Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in Pretoria, South Africa, at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The Human Rights Officer reports to the Regional Representative for Southern Africa of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.Responsibilities
Within delegated authority, the Human Rights Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Assists the Regional Representative in managing the operations and programme management of the office, including execution of the office work plan ensuring optimal use of resources allocated; coordination and organisation of programme areas; and supporting the daily activities of the Office;
• Assists the Regional Representative to develop and coordinate an Office-wide strategy to promote the respect and protection of human rights in the region of assignment;
• Reviews, monitors and evaluates activities related to the implementation of international human rights instruments, including recommendations of treaty bodies and mechanisms of the Human Rights Council, in relation to the country or region of assignment;
• Prepares reports, documents, briefing notes, talking points and other written materials;
• Supports the work of Special Rapporteurs / Representatives / Experts / Working Groups and Treaty-Bodies, including in the preparation and conduct of field missions and the drafting of timely reports in relation to the country or region of assignment;
• Processes individual cases of alleged violations under existing thematic procedures;
• Evaluates the requirements for, plans and supports, long-term human rights presences in the country or region concerned;
• Works with UN and non-governmental programmes in the country of assignment to integrate human rights perspective, helps design and implements the human rights programme of the Office and organization and focus of the evaluation:
• Ensures up-to-date information regarding substantive matters in the field of human rights and makes recommendations on actions to take;
• Maintains contact with other sectors of the UN, other international organizations and government counterparts on coordination and policy matters; briefs representatives and provides, as appropriate suggestions and recommendations;
• Assists in the development and implementation of training programs in the field of human rights, international humanitarian law, democracy and the rule of law, with attention to gender perspectives;
• In consultation with the Regional Representative, coordinates work and administrative functions related to the staff, planning and budget;
• Trains and supervises new/junior staff;
• Performs other related duties as required
PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of and exposure to a range of human rights issues including, monitoring of human rights in the Africa region; approaches and techniques to identify and address legislative and institutional gaps with respect to human rights protection and promotion; assess and address the Government's needs for technical assistance and capacity building; develop effective mechanisms and methodologies for monitoring and reporting on human rights violations; integrate human rights into humanitarian responses and UN development plans and processes. Knowledge of and exposure to institutional mandates and the work of UN human rights mechanisms. Ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources and assess impact on the human rights situation in the country, including the political environment and legal statutes as they pertain to human rights. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
PLANNING & ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
JUDGMENT/DECISION MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in law, human rights, political science or international relations, social sciences or other related field. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.Work Experience
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in human rights, international relations, law or related area is required.
Experience in human rights technical cooperation and advisory services is desirable.
Experience in project and operations management is desirable.
Human rights experience in the Africa region is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of Portuguese is also desirable.
Evaluation of qualified applicants may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by a competency-based interview.Special Notice
Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.