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Associate Protection Officer: Tbilisi, Georgia


December 18, 2012

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 Application Deadline: January 9, 2012

Applications must be emailed to JPOCoordinator@state.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the date indicated in order to be considered. Thank you.

How to Apply:

Please note that PRM-sponsored JPO positions are open to U.S. Citizens only.

Applicants must submit a completed United Nations Personal History form (UN P-11) via email to JPOCoordinator@state.gov by the deadline noted above. The UN P-11 form is available for download from the UNHCR website at http://www.unhcr.org/recruit/p11new.doc. PRM will accept the UN P-11 form without a signature. If desired, you may also submit a resume, curriculum vitae and a letter of interest. Please specify the position for which you are applying in the Subject line of the email (i.e. Associate Protection Officer – Kabul, AFGHANISTAN). You must send a separate email and application for each position for which you are qualified and wish to be considered. For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions on the PRM website.

PRM Notes:

  • For more information about UNHCR’s operations at this post, please visit the UNHCR website at www.unhcr.org.
  • Fluency in English required. Russian skills strongly preferred.
  • University degree in Law/International Law required. An advanced degree is strongly preferred for participation in the PRM-sponsored JPO program.
  • At least 3 years of relevant professional experience. Working experience as a lawyer in private practice and/or judiciary and/or administrative bodies would be an advantage. preferably including a minimum of one year of international experience
  • International experience, refugee experience, and experience working with international organizations is an asset for participation in the PRM-sponsored JPO program.
  • The JPO job description and related information attached are provided by UNHCR.
  • JPO contracts are initially issued for one (1) year and then renewed. U.S. JPOs are expected to serve a complete (2) two-year JPO term.

Associate Protection Officer (JPO)

Tbilisi, Georgia

Job Description (JPO)

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Title of the post: Associate Protection Officer (JPO)

Sector: Humanitarian

Location: Tbilisi, Georgia

Duration of the assignment: Initial Period of 1 year

SUPERVISION:

Title and name of Supervisor: Protection Officer, Mrs. Danijela Popovic-Efendic

Title of other international staff members in same duty station: Representative, Deputy Representative, Senior Program Officer, Associate Program Officer, Associate Field Officer (Protection), Senior Regional Field Safety Advisor

Content and methodology of the supervision: This position requires the JPO to be able to work independently, although coaching on the on-going activities and projects is available upon request.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Associate Protection Officer directly manages specific cross-cutting issues and tasks of the office in Georgia on behalf of, in collaboration with and under the supervision of the Protection Officer. In this role, the Associate Protection Officer performs the following tasks:

  • Primarily works with the Protection Unit in monitoring the situation of IDPs, serves as liaison with the NRC and other Protection partners, analyses information gathered and refers issues to the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Refugees and Accommodation (MRA).
  • Lobbies the Government for more transparent, coherent and effective strategies and programmes protecting IDPs; advocates for better protection of particularly vulnerable IDPs and for an increased awareness of IDPs on their rights and entitlements.
  • Assists in further building the capacity of MRA, through individual counselling and group workshops.
  • Assists the Protection Unit in elaborating a strategy to mainstream IDPs into Georgia’s social and poverty reduction programmes, in order to conduct a transition from emergency to development.
  • Further assists the Protection Unit in supervising protection related sub-projects on IDPs in Georgia.
  • Manages, independently, certain issues/items assigned by the Protection Officer (manages the flow of information, prioritizes matters, takes appropriate action, follows-up developments and keeps the Deputy Representative informed).
  • Under guidance of senior management and supervisor, liaises with government counterparts, implementing and other partners, as well as other UN Agencies as appropriate to monitor, improve and co-ordinate projects and to secure maximum cost-benefit ratio and efficient use of resources in the implementation of protection and assistance programmes.
  • Represents the Office at inter-agency and other meetings as assigned.
  • Participates in monitoring activities including at field locations.
  • Undertakes other duties as required.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

Qualifications: University degree in international/refugee law/human rights, or international relations, or any other relevant fields. BA/LLB and 4 years of relevant work experience or MA/LLM (or JD) and 2 years of work experience.

Experience: 2-4 years of relevant international experience with demonstrated commitment to humanitarian/development work.

Skills:

  • Political and organizational awareness
  • Teamwork
  • Managing performance
  • Leadership
  • Strategic planning
  • Managing resources
  • Intercultural communication

Competencies required:

  • Knowledge of international/refugee law
  • Strategic planning
  • Representing UNHCR
  • Liaising with other functions

Training components and learning elements:

Training components:

  • On the job training under guidance of supervisor.
  • Participation into seminars & workshops relevant for tasks to be accomplished, organized by UNHCR and other organizations.
  • UNHCR distance learning course: Protection Learning Program.
  • Intensive summer course in Russian.

Learning elements:

  • Managing complex issues.
  • Working in the protection unit, in close coordination with program and administration in UNHCR.
  • Linking strategy to operations.

Background information

Georgia declared independence in 1991 following decades under Soviet rule. The country is still undergoing multiple transition processes related to strengthening its rule of law and democratic institutions, the consequences of two secessionist conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and economic reform focusing on privatization and neo-liberal approaches (its reform efforts during the last decade, in particular following the Rose Revolution, have shown significant results).

Geographically, Georgia is an important link in the oil / gas transit system from the Caspian

Seas to international markets and, with its abundant natural resources (forests, water sources, mineral deposits) and educated labor force, it has strong economic potential.

Overall, the security situation has improved and, in some sectors the country has managed to recover from the most recent armed conflict (United Nations Security Level I prevails in most Parts). The real impact of the security situation has to be seen in a well-founded fear and resulting unwillingness of many displaced people – mainly in areas adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia – to return to normal life; and thereby prolonging the need for UNHCR's continued presence and humanitarian intervention.

There are around 460 refugees (primarily Chechen refugees from the Russian Federation) and some 40 asylum seekers (mainly from Middle East countries) that are of concern to UNHCR Georgia. UNHCR also addresses the protection needs of almost 280, 000 internally displaced people including: more than 263, 000 IDPs living in areas of Georgia effectively controlled by the Government and some 10,000 displaced within South Ossetia. This also includes over 147,000 people who are continuing to live in IDP-like situations in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and areas adjacent to South Ossetia. Finally, Georgia has just acceded to the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons in December 2011 and UNHCR has been supporting the government in preparing and implementing relevant legislations and procedures. It is anticipated that Georgia will also accede to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the European Convention on Nationality in 2012/2013.

Outline of country program

The overall objective of UHCR Georgia’s operation in 2012 remains focused on durable solutions for persons of concern – refugees and IDPs. In 2012, UNHCR focus significantly on protection monitoring and standard setting through advocacy and policy shaping.

The objectives of the UNHCR country program are:

Refugees/Asylum seekers

UNHCR Georgia will continue providing support and technical assistance to the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees (formerly known as MRA) with a view to further enhance the quality of the Government refugee status determination procedures and will promote legislative changes to bring the laws governing refugee issues in line with international standards. UNHCR will further ensure a systematic implementation of the local integration strategy – including through naturalization – for refugees in the Pankisi valley and elsewhere through joint efforts with UNDP to complete the transition from humanitarian assistance to regional development in Akhmeta region during the period 2012/13.

Statelessness

Following the accession of Georgia in 2011 to the1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and pending the accession to the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the 1997 European Convention on Nationality which is considered for 2012/2013, UNHCR will advocate for a systematic revision of Georgian citizenship legislation to bring it in line with international standards and prevent statelessness of Meskhetian returnees and others. UNHCR will further contribute to the prevention and reduction of statelessness in Georgia by raising awareness among Government agencies and the public on the importance of citizenship and related documentation.

IDPs

While continuing activities for which funding is available in the shelter and income generation/livelihood sectors, UNHCR will take decisive action to move forward in the transition from an assistance/protection programme for IDPs to an IDP programme in which UNHCR remains a key actor and fully plays its protection role with a particular focus on durable solutions and the respect for the right to return. UNHCR will further continue to promote and support efforts by the Government aiming at full integration of IDPs and support the Government in the up-date and extension of the Government of Georgia IDP Action Plan. Given the specific operational environment and the lack of other actors, UNHCR will continue its assistance programme in Abkhazia and will stand ready (subject to additional funding) to engage in South Ossetia.

Living conditions

In general, living conditions in Georgia are reasonably comfortable, although some problems may arise, particularly in winter, when there are possibilities of electricity, water and gas supply shortages. However, the living conditions in summer are pleasant, although the security precaution applies.

The security in urban areas has very much improved during the last couple of years with a significant reduction of crime and violence. Some sporadic incidents are reported in the Capital. After the armed conflict of August 2008, the security situation in Georgia has been gradually improving and the martial law was lifted by 1 September 2008 in Georgia. Hence, the UN security level was downgraded back to 1 as of 5 September 2008 in Tbilisi and rest of Georgia proper, excluding the buffer zones.

UNHCR has a Field Security Advisor in Tbilisi who ensures regular issuance of security instructions. Under MORSS scheme in which JPO as an International staff would also benefit, the alarm/security system would be installed in his/her accommodation.



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