Founded in 1979, St Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) is a refugee service provider in central Cairo that works to enhance the quality of life for refugees and vulnerable migrants through education, legal aid, and psychosocial services. We provide high-quality services meeting the unaddressed needs of refugees, and we provide a safe and inclusive space for displaced people to come together as a community, including unaccompanied children and youth (UCYs). We work for refugees, with refugees, to make rights recognition a reality.
StARS’ Mission: Driven by a commitment to justice and fairness, StARS works as displaced people and for displaced people to respect human dignity and enhance quality of life.
StARS’ Vision: Displaced people lead in the creation and implementation of responses to different forms of migration to establish safe, just, welcoming, and inclusive communities globally.
Project Description: UCY Legal Services Team, Refugee Legal Aid Program
The Refugee Legal Aid Program (RLAP) provides advice and representation to refugees seeking recognition by UNHCR through refugee status determination (RSD) procedures in Egypt and assists refugees in accessing resettlement to safe third countries. We serve people from many places, including Ethiopia, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Syria. Read more at http://stars-egypt.org/rlap/.
StARS has established a full-service center dedicated to meeting the education, protection, support and advocacy needs of UCYs in Cairo. RLAP is seeking a group of UCY Legal Services Volunteer Legal Advisors to work as part of our newly formed UCY Legal Services Team within the center to provide specialized legal representation and advice the UCY refugee population.
The UCY population in Egypt is made up of approximately 4,000 unaccompanied children and youth, of which StARS serves a majority within its programming.
Each year, RLAP offers several unpaid internships for qualified candidates who can join us for six months. Under the supervision of the UCY Legal Services Coordinator and Senior Legal Officer, the UCY Legal Services Volunteer Legal Advisors will be responsible for the provision of legal advice and representation to refugee children and youth in matters related to their RSD procedures with UNHCR Egypt.
Among other responsibilities, the UCY Legal Services Volunteer Legal Advisors will conduct individual workshops to educate refugees about the RSD process in Egypt; conduct screenings to assess merits of representation and vulnerabilities; accompany UCY clients to RSD interviews at UNHCR; conduct screening interviews with UCY clients seeking assistance appealing the rejection of their RSD claims or seeking to reopen their UNHCR files; represent UCY clients in all RSD procedures, including drafting appeals and closing submissions; and serve as an on-call legal advisor, providing information and assistance to UCY clients on a walk-in basis.
UCY Legal Services Volunteer Legal Advisors are responsible for their own caseloads of cases and get extensive direct experience representing refugees. Following the completion of their six-month commitment, RLAP Volunteer Legal Advisors have gone on to work with UNHCR, IOM, and other international non-governmental organizations.
The UCY Legal Services Volunteer Legal Advisors are part of RLAP’s team of approximately 20 legal staff and volunteers.
All duties are carried out under the supervision of the UCY Legal Services Coordinator and Senior Legal Officer.
Legal and Technical
- Responsible for managing own caseload spanning the spectrum of the UCY Legal Services team’s work with unaccompanied children and youth.
- To conduct workshops with groups and individual UCY clients regarding the RSD procedures at UNHCR Egypt.
- To conduct individual screening and intake interviews with UCY clients seeking representation and advice in RSD matters.
- To serve as on-call resources for UCY clients seeking legal advice on a walk-in basis, providing counseling to UCY clients regarding registration, protection, and RSD procedures at UNHCR.
- To maintain good working knowledge of UNHCR policies and procedures in RSD matters, particularly as they relate to unaccompanied children and minors.
- To maintain good working knowledge of the current political and social situations in the countries of origin of StARS’ UCY clients.
- To assess extra-legal client needs and work collaboratively with other StARS teams or refer to external organizations as appropriate, keeping in close communication and cooperation with StARS UCY caseworkers for counseling and follow up.
- To undertake comprehensive case management practices including maintaining and updating electronic databases and records for each client, and keeping detailed notes of all casework activities.
- To adhere to the Nairobi Code of Ethics, the StARS Policies and Procedures Manual, and the StARS Code of Conduct.
- To attend and contribute to team meetings.
- To build and maintain relationships with StARS psychosocial and education staff.
- To attend training and orientation as required.
- To communicate regularly with the UCY Legal Services Coordinator and RSD UCY Senior Legal Officer, reporting on all major issues and developments in the field and within RLAP.
- To submit activity reports as requested.
- To promote information sharing within RLAP and StARS on all issues affecting the populations we serve.
Qualifications & Experience
The ideal candidate will be energetic, articulate, and comfortable interacting with diverse segments of society. She or he will have demonstrated a firm commitment to human rights and refugee issues, and a demonstrated interest in working with children and young people.
- English being the official language of UNHCR Cairo and StARS, UCY Legal Services Volunteer Legal Advisors must be fluent in oral and written English.
- Excellent writing skills.
- Well organized, self-motivated, and reliable.
- Willingness to commit to a minimum service period of six months.
- Commitment to and sensitivity toward vulnerable or displaced people, particularly children and youth.
- Ability to live and work in a fluid security environment.
- Ability to work in a team as well as individually.
- A positive attitude and sensitive manner in advocating for children and youth, clients who are survivors of violence, trafficking, torture, and SGBV.
- Fluency or working knowledge of Arabic or a refugee language is an advantage.
- Knowledge of UNHCR guidelines and procedures.
- Knowledge of the general protection situation and vulnerabilities of refugees in Egypt.
- Knowledge of the general situation of the countries from which StARS clients’ originate.
- Life and work experience in the Middle East or Egypt.
- Experience working with children and young people.
Hours: 40-hour work week (Sunday-Thursday), negotiable on a case-by-case basis for qualified applicants.
Contract Term: Six months.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applications close 26 September 2019.
Anticipated starting date: 13 October 2019
HOW TO APPLY:
Interested applicants should send a cover letter CV, and brief legal writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org
All applications should provide contact information of two professional/academic references (referees will only be contacted after interviews). Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
The cover letter should address your qualifications for the internship and why you are interested in working with RLAP and the UCY Legal Services team. It should also outline any time commitments you will have outside of our office during the period of your internship (whether you are seeking to work part-time or full-time), and for what time period you would be available to volunteer.
Please write “UCY Legal Services Volunteer Legal Advisor” in the subject line.