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Associate Protection Officer: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

April 8, 2014


Application Deadline: April 29th, 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 – Santo Domingo, DR). 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 law degree – International Law, Human Rights Law, or Refugee Law preferred. Advanced degree is strongly preferred for participation in the PRM-sponsored JPO program.
  • Two-four years of work experience in law, human rights, asylum and immigration, or refugee assistance. Experience with statelessness or nationality issues is a strong asset. Field experience in refugee work or humanitarian work desirable.
    Working-level proficiency in English and Spanish required, and working-level proficiency in French is a strong asset. 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)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Job Description (JPO)


Title: Associate Protection Officer (JPO)

Sector: Protection

Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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


Supervisor: Chief of Mission

Content and methodology of the supervision: The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Chief of Mission in the Dominican Republic, as well as under the overall strategic guidance and with the support of the Office of the Regional Representative for the USA and the Caribbean.


Under the direct supervision of the Chief of Mission, the incumbent shall fulfill the following duties and responsibilities:

1. Implementation of the national asylum procedure:

  • Assist with implementation of UNHCR’s advocacy and training strategy to promote and facilitate the re-activation of the national asylum procedure in the Dominican Republic. This would include assisting and accompanying Immigration Officers to interview asylum seekers, document their claims, and present dossiers for decision. It would also include assisting with the training of Government officials responsible for deciding refugee claims.
  • Undertake monitoring visits to the migration detention facility to identify asylum seekers, provide counseling, and facilitate access to the national asylum procedure.
  • Undertake field visits to the Dominican Republic-Haiti border zone to monitor the mixed migratory environment, build UNHCR’s network of partners in the border zone, and report on changes in migratory practices that impact upon Haitians in need of protection

2. Capacity building among NGO partners:

  • Work with three NGO partners to strengthen their capacity to identify gaps in material assistance and legal aid, perform participatory assessments, and improve refugee assistance and local integration projects.
  • Work with an NGO partner to identify refugees in need of resettlement or voluntary repatriation, and facilitate resettlement and voluntary repatriation processes.

3. Coordination and support:

  • Assist the Chief of Mission in the critical role of coordinating with the Government of the Dominican Republic, as well as partners such as UNICEF, WHO, IOM, etc., all aspects of the refugee programme including carrying out needs assessments, ensuring access to basic services, repatriation, etc.


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-four years of work experience in law, human rights, asylum and immigration, or refugee assistance. Experience with statelessness or nationality issues is a strong asset.

Skills: Strong inter-personal communication and negotiation skills; ability to effectively articulate and communicate with tact, complex and sensitive issues to a wide range of audiences, including to governments who may be unreceptive to UNHCR and/or to populations of UNHCR concern. Flexibility and adaptability, including the ability to establish and maintain harmonious working relations with people of different backgrounds. Strong analytical and drafting skills. Working-level proficiency in English and Spanish required, and working-level proficiency in French is a strong asset. A second UN language is an added advantage.

Relevant UNHCR Functional Competencies:

  • PT06 Protecting Refugees and Other Persons of Concern to UNHCR at field level (including stateless populations)
  • PT05 Promoting Refugee Law/Protection Principles (including promotion of the prevention and reduction of statelessness)
  • PT03 Establishing Eligibility for Refugee Status
  • DS02 Facilitating the Local Integration Process
  • DS03 Facilitating the Resettlement Process

Training components:

  • Although the incumbent will principally be performing protection and durable solutions functions, due to the small size of the UNHCR team in the Dominican Republic, he/she will have ample opportunity to learn about the UNHCR program cycle and work with NGO partners to design and implement projects in material assistance, legal aid, and income-generation/livelihoods support.
  • Specific skills and knowledge will be acquired in Refugee Status Determination (RSD), registration practices, durable solutions including resettlement processing, and participatory training techniques.
  • Training and coaching in RSD and resettlement processing will be provided by Protection and Resettlement staff based in Washington as required, further enhancing the learning process.

Learning elements:

  • This position provides a unique opportunity for the incumbent to be directly involved in the development and implementation of a new UNHCR operational strategy to address serious protection gaps both for refugees and stateless populations within a highly complex political and migratory environment.
  • The incumbent will have the opportunity to develop knowledge in a wide range of thematic areas. He or she will have the opportunity to engage with a wide array of international agency operational partners, including but not limited to UNICEF, UNDP, IOM, the Red Cross movement, and field programs of the OAS.


The Dominican Republic is signatory to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. The country has a 1984 executive decree (Decree No. 2330) on the national procedure for RSD. This normative framework establishes CONARE, the body in charge of determining refugee status in the Dominican Republic, and the National Refugee Office (NRO) within the Immigration Directorate. CONARE resumed its work on June 2012, and has held several sessions since then.

April 2014

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