Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Senior Repatriation Officer is a designated focal point for voluntary repatriation and related issues in a country office or sub-office, and reports to the Head of Sub-Office, Assistant or Deputy Representative or, as appropriate, to the Representative. The incumbent has direct supervisory responsibility for repatriation staff, which may include staff within the functional groups of repatriation and reintegration. S/he works closely with protection, programme and field staff, and ensures operational standards in repatriation in the area of responsibility.

The Senior Repatriation Officer is normally a member of the Office¿s senior management team and is relied upon to ensure the advancement of repatriation activities. The Senior Repatriation Officer should ensure that the country operation has an effective voluntary repatriation programme, including requisite standard operating procedures and in line with regional and comprehensive solutions strategies. S/he should ensure that all repatriation movements respect the principle of voluntariness and occur in safety and dignity, with the full participation and support of persons and communities of concern.

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 the regional and local political, economic, social and legal context impacting on return prospects and advise senior management.

– Manage a consultative and participatory process to design and implement a return strategy that is voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable and fully consistent with international legal principles, UNHCR guidelines and the regional protection and/or comprehensive durable solutions strategy.

– Ensure that the voluntary return strategy is fully integrated into the country operations plan and that the necessary resources are allocated.

– Liaise with other UNHCR country offices and other key partners in the region to ensure appropriate cross-border cooperation and a harmonized voluntary repatriation process.

– Ensure that voluntary return operations set solid premises for, or are harmonized with, transition, recovery and reintegration programmes in the areas of return.

– In accordance with the regional and local protection context, assess needs and set priorities for the voluntary repatriation of refugees, including, as applicable, stateless.

– Assist in negotiations with relevant authorities and other partners and key stakeholders in relation to the legal and operational aspects of repatriation.

– Monitor the implementation of the voluntary return operation through a consultative process and regular field visits. Mainstream AGD in all areas of work and ensure the full participation of returning refugees in matters relating to their own protection.

– Comply with UNHCR¿s policy priorities, such as those related to persons with particular vulnerabilities.

– Develop and implement initiatives that build the protection capacity of the local government, partners and civil society as well as refugees in asserting their rights in situations of return.

– Identify, monitor and advise implementing partners on ongoing activities related to return

– Participate actively in inter-agency coordination processes and mobilize partners political and financial support and complementary interventions to voluntary repatriation/return programmes.

– Design and monitor the implementation of the voluntary repatriation strategy in line with the policies, standards and procedures on voluntary repatriation/return.

– Authorize expenditure on projects and individual payments for voluntary returns.

– Represent UNHCR with relevant external partners in the country of origin and/or the country of asylum.

– Initiate any appropriate measures to address incidents at all stages of voluntary repatriation and to ensure safe and dignified return movements.

– Participate in selecting partners to support and/or implement return programmes.

– Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience

Years of Experience / Degree Level

For P4/NOD – 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education

Law International Law Social Sciences or other relevant field.

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

Certificates and/or Licenses

Protection Learning Programme,

Mgmt Learning Programme

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

Relevant Job Experience


Minimum 8 years of previous work experience relevant to the function with at least 5 years in an international capacity.


Work experience in large returnee operations an asset.

Diverse field experience.

Strong operational background in field protection desirable.

Functional Skills

PR-Principles and procedures, operational arrangements, assistance for returnees

IT-Computer Literacy

DM-Database Management

UN-UN/UNHCR Mandate and Global Strategic Priorities

(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

– Extensive return experience (Refugees or IDPs).

– Experience in the MENA region.

– Experience in area based or recovery programming.

– Arabic is desirable.

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


Desired languages



Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:

Nature of Position:

The Senior Repatriation Officer will be a designated focal point for return preparedness and voluntary repatriation and related issues in the country office. The incumbent will have supervisory responsibility for repatriation staff, which may include staff within the functional group of repatriation in the CO, as well as functional and technical guidance to Sub/Field Offices. She/he will work closely with protection, programme, Information Management, and field staff, in addition to UNHCR teams in some countries of asylum in the region to develop and maintain operational standards in the area of return and repatriation. The Senior Repatriation Officer should ensure that the country operation has an effective voluntary repatriation strategy, including requisite standard operating procedures in line with regional strategies.

Living and Working Conditions:

Syria is non-family high risk duty station. Damascus is an R&R duty station with 6 weeks cycle applied. All international staff are accommodated in security cleared hotel. Travel is normally via road either to Lebanon or Amman and the designated R&R destination is Amman, Jordan. Regular shuttles are provided to staff.

Additional Qualifications


CL-Inter-Agency Leadership/Coordination, PG-Strategic analysis


BA: International Law (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Social Science (Required)


HCR Management Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR

Work Experience

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, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned IDPs, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Stateless


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration

UNHCR Salary Calculator


March 2023 Compendium – Part B

Additional Information

Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

How to apply


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: 20 April 2023 (midnight Geneva time)