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-à-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.
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.
*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
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)
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
In view of the highly sensitive and complex national context, especially in the border region, it is essential that the applicant has demonstrated political awareness and negotiation skills and the capacity to keep calm under stressful circumstances. Team management is also a requirement and the ability to be flexible in moving from one priority area to another. At the moment, Mexico has workforce deployed in eighteen different locations, five in the north of the country, and the coherence of the implementation of the protection strategy requires ability to lead and delegate tasks effectively and, at the same time, close monitoring of the context and identification of any challenges.
Proficiency in Spanish and English and strong drafting skills both languages are also required. Additionally, experience and knowledge of regional forced displacement instruments at regional level in Latin America, would be an asset.
Knowledge and experience in mixed movements is required, since Mexico is receiving persons with different profiles, some of whom desire to remain in Mexico and others with intentions of reaching the United States. Experience and knowledge on operationalizing protection strategies is required, and ability to effectively guide protection staff both within the Sub-Office and Field Offices/Units will be key, for the successful implementation of the Country-Wide Protection Strategy.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:
Nature of Position:
The drivers of forced displacement in the region remain in place and worsened in 2021 and 2022 when more than 253,000 asylum claims were lodged in Mexico. Mexico is a country of destination, transit, and origin, thus UNHCR is supporting the Government and other actors to build a stronger asylum system that allows asylum seekers and refugees to fully exercise their human rights, from the moment of entry into Mexico, to when a durable solution is found. There are promising options for local integration and tangible results have been achieved in this respect. Many of those in need of international protection want to reach US territory and face perilous journeys, including unsafe conditions in the Mexico/US border while waiting to cross. For internally displaced persons, UNHCR is engaging with government counterparts on the development of effective policy initiatives and has recently started its direct operational response.
The Protection Officer in Monterrey will be responsible in ensuring a cohesive protection response in the north of Mexico, translating the national strategy to the regional context. He/She will work in closely with the US Southern Border team in assessing policy and protection developments and sharing updates with supervisor and Senior Management on a timely basis. Also, the position will require effective coordination with other UN agencies, NGO partners, municipal authorities and civil society actors. Knowledge of international refugee law as well as experience in mixed flows and secondary movements is required since Mexico is experiencing all forms of forced displacement. Furthermore, proven experience in strengthening asylum systems is desirable, since one of the key priorities of the operation is enhancing Mexico’s asylum capacity through its national asylum institution, COMAR. Experience and knowledge on internal displacement is also desirable, considering the increased numbers of IDPs in the north and the need to develop an operational response.
Living and Working Conditions:
Monterrey is the capital of the northeastern state of Nuevo León, a border state to the United States. Monterrey is an important industrial and commercial center, and the base of many international corporations. It is one of the wealthiest cities in Mexico. Being this way, it has a high-level infrastructure:
– Health: Monterrey has a highly ranked medical infrastructure with some internationally acclaimed hospitals.
– Education: There are public and private schools. Most of the private schools are bilingual (English-Spanish), and there are American, British and French schools.
– Housing: Apartments can be rented both furnished and unfurnished. International UNHCR personnel must obtain approval by UN security for a selected residential place BEFORE signing rental contract.
– Entertainment: Monterrey is the third most populous metropolitan area in Mexico. Therefore, it has a high demand and a high offer of entertainment: popular, classical, modern, etc.
– Weather: Monterrey frequently experiences extreme weather changes. It can be very hot during summer and cold during winter. The coldest months are January and February, and the hottest, April and May, although it is not always like that. Monterrey, too, is affected by the climate change.
– Currency and exchange: Mexican Peso. Dollars, Euros and traveler’s checks can be exchanged at a currency Exchange office.
– Communications: Internet is available almost everywhere, but in houses and offices, a contract has to be made in order to access to this service.
– Transportation: There are public buses, and if taxis are to be taken, it is recommended to use taxis del sitio (taxi autorizado)
Monterrey belongs to Security Risk Management area 09, North East, with the current General Threat Level 3, MODERATE, with Crime specific category at High level. There are no known direct threats to UNHCR, yet the UNHCR personnel may be affected by opportunistic crime, to include: homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, highway robbery. Organized crime is on the rise, and violence caused by cartel activities may indirectly impact UNHCR personnel and activities. Nuevo Leon state has established presence of Drug Cartels.
The UNHCR personnel must remain security aware and vigilant at all times, apply personal security measures and avoid movement after darkness. There is no curfew in Monterrey, yet the crime incidence at night hours is high. Staff deployed to Monterrey would be required to process an official US visa at the earliest.
FO-Complex field emergency operations, PG-Stakeholder management and coordination with Implementing Partners (Gov/NGO/Corporate), PR-Durable Solutions/Comprehensive Solutions Strategies implementation, PR-Inter-agency coordination in mixed movements, PR-Protection monitoring and information management, PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework, Team Management
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)
HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Resettlement Learning Program – UNHCR
Number of Persons of Concern Served, Workforce to Supervise, Working with Persons of Concern: Asylum Seekers, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Others of Concern, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees
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
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Add.2 to Bi-annual Compendium 2022 – Part B
This position doesn’t require a functional clearance
How to apply
For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit https://bit.ly/3Y5vkPS
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, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).
Closing date of receipt of applications: 16 February 2023 (midnight Geneva time)