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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Associate Protection Officer: Kathmandu, Nepal

February 21, 2014


Application Deadline: March 14th, 2014

Applications must be emailed to 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 by the deadline noted above. The UN P-11 form is available for download from the UNHCR website at PRM will accept the UN P-11 form without a signature. If desired, you may also submit a resume or curriculum vitae and 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
  • University degree in (International) Law, with at least 2 years of relevant experience. Advanced degree strongly preferred.
  • Experience in refugee work or humanitarian work desirable.
  • Strong working knowledge of a second UN language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, or Russian) in addition to English is highly desirable for participation in the 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. American JPOs are expected to serve a complete (2) two-year JPO term.

Associate Protection Officer (JPO)

Kathmandu, Nepal

Job Description (JPO)


Title: Associate Protection Officer (JPO)

Sector: Protection

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal

Duration of the assignment: 1 Year renewable (total of 2 years)


Supervisor: Senior Protection Officer (SPO) Cecile Fradot

Content and methodology of the supervision: The incumbent will work under the direct supervision and guidance of the Senior Protection Officer and the overall supervision of the Representative. After undergoing necessary briefing on the job, the incumbent and the supervisor will agree on a number of objectives to be met as well as core, functional and managerial competencies s/he should demonstrate during the assignment. The supervisor will provide the necessary coaching required by the incumbent throughout the assignment.


Under the supervision and guidance of the Senior Protection Officer, the Associate Protection Officer will:

1. Serve as the Office Focal Point for all issues related to the protection of Tibetans in Nepal.

  • Actively monitor the protection needs of Tibetan new arrivals in Nepal, in particular against refoulement and detention.
  • Monitor the registration and interview process of Tibetan new arrivals; directly interview new arrivals with heightened protection concerns.
  • Monitor and respond to issues of child protection and SGBV within the population of Tibetan new arrivals.
  • With the support of the Programme Unit, monitor assistance provided by the implementing partner to Tibetan new arrivals at the Reception Centre (RC) to ensure assistance is provided per UNHCR guidelines.
  • Intervene in cases of possible refoulement or detention of Tibetan new arrivals.
  • Work with government authorities on all issues related to Tibetan new arrivals.
  • Monitor and facilitate departures of Tibetan new arrivals to a third country.
  • Review statistical reports on Tibetan new arrivals provided by RC.
  • Deal with protection issues, particularly instances of detention relating to recognized Tibetan refugees as required.
  • Liaise with other relevant entities, including domestic human rights organization and UN agencies, to monitor and promote the protection of Tibetans in Nepal.
  • Assist the Office in designing and implementing a strategy to increase access to identity and travel documents and legal status for long-staying Tibetans, including a possible registration exercise.
  • Assist in training activities in refugee and human rights laws for selected groups, such as implementing partners and local authorities.
  • Provide documents and materials for Tibetan Contact Group meetings, Headquarters, and as required.
  • Provide inputs for preparation and review of budgetary requirements concerning assistance to Tibetan new arrivals and assist with the monitoring of the implementation of the sub-project with UNHCR’s partner.

2. Assist urban refugees and asylum seekers in Nepal.

  • Conduct Refugee Status Determination (RSD) interviews and prepare RSD assessments.
  • Review RSD assessments prepared by colleagues in the protection unit.
  • Advise on procedure and policy for Refugee Status Determination (RSD).
  • Counsel refugees and asylum seekers on protection concerns.
  • Follow up and deal with local authorities on issues concerning individual cases.
  • Conduct protection interventions as necessary for persons of concern, including for incidents of detention, potential deportation, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

3. Undertake other duties as assigned by the office.


Qualifications: University education with a law degree - International Law, Human Rights Law, and Refugee Law preferred. Post graduate qualifications in law will be an added advantage. University degree (LL.B.) with 4 years of relevant job experience or Advanced University degree (LL.M. – or JD) and 2 years of relevant job experience.

Experience: Two-three years of work experience in law, human rights issues, or refugee assistance.

Skills: Ability to conduct interviews with asylum-seekers and other persons of concern, as well as prepare clear and concise legal assessments of their claims. Ability to establish and maintain good working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds. Gender and cultural sensitivity. Ability to adapt to field conditions. Sound judgment and negotiating skills. Security awareness. Excellent communication skills in English, both written and oral. A second UN language would be an added advantage.

Competencies required include:

  • PT06: Protecting refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR at field level
  • PT07 : Providing protection information
  • PT05: Promoting refugee law/protection principles
  • PT03 : Establishing eligibility for refugee status
  • MC06: Political & organizational awareness

Training components:

  • Coaching, self-study, and close supervision
  • Formal learning programs provided by the organization on protection subjects:
    • Refugee law
    • Resettlement policy/procedure
    • Interview techniques
    • Negotiation skills
    • Report writing

Learning elements:

  • Protect refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR.
  • Conduct refugee status determination.
  • Travel to remote areas, meet persons of concern and local authorities, and prepare reports on mission findings.
  • Liaise with local judiciary, immigration and other authorities on issues concerning persons of concern.


The UNHCR Representation in Nepal, Kathmandu, has a total of 29 regular UNHCR staff engaged in its different sections such as Management, Protection, Programme and Administration and another 43 UNHCR staff (excluding JPO) working in the UNHCR Sub-Office located in Damak, Jhapa district, in eastern Nepal.

The UNHCR operation in Nepal is involved with four categories of persons of concern. Firstly, it continues to provide protection and assistance for approximately 40,000 refugees from Bhutan, located in two camps in the Jhapa and Morang districts of eastern Nepal. Secondly, the UNHCR also advocates for the safe transit of Tibetans arriving in Nepal on their way to India (approximately 400 per year), and provides protection for Tibetan refugees residing in Nepal (approximately 15,000) who need proper refugee documentation. Additionally, the UNHCR manages an urban caseload consisting of some 300 refugees and asylum-seekers of various nationalities. Finally, UNHCR’s operation in Nepal also deals with issues and persons of statelessness.

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