Apply: UNHCR Senior Protection Officer

Deadline: 16 April, 2020

Location: Maiduguri, Nigeria

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is seeking to fill the position of a Senior Protection Officer. The Senior Protection Officer has direct supervisory responsibility for protection staff whose work may include RSD, community-based protection, registration, resettlement, internal displacement, complementary pathways and education, among other areas.

The Senior Protection Officer acts as a key advisor to senior management and leads the development of a comprehensive protection strategy under the area of responsibility. The Senior Protection Officer represents the UNHCR to authorities, UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on protection policy and doctrine.


  • Provide technical guidance and support to UNHCR and partners on all protection related issues
  • Stay abreast of legal, political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment
  • Manage a consultative process with government counterparts, partners and persons of concern to develop and implement a strategy that addresses the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation and/or gender identities (LGBTI persons), persons living with HIV/AIDS; gender equality and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) priorities with regard to these persons
  • In operations applying the Cluster Approach, ensure the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in a strategy which covers all assessed and prioritised protection needs of the affected populations
  • Ensure that the protection strategy is fully integrated into the Country Operations Plan, the UN Development and Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and the Humanitarian Country Team’s common humanitarian response plan as well as with the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and the Three-Year Strategy on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways
  • Promote relevant international, regional and national law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policies, standards and codes of conduct and ensure that all sectors and /or clusters in applicable operations fulfil their responsibilities in mainstreaming protection
  • Promote the implementation of the AGD policy, including UNHCR’s updated commitments to women and girls, and design, deliver and monitor programmes on an AGD basis to address identified protection needs
  • Develop, implement and monitor community-based protection strategies and ensure systematic application and integration of participatory and community-based approaches in protection and solutions planning, programming and strategies
  • Support the establishment of feedback and response systems and the incorporation of feedback received from persons of concern into programme design and adaptation
  • Guide the operation in the development and implementation of robust prevention, identification, and responses to fraud within protection processes and procedures, including registration, RSD, and resettlement, ensuring the integrity of interventions across all protection activities
  • Oversee the management of individual protection cases including those on SGBV and child protection
  • Provide legal advice and guidance on protection issues to internal and external interlocutors; ensure legal assistance is accessible to persons of concern; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documents to persons of concern (including women and others in need of civil documentation in particular birth certificates).
  • As designated Data Protection Focal Point, assist the data controller in carrying out his or her responsibilities regarding the Data Protection Policy (7.2 DPP).
  • Oversee eligibility and status determination in the Operation(s) under the AoR, ensuring compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.
  • Promote and implement strategies and measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness.
  • Develop and implement an education plan as part of the protection strategy within the AoR as relevant.
  • Develop and implement a child protection plan as part of the protection strategy within the AoR, ensuring programmes use a child protection systems approach.
  • Monitor and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.
  • Work to safeguard the rights of persons of concerns in the context of mixed movements as relevant.
  • Coordinate the preparation of, implement and oversee Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.
  • Ensure that durable solutions through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement and complementary pathways are sought and provided to the largest possible number of persons of concern including undertaking, supporting, and/or overseeing resettlement and complementary pathways activities, including implementation of the GCR Three Year Strategy.
  • Coordinate the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related programming with implementing and operational partners.
  • Develop and implement a programme of results-based advocacy through a consultative process with sectorial and/or cluster partners.
  • Ensure that the Protection Sector or Cluster has an effective information management component which provides disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems.
  • Research, collect and disseminate relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery.
  • Develop the protection capacity of national and local authorities, partners and civil society to assume their responsibilities vis-à-vis all persons of concern through protection training, mainstreaming and related activities.
  • Coordinate capacity-development initiatives for communities and individuals to assert their rights.
  • Advise and capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and civil society to strengthen legislation and status determination procedures and mechanisms.
  • Perform other related duties as required.


  • Nine years of relevant experience with an undergraduate degree, or eight years of relevant experience with a graduate degree, or seven years of relevant experience with a doctorate degree in any of the following fields: Law, International Law, International Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, Refugee and Forced Migration, Political Science or other relevant field
  • Protection Learning Programme or RSD-Resettlement Learning Programme or Management Learning Programme certificates and/or licences
  • Seven years of relevant professional experience, minimum, in the area of refugee protection, internal displacement, human rights or international humanitarian law, including experience in working directly with field offices
  • Very good knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles, and of UNHCR’s protection strategies and policies
  • Excellent legal research, analytical skills and drafting
  • Good IT skills including database management skills (desirable)
  • Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
  • Functional skills in Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)
  • Functional skills in Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)
  • Functional skills in coordination and project management

To apply and for more information, click here.

Photo source: Pixabay


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