Closing date: Monday, 3 April 2023

Hardship Level: H (no hardship)

Family Type: Family

Family Type: Family

Residential location (if applicable): Grade: NOC

Staff Member / Affiliate Type: National Professional Officer

Reason: Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted: Yes

Target Start Date: 2023-07-01

Job Posting End Date: April 3, 2023

Standard Job Description: Protection Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

In the Bureaux, the Protection Officer works under the direct supervision of the Senior Protection Coordinator or Senior Protection Officer. In the Field, the incumbent normally reports to the Representative, Deputy or Assistant Representative (Protection), Head of Sub Office or Senior Protection Officer as appropriate. The incumbent may have direct supervisory responsibility for protection staff whose work may include RSD, community-based protection, registration, resettlement, complementary pathways, internal displacement and education, among other areas. In HQ, the incumbent may report to a Senior Protection Officer, Chief of Section or Deputy Director and may supervise other protection staff.

The incumbent acts as an advisor to senior management in, when not responsible for, designing a comprehensive protection strategy under the area of responsibility (AoR). S/he represents the Organization to authorities, UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on protection policy and doctrine.

The Protection Officer coordinates quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern under the AoR. S/he ensures that persons of concern of all age, gender and diversity groups are involved with the Office in making decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying and implementing appropriate solutions to their problems. To undertake this role effectively, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with other relevant teams within the operation or the Bureau (including programme; PI and external relations; IM) and with DIP, communities of concern, authorities, protection and assistance partners as well as a broader network of stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection and achieving solutions.

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.


  •  Provide technical guidance and support to UNHCR and partners on all protection related issues.
  •  Stay abreast of and report as relevant on legal political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment.
  •  Engage relevant national authorities and structures in identifying and expanding opportunities in view of developing or strengthening national asylum/RSD systems.
  •  Facilitate a consultative process with government counterparts, partners and persons of concern to develop and implement a comprehensive protection and solutions strategy addressing the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation and/or gender identities (LGBTI persons), persons living with HIV/AIDS; gender equality and Gender Based Violence (GBV) priorities with regard to these persons.
  •  In operations applying the Cluster Approach, seek to ensure the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in a strategy which covers all assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations.
  •  Support senior management to ensure the protection strategy is fully integrated into the Country Operations Plan, the UN Development and Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the Humanitarian Country Team’s common humanitarian response plan where applicable, as well as with the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and the Three Year Strategy on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways.
  •  Promote relevant International, Regional and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct and ensure that all sectors and /or in clusters in applicable operations fulfil their responsibilities in mainstreaming protection.
  •  Promote the implementation of the AGD policy, including UNHCR’s updated commitments to women and girls, and, design, deliver I and monitor programmes on an AGD basis to address identified protection needs.
  •  Develop, implement and monitor community-based protection strategies and ensure systematic application and integration of participatory and community-based approaches in protection and solutions planning, programming and strategies.
  •  Support the establishment of feedback and response systems and the incorporation of feedback received from persons of concern into programme design and adaptation.
  •  Support the operation to develop and implement robust prevention, identification, and responses to fraud within protection processes and procedures, including registration, RSD, resettlement and complementary pathways, ensuring the integrity of interventions across all protection activities.
  •  Assist UNHCR management at country level to comply with polices and commitment on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse measures.
  •  Oversee and manage individual protection cases including those on GBV and child protection.
  •  Provide legal advice and guidance on protection issues to internal and external interlocutors; ensure legal assistance is accessible to persons of concern; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documents to persons of concern (including women and others in need of civil documentation, in particular birth certificates).
  •  As designated Data Protection Focal Point, assist the data controller in carrying out his or her responsibilities regarding the Data Protection Policy (7.2 DPP).
  •  Oversee and undertake eligibility and status determination within the AoR ensuring compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.
  •  Promote and implement effective strategies and measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness within the AoR.
  •  Contribute to the development and implementation of an education plan as part of protection strategy within the AoR as relevant.
  •  Contribute to the development and implementation of a child protection plan as part of the protection strategy within the AoR ensuring programmes use a child protection systems approach.
  •  Monitor, and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.
  •  Work to safeguard the rights of persons of concern in the context of mixed movements as relevant.
  •  Coordinate the preparation of, implement and oversee Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.
  •  Ensure that durable solutions through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement and complementary pathways are sought and provided to the largest possible number of persons of concern, including undertaking and/or overseeing resettlement and complementary pathways activities.
  •  Contribute to the coordination of the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related 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.
  •  Ensure that the Protection Sector or Cluster has an effective information management component which: provides disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems; researches, collects and disseminates relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery.
  •  Build the protection capacity of national and local government, partners and civil society to assume their responsibilities vis-\u00e0-vis all persons of concern through protection training, mainstreaming and related activities.
  •  Coordinate capacity-building initiatives for communities and individuals to assert their rights.
  •  Advise and capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and civil society to strengthen legislation and status determination procedures and mechanisms.
  •  Perform other related duties as required.

For positions in Bureaux

– Support the Regional Bureau and Country Operations to reflect the protection and solution angle in support of persons of concern within regional processes.

  •  Support Country Operations in the development of strategies to build and further develop national asylum/RSD systems with a view to ensuring their fairness, efficiency, adaptability and integrity, favourable protection environment and solutions.
  •  Assist UNHCR management at regional and country level to comply with polices and commitment on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse measures.
  •  Support Country Operations and ensure they meet their complementary pathways objectives and resettlement quotas.
  •  In close collaboration with DIP, (a) contribute to the development of background and general normative, policy, and legal positions, in compliance with UNHCR’s global protection policies and standards; (b) contribute to the development of strategies at the regional and country level on the usage of law and policy approaches, including legislative and judicial engagement and UN human rights mechanisms – and/or regional ones – and other protection frameworks, and integrated human rights standards in protection strategies and advocacy; and (c) support coordination and review of UNHCR’s country reports to the UN human rights mechanisms.
  •  Engage in relevant international and regional fora and contribute to forging regional partnerships to advocate for key protection and mandate issues, and engage in cross-cutting protection-related matters, including mixed movement, internal displacement and climate change/disaster-related displacement responses, as well as Statelessness, in cooperation with DIP and where relevant RSD.

Minimum Qualifications

Years of Experience / Degree Level

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

Field(s) of Education

Law; International Law; International Refugee Law;

International Human Rights Law; International Humanitarian Law;

Refugee and Forced Migration Studies; Political Sciences

or other relevant field.

(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses

Protection Learning Programme

RSD- Resettlement Learning Programme

(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience


Minimum 4 years of relevant professional experience in the area of refugee protection, internal displacement, human rights or international humanitarian law, including experience in working directly with Field Offices. Good knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles. Excellent legal research, analytical skills and drafting.


Diverse field experience. Good IT skills including database management skills.

Functional Skills

*PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators

*PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)

PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards

PR-International Humanitarian Law

PR-Comprehensive Solutions Framework

LE-Judicial Engagement

PR-Assessment of IDPs Status, Rights, Obligation

PR-Climate change and disaster related displacement

PR-Accountability to Affected People – Principles and Framework

PR-Gender Based Violence (GBV) Coordination

(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.

Desired Candidate Profile: National Officer position – Must be Australian citizen

As core competencies, the ideal candidate has extensive experience in protection and solutions with demonstrable experience in government relations, advocacy, protection programming and refugee status determination at the highest levels. The candidate should ideally have:

  •  Proven comprehensive Refugee Status Determination experience under Mandate and with Government. Practical experience in registration and Resettlement. Working knowledge of both proGres V4 and V3 is essential.
  •  Extensive experience and understanding of cross cutting issues including access to asylum, complementary pathways for solutions, child protection, SGBV, trafficking, Climate Change related displacement and Statelessness.
  •  Demonstrable experience in government relations including face to face dialogue with government counterparts.
  •  Proven experience in designing and implementing (including remotely) protection and solutions programs in difficult and hostile and environment.
  •  Strong political awareness, representational, capacity building, oral and written communication, analytical, innovation and negotiation skills.

CURRENT SITUATION UNHCR’s Representation is based in Canberra and is responsible for the promotion and protection of refugee rights in the region which includes Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

UNHCR supports countries in the region to develop national refugee legislation, increase capacity in refugee status determination and introduce protection safeguards in immigration procedures. To supervise the implementation of international refugee and statelessness law, UNHCR monitors law, policy and practices throughout the region.

The office also provides technical assistance in Pacific Island countries to support the development of national refugee legislation and accession to the refugee and statelessness conventions through capacity building and training activities. UNHCR’s mandate, its technical expertise and relationships with officials give MCO Australia a unique ability to facilitate initiatives to address gaps in Pacific Island states’ protection regimes. Establishing effective relationships and networks with governmental officers and agencies and to obtain reliable data on the numbers of asylum-seekers and the extent of secondary and mixed movements in the Pacific remains a priority. Sustained personal contact has consistently proven to be the most effective means of establishing effective relationships and networks to achieving positive protection outcomes in Pacific Island countries. UNHCR will also work with UN partners and authorities to provide contingency capacity building for preparedness refugees influxes.

This position must therefore be filled by a staff member with strong experience and demonstrable results in protection and solutions, preferably with direct experience in working in the region and a good understanding of the Pacific context. The position holder must have strong analytical, communication and negotiation skills to liaise with government and other counterparts. Innovation and strong skills in advocacy are also essential elements of the profile.


The position is based in Canberra UNHCR office located 14 Kendall Lane in New Acton, Canberra ACT 2601. SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS Canberra is a H duty station

Pertinent Desirable Attributes are \u2022\tDiverse field experience desirable.

\u2022\tFor undergraduate degree (equivalent of BA/BS), a degree in law or international relations, refugees studies is strongly preferred

\u2022\tGood knowledge of MS Word, Excel, and MSRP. Significant working knowledge of ProGres 4 is essential.

\u2022\tDemonstrated ability in resettlement, AVRR, local integration and BIA/D, processes and procedures

\u2022\tExperience in the Pacific desirable.

\u2022\tDemonstrated ability to set up, manage and implement RSD activities.

\u2022\tExperience in Refugee Status Determination at both Government and UNHCR level

\u2022\tDemonstrated ability to work under pressure and stressful environment.

\u2022\tDemonstrated ability to work effectively with stakeholders who may be remotely placed

\u2022\tCompletion of the Resettlement Learning Programme, Protection Learning Programme, Best Interests Procedures training and Training on RSD and Registration.

\u2022\tStrong experience and demonstrable results in protection and solutions, preferably with direct experience in working in the region and a good understanding of the Australia-Pacific context.

\u2022\tStrong analytical, communication and negotiation skills to liaise with government and other counterparts.

\u2022\tInnovation and strong advocacy skills are also essential elements of the profile.

National Officer position – Must be Australian citizen

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):: ,

Desired languages: ,

Operational contextOccupational Safety and Health Considerations:Nature of Position:Living and Working Conditions:Additional Qualifications: Skills

LE-Judicial Engagement, PR-Accountability to Affected People – Principles and Framework, PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD), PR-Assessment of IDPs Status, Rights, Obligation, PR-Climate change and disaster related displacement, PR-Comprehensive Solutions Framework, PR-Gender Based Violence (GBV) Coordination, PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards, PR-International Humanitarian Law, PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicatorsEducation

BA: International Humanitarian Law (Required), BA: International Human Rights Law (Required), BA: International Law (Required), BA: International Refugee Law (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Political Science (Required), BA: Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (Required)Certifications

HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Resettlement Learning Program – UNHCRWork Experience

Competencies: Accountability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Political awareness, Teamwork & collaboration

UNHCR Salary Calculator:

CompendiumAdditional InformationFunctional clearance: This position doesn’t require a functional clearance.