Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Assistant

  • Added Date: Thursday, 09 August 2018
  • Deadline Date: Wednesday, 29 August 2018

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The international obligations of Turkey and its national legislative framework on asylum have shaped the form of the current collaboration with UNHCR. During the last 56 years, UNHCR and Turkey have been working together in close partnership. Turkey has provided the asylum space for persons seeking refuge, and UNHCR has assisted Turkey to determine who is in need of international protection and to enable access to rights by these persons. As the main partner of the Turkish State in the field of international protection, UNHCR Turkey continues to provide legislative and technical support as well as institutional capacity building support to the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) and other national institutions. UNHCR in Turkey also registers asylum-seekers, conducts RSD under the Mandate of the High Commissioner for non- Europeans (with the exception of Syrians), intervenes to strengthen the protection environment and access to social support mechanisms, and endeavors to find durable solutions for the most vulnerable amongst those who are recognized as refugees provided they meet the criteria of the resettlement countries.

As per the Law No: 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection, DGMM is sole asylum authority  mandated to carry out refugee status determination (RSD) procedures in Turkey, UNHCR is processing cases in the context of resettlement, and has observatory role in International Protection Evaluation Commmission. UNHCR is committed to support the DGMM to strengthen its capacity to process cases for International Protection. In this context UNHCR provides direct operational support, capacity building and technical advice to Turkish authorities to strengthen the asylum system and the RSD processing.

Under the supervision of the RSD Officer, the RSD Associate will work in the Status Determination and Protection Unit providing support to RSD activities. The project will assist UNHCR to reduce the period that asylum-seekers wait for their RSD interview and decision.  The RSD Associate will contribute in further streamlining procedures already in place to identify and accelerate applications made by extremely vulnerable individuals ("EVI") including women at risk and victims of torture.

Living Conditions:

The UN Volunteer will live and work in Ankara, Turkey.The national UN Volunteer may also be required to go on missions.

Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country’s second largest city following Istanbul with the population of 4.5 million people. Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city. It is the seat of the Turkish government and houses all foreign embassies. The city is strategically located at an important crossroads for trade in proximity of Turkey’s highway and railway networks. Visas are required for entry into Turkey. It is therefore strongly recommended to check with the local Turkish Embassy or Consulate before traveling ( Nationals of EU member states and a limited number of nations are eligible for visas-on-arrival at international air termini and certain border crossing points.

  • Security: The current security level in Ankara is minimal – 1. Ankara is considered a generally safe city, where normal use of common sense and acting responsibly takes one a long way.The public transport is safe to use. There are no direct threats towards United Nations and its staff in Turkey.
  • Medical Services: No special vaccinations are required for a travel to Ankara. Medical services available are of high quality, and health care services are available also in English.
  • Housing: Apartments and flats are easily available and generally of good condition, with well working services (gas, electricity, water). The cost of housing is reasonable, although smaller apartments and certain locations close to foreign embassies and the UN House tend to be more expensive. Some UN Volunteers opt for house sharing. Upon arrival, UN Volunteers will reside in a hotel until they find permanent housing. UNV Field Unit can provide assistance to UN Volunteers in identifying suitable housing.
  • Cost of living and services: Housing is the largest monthly expense, and the cost of living is otherwise very affordable. Daily food and products are inexpensive, as are many services. Imported goods and many non-essential services and products tend to be more expensive. The provision of goods and services in general is very good. Local transportation ranges from buses, mini-busses called “dolmuş” to taxis, which are all affordable. The subway lines are very limited in the scope.
  • Weather: The city has a mean elevation of 938 metres. It has cold, often snowy winters dueto its elevation and inland location, and hot, dry summers. Because of Ankara's high altitude and its dry summers, nightly temperatures in the summer months can be cool.
  • Language: Turkish is the only official language. English is widely spoken in touristic areas, but less commonly in Ankara. In supermarkets and shops, few Turkish words are useful. Good and safe English language Internet banking services are available, which makes up for the lack of English speaking staff in many of the bank branches. There are Turkish language schools and tutors available in Ankara.


Description of tasks:

Under the direct supervision of Refugee Status Determination Officer  the national UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks:

  • conducting refugee status determination interviews, drafting legal assessments and making recommendations on refugee status, in accordance with UNHCR guidelines and the RSD Procedural Standards.
  • providing RSD counselling to refugees, informing and acting upon reports received from refugees within the refugee community or from the local authorities, and following up on protection issues with the authorities concerned, including court cases concerning refugees.
  • conducting research (on country of origin and legal issues), managing and improving the country of origin knowledge base, reporting on general trends in the relevant countries of origin and replying to queries on specific legal and protection issues, while referring to the supervisor or seeking for advice on more complex issues. 
  • assisting in training and coaching RSD and registration staff, and in building the capacity of the authorities to conduct RSD and provide effective protection.
  • update information on ProGres database on individual cases.
  • assist in data collection and reporting, as required.
  • performing other duties, as required.

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are required to:

  • Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark IVD);
  • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;
  • Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities;
  • Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;
  • Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers;
  • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.

Results/Expected Output:

  • Following the induction period, the volunteer is expected to conduct 4-5 standard RSD interviews or 7 streamlined RSD interviews per week and to submit 4-5 standard refugee status determination assessments or 7 streamlined RSD decisions per week containing a recommended decision on whether the applicant qualifies as a refugee or not.
  • The UN Volunteer is expected to conduct research on the countries of origin of the asylum-seekers he/she interviews and update the country of origin database in accordance with new developments in these countries.
  • The UN Volunteer is expected to complete the following training: Refugee Status Determination, Induction Training of Protection of Refugees, Code of Conduct for UNHCR Staff, Basic Security in the Field, Advanced Security in the Field, UN Programme on the Prevention of Harrassment and Abuse of Authority, Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
  • A final statement of achievements towards volunteerism for development during the assignment, such as reporting on the number of volunteers mobilized, activities participated in and capacities developed.


  • Cultural and gender awareness
  • Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for diversity


  • University degree in (International) Law, Human Rights Law, Political Science or International Relations, regional studies or other relevant field
  • Minimum 2 years relevant experience
  • Demonstrated familiarity with and knowledge of basic international refugee and international human rights law
  • Legal Knowledge and the ability to apply legal principles
  • Good analytical skills, good drafting skills and good oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to deal with persons with special needs, including unaccompanied children, and persons with disability or persons affected by serious trauma
  • Experience in country of origin information research desirable
  • Strong research skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a team
  • Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for diversity
  • The ability to work effectively under stress and in crisis situations
  • Languages: Required: Excellent written and spoken English.
  • Computer skills: Good knowledge of MS Office programs and Internet applications
  • Citizenship: Turkish
  • Age: 22 and above in accordance with UN rules for national UNV’s
  • Desirable:  Any of the following: Farsi, Arabic, Kurdish, French, Russian, Turkish.


United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme which welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture.

United Nations Volunteers reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this opening for other openings with United Nations Volunteers with similar assignment description, experience and educational requirements.

A contract till December 31, 2018; with subsequent contract extensions subject to availability of funding, operational necessity and satisfactory performance. However, there is no expectation of renewal of the assignment.

Travel to duty station (if applicable) and a Settling-In-Grant will be provided in the event duty station is not within commuting distance from the place of recruitment. A Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) of 2,729.92 TRY (amount and currency of payment) is provided monthly to cover housing, utilities and normal cost of living expenses. Life, health and permanent disability insurance are included (health insurance for up to 3 dependents), as well as final repatriation (if applicable) and resettlement allowance for satisfactory service.



Contract Duration: 31 December 2018

This vacancy is archived.

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