Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Senior RSD Advisor (Exclusion)
Security considerations are an essential factor in shaping policy responses and developments relevant to international refugee protection. In an overall environment increasingly marked by concerns about security threats, UNHCR is called upon to ensure that measures to preserve the integrity of asylum and address threats to national or international security and public order, including in the context of terrorism and other forms of transnational crime, comply with international legal obligations towards persons of concern to UNHCR, and more specifically, provisions in international refugee law governing exclusion on the grounds of criminal conduct, expulsion, exceptions to the principle of non-refoulement and other measures to address possible threats to security and public order. At the same time, UNHCR is required to redouble its efforts to preserve the integrity of its own procedures and operations and the Office’s handling of cases raising exclusion and/or security concerns is under increasing scrutiny by States, notably in the context of individual case processing for the purposes of resettlement and other forms of admission. UNHCR is conducting its mandate activities in ever more complex settings, where events in one operation may have far-reaching repercussions for UNHCR operations elsewhere, and the exercise of core protection activities may expose the Office to reputational risks as well as potential security threats at an unprecedented level. It is essential, therefore, to ensure proper coordination between UNHCR’s work in the area of policy and law, individual case processing and other operational activities.
The Protection & National Security (PNS) Section within the Division of International Protection (DIP) leads UNHCR’s efforts in this area. This includes working with States and other relevant external counterparts to make sure that the exclusion clauses and security-related provisions in international refugee and statelessness instruments are interpreted and applied properly, as well as upholding rigorous standards for the handling of cases raising exclusion and/or security issues by UNHCR with a view to protecting the integrity of UNHCR’s processes and operations, particularly, but not limited to, refugee status determination (RSD) and resettlement procedures. The Section is responsible for shaping UNHCR’s legal and policy positions and guidelines, carries out legal and policy research, clears UNHCR’s amicus curiae and other court interventions, provides comments on national legislation and monitors UNHCR and State practice, in the area of exclusion, security and related matters, including (but not limited to) counter-terrorism and more generally measures to address (national) security concerns. To this end, the Section engages with relevant interlocutors, including States, international organizations, NGOs and other external actors.
The Section also maintains close and sustained involvement with the Field and Regional Bureaux, in close coordination with relevant parts of Headquarters to ensure consistent application of principles and standards by operations dealing with individual cases and/or populations involving complex and sensitive profiles. The Section provides advice and support to Field Operations, the Regional Bureaux as well as other parts of DIP on legal and procedural questions concerning exclusion, cancellation, revocation, extradition, terrorism and other security-related issues arising in the context of individual case processing, including refugee status determination under UNHCR’s mandate, resettlement and other forms of admission, as well as in terms of developing case processing strategies and responses to ensure that individual cases involving complex and/or sensitive profiles are handled with due diligence and to minimize potential reputational and/or security risks. The Section also works with relevant parts of DIP and other HQ Divisions, the Regional Bureaux and the Field on further developing and implementing UNHCR’s policy responses to security-related challenges in the area of protection. The Section also undertakes training on issues within its areas of responsibility for UNHCR and Governments, and liaises with relevant organizations, including in the area of counter-terrorism, law enforcement and international criminal cooperation, as well as international courts and tribunals.
The Senior Refugee Status Determination Advisor (Exclusion) works within the Protection & National Security Section in DIP (Policy & Law), and reports to the Senior Coordinator and Chief of PNS Section. The incumbent of this post must possess expert knowledge of international refugee law, with particular emphasis on the exclusion and security-related provisions in international and regional refugee instruments, and other relevant fields of international law, notably international criminal law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The incumbent requires strong interpersonal and communication skills, excellent analytical and drafting skills, discretion and judgement, and strong political acumen. (S)he should also have good training skills and experience and be flexible and able to handle a number of competing priorities at the same time and still produce high quality work. Willingness, and capacity, to go on mission at short notice is also necessary. The incumbent needs to be able to represent UNHCR and its policies in a diplomatic and strategic way.
The Senior Refugee Status Determination Advisor (Exclusion) works closely with Field Offices, Regional Bureaux, relevant sections within DIP, and other Divisions in Headquarters. (S)he will provide assistance and support to Field Offices, Regional Bureaux and relevant sections within DIP on the interpretation and application of the exclusion clauses and (national) security-related provisions in international refugee law. The Senior Refugee Status Determination Advisor (Exclusion) will assist, guide and advise in the planning, formulation, implementation, monitoring, coordination and evaluation of activities in the area of exclusion and related matters (notably cancellation, revocation, extradition, expulsion and exceptions to the principle of non-refoulement) as well as capacity-building efforts in these areas. The Senior Refugee Status Determination Advisor (Exclusion) also works with Government counterparts and other external stakeholders to ensure that exclusion and security-related provisions are interpreted and applied in a manner consistent with international refugee law and will represent UNHCR and its policies in external fora. The Senior Refugee Status Determination Advisor (Exclusion) provides direct supervision and support to the P3 RSD Advisor (Exclusion) and the P3 Resettlement Officer (Exclusion) within the PNS Section as well as affiliate personnel, as applicable, on exclusion and related matters.
ESSENTIAL MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
- Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s) in Law/International Law, with preference for International Refugee, Human Rights or Humanitarian Law plus minimum 8 years of relevant work experience in progressively responsible functions in an office/organization that deals with refugee protection/human rights protection, preferably within the UN, of which at least five years must have been in the areas that are directly relevant to the current position. Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) plus 9 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 7 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- Minimum two years of experience working directly with principles and procedures related to refugee status determination in a UNHCR or Government capacity, with a particular focus on exclusion and related areas.
- In-depth knowledge of international refugee law, especially with regard to exclusion, as well as related areas such as extradition, expulsion, protection against refoulement under international human rights law, international criminal law and relevant aspects of international humanitarian law, and ability to apply the relevant legal principles.
- In-depth knowledge of UNHCR’s standards and policies on exclusion, security and related matters, and ability to apply these standards and principles.
- Exposure to provision of legal and policy support services in an international organization.
- Excellent analytical and research skills and ability to think strategically and creatively.
- Excellent drafting skills.
- Strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills.
- Excellent knowledge of English (writing, reading, speaking and comprehension).
DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS & COMPETENCIES
- Exposure to UNHCR-specific training/learning activities and experience with training and coaching.
- Knowledge of other UN languages (preferably French, Arabic or Russian).
Interested candidates should apply at: https://bit.ly/2xS7GvW.
To view all vacancies, please go to the UNHCR Career Page at www.unhcr.org/careers.
Deadline for applications: 18 October 2018 (midnight Geneva time).
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.