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Iraq: Assistant Protection Officer - NOA

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Iraq: Assistant Protection Officer - NOA

Deadline for application: 
25 May 2020
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Job type: 
Operational Context:

The Assistant Protection Officer reports directly to the Assistant Representative (Protection) and works in the national protection team based in Baghdad, Iraq. S/he provides functional protection guidance to protection and programme staff country-wide on all protection/legal matters and accountabilities. These include: statelessness (in line with the campaign to End Statelessness by 2024), Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) commitments, national legislation and national institutions involved in the protection of IDPs, asylum-seekers and refugees and persons at risk of statelessness in Iraq, asylum/refugee status determination, local integration, voluntary repatriation, human rights standards integration, judicial engagement, predictable and decisive engagement in situations of internal displacement and engagement in wider mixed movement responses. S/he supervises protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery in line with international standards.

The Assistant Protection Officer is expected to coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern (PoC), ensuring that operational responses in all sectors mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. The incumbent contributes to the design of a comprehensive protection strategy and represents the Organization externally on protection doctrine and policy as guided by the Assistant Representative (Protection). S/he also ensures that PoC are meaningfully engaged in the decisions that affect them and support programme design and adaptations that are influenced by the concerns, priorities and capacities of them. To achieve this, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, authorities, protection and assistance partners as well as a broader network of stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection.

The Assistant Protection Officer is expected to support UNHCR’s engagement with national protection institutions in Iraq, most notably the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Migration and Displacement and national judicial and legislative authorities. As such, experience in advocacy with national authorities on integrating human rights norms into national legislation and policies and drafting legislative amendments or policy briefs is highly desirable. The Assistant Protection Officer is also expected to work closely with the Programme Unit on coordinating the implementation of UNHCR’s partnership with key government stakeholders, requiring good programme management, writing, reporting and liaison skills. Given the operation’s focus on capacity building of national authorities in line with the GCR, experience in facilitation of protection learning programmes is also desirable.


  • Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment.

  • Consistently apply International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct.

  • Assist in providing comments on existing and draft legislation related to PoC.

  • Provide legal advice and guidance on protection issues to PoC; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.

  • Conduct eligibility and status determination for PoC in compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.

  • Promote and contribute to measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness.

  • Contribute to a country-level child protection plan as part of the protection strategy.

  • Contribute to a country-level education plan as part of the protection strategy.

  • Provide inputs for the development of protection policies and standards within the AoR.

  • Implement and monitor Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.

  • Manage individual protection cases including those on SGBV and child protection. Monitor, and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents.

  • Recommend durable solutions for the largest possible number of PoC through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement.

  • Assess resettlement needs and apply priorities for the resettlement of individuals and groups of refugees and other PoC.

  • Contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.

  • Contribute to and facilitate a programme of results-based advocacy with sectorial and/or cluster partners.

  • Contribute to and facilitate effective information management through the provision of disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems.

  • Assist capacity-building initiatives for communities and individuals to assert their rights.

  • Participate in initiatives to capacitate authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen national protection related legislation and procedures.

  • Intervene with authorities on protection issues.

  • Assist the supervisor in deciding priorities for reception, interviewing and counselling for groups or individuals.

  • Assist the supervisor in enforcing compliance of staff and implementing partners with global protection policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of protection services.

  • Enforce compliance with, and integrity of, all protection standard operating procedures.

  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum qualifications:

  • University degree in Law, International Law, Political Sciences or other relevant field.

  • Minimum 1-year relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or no experience with Graduate degree; or no experience with Doctorate degree

  • Knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles.

  • Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of another UN language.

  • Very good knowledge of local language and local institutions is essential.

Desirable Qualifications & Competencies:

- Completion of the Protection Learning Programme, RSD- Resettlement Learning Programme.

Functional Skills: (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

*PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators

*LE-International Refugee Law

*PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)

PR-Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Coordination

MG-Projects management

PR-PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards

PR-International Humanitarian Law

PR-Protection and mixed-movements

PR-Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Operations & IDPs Status/Rights/Obligation

PR-Climate change and disaster related displacement

PR-Community-based Protection

MS-Drafting, Documentation, Data Presentation

Competency Requirements:

All jobs at UNHCR require six core competencies and may also require managerial competencies and/or cross-functional competencies. The six core competencies are listed below.

Core Competencies:



Organizational Awareness

Teamwork & Collaboration

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Client & Result Orientation

Managerial Competencies:

Judgement and Decision Making

Cross-Functional Competencies:

Stakeholder Management

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Political Awareness


Candidates for National Professional Officers should be Iraqi nationals and be locally recruited within Iraq

Internal candidates: Interested staff members should consult the Policy and Procedures on Assignments of Locally recruited Staff (UNHCR/AI/2020/1/REV.1 dated 01 May 2020). If you have questions regarding your eligibility, you may also contact the HR Unit.


A competitive compensation and benefits package are offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, please visit the portal of the International Civil Service Commission at: http://icsc.un.org

How to apply:

Submission of Applications:

Interested applicants should apply through the provided link https://www.unhcr.org/iraq-jobs ,

attaching the new personal history form (external applicants) or factsheets for (Internal applicants) with

a covering letter in English explaining their interest in the position.

Kindly note that only electronic applications submitted through the website will be considered.

No late applications will be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Shortlisted candidates will be required to sit for a written test and oral interview. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing or any other fees).

UNHCR strongly encourages qualified female applicants for this position. UNHCR seeks to ensure that male and female employees are given equal career opportunities. UNHCR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

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