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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Associate Protection Officer: Baku, Azerbaijan

April 8, 2014


Application Deadline: April 29, 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 – Baku, Azerbaijan). 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 education with a degree in Law or in Political/Social Sciences. International Law, Human Rights Law, and Refugee Law preferred. . Advanced degree is strongly preferred for participation in the PRM-sponsored JPO program.
  • Two-three years of work experience in law, human rights, or refugee assistance. Field experience in refugee work or humanitarian work desirable. Minimum 6 months of professional experience in the field. Previous working experience in the Caucasus and Azerbaijan is desirable
  • In addition to English, knowledge of Russian is 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 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. American JPOs are expected to serve a complete (2) two-year JPO term.

Associate Protection Officer (JPO)

Baku, Azerbaijan

Job Description (JPO)


Title: Associate Protection Officer (JPO)

Sector: Protection

Location: Baku, Azerbaijan

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


Supervisor: Protection Officer, Mr. Alexander Novikau

Other International Staff in Duty Station: Representative, Protection Officer, Admin / Program Officer, and Associate Protection Officer

Content and methodology of the supervision: The incumbent will work under direct supervision of the Protection Officer, who will provide on-the-job guidance and coaching. The incumbent's performance will be reviewed through annual Performance Appraisal Reports. The objectives of the Protection Unit will be discussed and implemented under the overall supervision of the Representative and through joint planning between the Protection Officer and the Associate Protection Officer, taking into consideration organizational priorities, staffing constraints, specific work requirements, and general UNHCR protection policies and guidelines.


Under the direct supervision of the Protection Officer, the incumbent shall fulfill the following duties and responsibilities:

1. Act as the main IDP focal point within UNHCR Azerbaijan.

  • Participate in regular field missions and actively engage in monitoring UNHCR-and Government implemented programs related to IDPs.
  • Liaise and coordinate with Government and NGO representatives on IDP related issues.
  • Liaise closely with EU, OSCE, Council of Europe and Diplomatic Missions to ensure coherent and consistent reporting and awareness of IDP issues.
  • Provide input and acts as the resource person on IDP issues in UNCT and Inter-Agency initiatives and activities.
  • Lead the implementation of biennial UNHCR Participatory Assessment among IDP’s.
  • Prepare plans and provide input on UNHCR Azerbaijan’s IDP activities for UNHCR planning.

2. Assist with capacity building and increasing coordination:

  • Provide capacity building and technical expertise on IDP issues to Government of Azerbaijan representatives.
  • Prepare report analysis on IDP protection issues and gaps in the country.
  • Prepare proposals for intervention with appropriate authorities, liaise with relevant Government Bodies and provide capacity building - including on issues relating to housing rights of IDPs.
  • Participate in the needs assessment of displaced persons and other vulnerable groups and make proposals for advocacy initiatives and assistance programs.
  • Prepare reports on relevant activities as directed by the Protection Officer and the Representative (Contingency plans, UNHCR’s reporting cycle, and briefings).
  • Represent UNHCR in meetings - when requested by the supervisor.
  • Supervise and coordinate the work of other staff – if required to do so by supervisor.
  • Subject to the agreement and cooperation of the Government of Azerbaijan, assist the Protection Unit in preparing an action plan on addressing statelessness issues.

3. Respond to protection needs of population of concern:

  • Conduct interviews with persons of concern, undertake ad hoc visits to the homes of persons of concern, and visit locations with population of concern.
  • Assist in responding to the needs of IDP vulnerable groups, in particular women and children. Coordinate the work undertaken by staff, implementing partners, and volunteers on issues pertaining to vulnerable groups (i.e. women, children, handicapped and elderly).
  • Suggest and implement relevant coordination mechanisms, e.g. Inter-Agency Working Groups, to develop plans and strategies aimed to address and identify solutions to the gaps identified through needs assessments.
  • Closely monitor and follow up on Counselling and Legal Assistance Program for IDPs. Contribute to relevant responses to violation of IDPs’ rights.

4. Undertake other duties as required. 


Qualifications: Higher University degree in Law or in Political/Social Sciences. Degree in International Law, Human Rights Law, and Refugee Law preferred. Post graduate qualifications in law will be an added advantage.

Experience: Minimum 6 months of professional experience in the field, preferably in multi-cultural environment. Working experience in the field of human rights is desirable.

Skills: Excellent knowledge of English. Knowledge of Russian is desirable. Previous working experience in the Caucasus and Azerbaijan is desirable; relevant field experience is an asset. Ability to deal with people in a sensitive and understanding manner when required, but also diplomatic and firm when appropriate. Respects the need to deal with sensitive issues with confidentiality; responsive to the needs of vulnerable groups. Demonstrates skills in establishing collaborative working relationships with authorities and relevant partner organisations; good judgement and analytical skills. Able to facilitate team work and establish and maintain good working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds. Skilled at preparing written materials in a clear, concise and compelling manner; excellent drafting skills and sound communication skills. Good computer skills and working knowledge of MS Office.

Relevant UNHCR Functional Competencies:

  • Team Working (CC03)
  • Protecting refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR (PT06)
  • Providing protection information (PT07)
  • Forward planning at the point of delivery (PG03)
  • Assessing beneficiary needs and availability of resources (PG04)
  • Implementing Field Operations (PG13)
  • Political and organizational awareness (MC06)

Training components:

  • The Associate Protection Officer will depend primarily on coaching and mentoring for the majority of on-site training.
  • The incumbent will be expected to diligently read and review policy and procedure documents (self-study) in order to familiarize him or herself with UNHCR’s approach in terms of protection guidelines.
  • Lastly, the incumbent will be encouraged to attend/participate in training workshops and seminars - both internal to UNHCR and external - that will enhance his or her capacity to perform assigned duties and responsibilities.

Learning elements:

  • Writing situation (legal) analyses.
  • Assess and seek solutions to needs of vulnerable groups.
  • Prepare reporting materials.
  • Formulate parts of COP and participate in strategy sessions.


Azerbaijan has one of the highest per capita concentrations of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the world and current Government statistics show that the number of internally displaced from Nagorno Karabakh and seven occupied territories is around 600,000. UNHCR established its presence in Azerbaijan in December 1992 and launched an emergency and relief operation to assist thousands of IDPs with shelter, health care, education, food, water, sanitation, non-food relief items, income-generation, and protection activities. Due to greater capacities of the Government of Azerbaijan to support IDPs, as well as donor fatigue and the frozen nature of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, UNHCR’s programs of assistance have been gradually down-sized over the years. The Government of Azerbaijan now assumes full responsibility for improving the conditions of IDPs and as of 2004 the international community has substantially curtailed their direct assistance in support of the IDPs. However, UNHCR still plays an important role as a leading agency in the protection sector and is coordinating with the Government on the overall assistance strategy to IDPs

UNHCR’s interventions in the IDP currently focus on needs assessments, awareness raising and advocacy for rights-based protection. In consultations with the Government, UNHCR presented an Analysis of Gaps in the Protection of IDPs in March 2010. As a follow up to this UNHCR has, in close cooperation with the Government, established sector working groups to ensure an effective, transparent inter-agency response to the situation of IDPs in Azerbaijan and improve their possibilities for finding durable solutions to their situation. UNHCR also aims to further engage the Government, the UN and other stakeholders in contingency planning for a Humanitarian Emergency in Azerbaijan resulting from change in the state of the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict.

To ensure that IDPs’ rights are protected and privileges provided in accordance with national legislation and in compliance with international protection standards, UNHCR also provides free legal counselling and assistance to IDPs. A growing problem relates to IDPs who are at risk of being evicted from their current place of residence which they occupy. UNHCR has a close dialogue with the Government to contribute to finding solutions to this issue and to assist individual IDPs at risk with legal assistance. UNHCR also continues to implement a modest assistance program to complement the Government’s efforts to improve the living situation of IDPs in Azerbaijan. The assistance is mainly focused on small scale community-based activities; quick impact projects (QIPs) and capacity building.

Baku is classified in category A on the UNHCR mobility and hardship allowance scale. The city has a large number of newly refurbished, high quality apartments. Water/sanitation, electricity and gas provision is, however, of variable quality, although power/gas/water cuts are rare in the city center. Social infrastructure lacks proper maintenance and this includes public communication services, which are in a poor state. A small number of Western style medical clinics operate in Baku, the standard of which is comparable to facilities in Western countries. Due to the large influx of foreigners working in the oil and gas industry in Azerbaijan, the price level on apartments and in places frequented mainly by foreigners is high. Although Azerbaijan is a Muslim country, dress codes are liberal, but men and women should avoid wearing shorts in the street, as this can attract unwelcome attention. Baku is generally a safe city but instances of street crime and assaults on foreigners occur.

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