugee Status Determination Officer

Organisation: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Duty Station:  Kampala, Uganda.

About US:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a UN agency mandated to aid and protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people, and to assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. UNHCR was created in 1950 to address the refugee crisis that resulted from World War II. The 1951 Refugee Convention established the scope and legal framework of the agency’s work, which initially focused on Europeans uprooted by the war. Beginning in the late 1950s, displacement caused by other conflicts, from the Hungarian Uprising to the decolonization of Africa and Asia, broadened the scope of UNHCR’s operations. Commensurate with the 1967 Protocol to the Refugee Convention, which expanded the geographic and temporal scope of refugee assistance, UNHCR operated across the world, with the bulk of its activities in developing countries.

Job Summary:  The Refugee Status Determination 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 Senior RSD Officer or Senior Protection Officer or Head of Protection Service, 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 review, endorsement and clearance of recommendations on individual cases in line with requirements under the RSD Procedural Standards or as directed by Senior Management. The incumbent is also responsible for contributing to the development of or, depending on the context, develop 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-building/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.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • 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.
  • Engage relevant national authorities and structures in identifying and expanding opportunities in view of developing or strengthening national asylum/RSD systems.
  • Undertake 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 in complex/sensitive cases per relevant standards and guidelines.
  • Provide ongoing coaching as well as specialized 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 specialized training to other UNHCR units on the refugee criteria and related issues as needed. Contribute to the development of the RSD strategy and support senior management to ensure its full and effective integration into the protection and solution strategy of the Country Operations Plan.
  • Contribute to developing/enhancing regional and global RSD standards and policies, as required.
  • Support 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 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.
  • Contribute to the evaluation and projection of 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, develop 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.




Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

  • The ideal applicant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Refugee Status Determination Officer job must hold a For P3/NOC – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree in International Refugee Law; International Human Rights Law; International Humanitarian Law;
  • International Criminal Law; Social Sciences; or other relevant field.
  • RSD Learning Programme;
  • Management Learning Programme;
  • Protection Learning Programme;
  • Three 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 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 other UNHCR Learning Programmes relevant to RSD. Training and coaching experience.
  • Experience in working with vulnerable or traumatized individuals.
  • Knowledge of additional UN languages.

 




How to Apply:

All candidates who wish to join the United Nations in this capacity should apply online at the link below.

Click Here

Deadline: 16th September 2021

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