- Job posted on: 29th Sep 2021
- Applications close:
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 closely monitors law, policy and practices throughout the region.
The Assistant Protection Officer role is principally focused on Australia and New Zealand but may include engagement with other states and regional processes covered by the MCO as needed. Australia's domestic policy towards asylum-seekers and refugee arrivals, including offshore transfers to the remote islands of Nauru and Papua New Guinea brings significant complexity to the operational context for UNHCR. The Assistant Protection Officer is required to assist efforts that respond to the protection and solutions needs of these asylum-seekers and refugees, especially in the context of those who have been transferred to Australia. A well-developed understanding and familiarity with the Australian legislative and jurisprudential framework is thus highly desirable, as is the ability to critically analyse complex information within tight time constraints.
The Assistant Protection Officer may also support efforts to strengthen national systems for protection and solutions by providing assistance and guidance to persons of concern in the MCO region of responsibility and providing technical expertise to government officials on RSD and related processes to encourage meaningful responses and contributions to the system of international protection.
The role requires the incumbent to maintain effective relationships and networks with governmental officers and agencies and also assist efforts by the Senior Protection Officer to maintain positive engagement with government and civil society actors in the development of new policies and programming for strengthening and expanding the protection of refugees and stateless persons.
The Assistant Protection Officer reports to the Protection Officer or the Senior Protection Officer. Depending on the size and structure of the Office, the incumbent may have supervisory responsibility for protection staff including community-based protection, registration, resettlement and education.
They provide functional protection guidance to information management and programme staff 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, age, gender, diversity (AGD) and accountability to affected populations (AAP) through community-based protection, Child protection, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) prevention and response, gender equality, disability inclusion, youth empowerment, psycho-social support and PSEA, registration, asylum/refugee status determination, resettlement, local integration, voluntary repatriation, human rights standards integration, national legislation, judicial engagement, predictable and decisive engagement in situations of internal displacement and engagement in wider mixed movement and climate change/disaster-related displacement responses. They 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 Organisation externally on protection doctrine and policy as guided by the supervisor. They 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.
Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment.
*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
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
MS-Drafting, Documentation, Data Presentation
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Current NPO staff members holding an indefinite or fixed-term appointment are eligible to apply to advertised positions in the NPO category at their personal grade and one grade below or above, as internal (group 1) candidates.
All other candidates are eligible to apply to positions in the NPO category as external candidates (including UNHCR GS staff members holding a university degree and fulfilling eligibility requirements, regardless of grade or length of service, who may apply to any vacant NPO position in their country of assignment for which they qualify).
Please note that all candidates must be Australian citizens.