Senior Protection Assistant - 36824

  • Added Date: Sunday, 15 May 2022
  • Deadline Date: Saturday, 21 May 2022
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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in Afghanistan invites qualified AFGHAN candidates to apply for the following vacancy:

Functional Title: Senior Protection Assistant
Type of Appointment: Fixed-Term
Position Number: 10002545
Grade: G5
Duty Station: Kabul Field Unit
Issue Date: 15 May 2022
Closing Date: 21 May 2022

Organizational/ Operational Context:

Having entered the fifth decade of their displacement, Afghan refugees constitute one of the largest protracted displacement crises of our time. Over the years, the region has remained in flux and return movements have been interspersed with waves of emigration, sporadic flows of refugees, and exponential internal displacement. COVID-19 has pushed millions of vulnerable people further into poverty, with potential implications for population movements within the region and further afield. Hundreds of thousands remain further afield, notably in Germany, other European Union Member States and Turkey.

Between 2002 and 2020 an estimated 7 million Afghans have returned to Afghanistan, with more than 5.2 million being refugees who have voluntarily repatriated with UNHCR¿s assistance. Refugee returns during the last three years have been far lower than in previous years, with 2,147 Afghan refugees returned from Pakistan (1,092), Iran (939), and other countries (116) in 2020, the lowest return figure that could be attributed to the deteriorating political, security and economic situation in Afghanistan and the impact of COVID-19. These returns have taken place against a backdrop of increased internal displacement due to conflict and natural disaster. OCHA, estimates that overall, nearly five million persons have been displaced since 2012 and have not returned to their place of origin.

Despite strong political will to achieve peace in Afghanistan, uncertainties result from the current political context, including the significant delays in the intra-Afghan peace negotiations and the withdrawal of US troops as part of the US/Taliban negotiations. There are currently two elements constituting the international military forces in Afghanistan: the US Operation Freedom with 2,500 troops, which were recently reduced from 4,500 troops on 15 January 2021 with a possible complete withdrawal by May 2021; and the NATO Resolute Support with fewer than 12,000 troops from dozens of nations involved in a non-combat mission of training and advising the Afghan security forces.

There are 72,445 refugees living in Afghanistan. Most of this group were displaced from Pakistan to Afghanistan in 2014 and settled in areas of Khost and Paktika provinces. A small number (approximately 380 people) reside in urban areas of Kabul and other cities. Refugees constitute one of the most vulnerable populations in the country. They face significant legal challenges due to the fact that that the National Law on Asylum still has not been enacted.

UNHCR provides international protection and finds solutions to the refugee situation in Afghanistan building upon the ongoing consultations within the context of the Support Platform for the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) and the Global Compact on Refugees. These include the Inaugural Meeting of the Core Group of the SSAR Support Platform (7 October 2020), the 7th Meeting of the SSAR Quadripartite Steering Committee (1 October 2020), and the High-Level Meeting on the SSAR Support Platform (6 July 2020).

While ongoing security challenges remain significant, there is also an opportunity at present for Afghanistan¿s gradual progression on the path towards peace and stability, which could pave the way for
the long-awaited solution of voluntary repatriation. UNHCR will expand the Priority Area of Return and Reintegration (PARR) from 20 to 40 areas in 2021. Full, explicit and impactful inclusion of returning refugees into national development planning and programming is essential to enable their sustainable reintegration which will in turn solidify and fortify the broader peacebuilding, reconciliation and stabilization efforts, the integral linkages between timely, inclusive and forward-looking planning for return and reintegration and the three overarching pillars of Afghanistan¿s National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF II) for 2021-2025, as well as relevant implementation mechanisms, including the National Priority Programs (NPPs):

1. Peace-building: ensuring that the imperative of voluntary return and reintegration is firmly embedded in relevant peace processes and any subsequent agreement with a view to enabling returning refugees to become part of cohesive and harmonious communities and to
participate in peace-building and reconciliation efforts;

2. Market-building: capitalizing on the human capital, skills and assets acquired by refugees in host countries to support market-building efforts and address human resource gaps, including through return of qualified individuals, private sector investments or opportunities for regional connectivity; and

3. State-building: advancing inclusion of the displaced in development processes, planning and programmes; with particular focus on enhancing absorption capacity and delivery of quality services and ensuring rights through targeted humanitarian, development, and peace (triple nexus) investments in priority areas of return and reintegration, building resilience of communities as a whole; in full alignment with the strategic long-term approach to peacebuilding outlined by the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The Senior Protection Assistant normally reports to a more senior Protection colleague. The incumbent monitors protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery in line with international standards and provides functional protection support to information management and programme staff.

The Senior Protection Assistant provides quality, timely and effective protection support to persons of concern (PoC) and identifies opportunities to mainstream protection methodologies and safeguards in operational responses. S/he contributes to designing a comprehensive protection strategy and may liaise externally with local authorities and partners on protection issues as guided by the supervisor.

The Senior Protection Assistant also ensures that PoC are involved in making decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying appropriate solutions to their problems. To achieve this, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, local authorities and protection and assistance partners.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.

Specific to central region context, with particular focus on women, the incumbent will engage with communities to Support UNHCR funded co-prosper (community-based protection) projects in priority areas for return and reintegration, as well as other provinces where UNHCR is funding such projects.

Duties and Responsibilities

¿ Consistently apply International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct.
¿ Provide counselling on protection issues to PoC; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.
¿ Support activities in protection related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.
¿ Conduct preliminary information gathering and interviews in support of eligibility, status determination, durable solutions and social needs assessment.
¿ Contribute to measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness.
¿ Contribute to a country-level child protection plan as part of the protection strategy.
¿ Contribute to a country-level education plan for PoC as part of the protection strategy.
¿ Monitor Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.
¿ Participate in individual protection case management including cases of GBV and child protection. Monitor and report on cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents.
¿ Assist in identifying durable solutions for PoC in voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement.
¿ Contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.
¿ Draft reports, routine correspondence, update relevant databases and compiling statistics within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).
¿ Contribute to initiatives to enhance national and local protection capacities.
¿ Select PoC for preliminary interviews and decide which relevant information to share.
¿ Enforce integrity in the delivery of protection services by local implementing partners.
¿ Perform other related duties as required.

Essential qualifications, skills and professional experience


¿ Completion of High School or higher.


¿ International Law; Political Science;

Years of Experience:

¿ For G5 - 2 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 1-year relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher


¿ Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language

Functional Skills

¿ IT-Computer Literacy
¿ CL-Protection & Solutions Awareness
¿ PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
¿ PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework

Core Competencies

¿ Accountability
¿ Communication
¿ Organizational Awareness
¿ Teamwork & Collaboration
¿ Commitment to Continuous Learning
¿ Client & Result Orientation

Managerial Competencies:

¿ Empowering and Building Trust
¿ Judgement and Decision Making

Cross-Functional Competencies

¿ Analytical Thinking
¿ Political Awareness
¿ Stakeholder Management


The management of the advertised openings in this announcement is in line with the provisions of the UNHCR Administrative Instruction on Recruitment and Assignment of Locally Recruited Staff (RALS). The vacancies are open to eligible internal (Group 1 and Group 2) and external applicants.

¿ Internal applicants (Group 1 and Group 2) are requested to submit their applications through MSRP ¿ Self-Service ¿ Recruiting ¿ Careers or CLICK HERE . It is important that applicants update their fact sheets (languages, education and prior working experience) before submitting their applications.

¿ External applicants are requested to submit their applications through the UNHCR website - ¿ Career ¿ Career Opportunities ¿ Other Opportunities or CLICK HERE . You will need to create an account as ¿New User¿ and then click on ¿My Account Information¿. Complete the application and submit it.


Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be invited for an eliminatory written test. Only those who obtains 50% will be invited to an interview.
The recruitment for this position shall be in line with the new Recruitment and Assignment of Locally Recruited Staff (RALS) policy.
Only applications submitted through MSRP will be accepted.
Qualified female candidates are encouraged to apply for consideration

This vacancy is archived.

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