Duty Station: Yaounde, Cameroon
Duration: 4 months
Contract Type: ICA International Specialist IICA2 (P3 equivalent)
Closing date: 2 August 2022
Start date: as soon as possible
For the past few years, the Cameroon operation has been facing an increasing number of asylum applications in urban areas of Yaoundé and Douala. With limited human resources, this increase in applications could not be absorbed by the UNHCR DSR and Technical Secretariat teams. Verification exercise conducted between December 2020 and May 2021 revealed that 3816 files of 5516 individuals require special attention.
The indicated files are found at different levels of the DSR procedure. In order to operationalize the strategy developed in this respect and thus clear the accumulated backlog, it’s suggested to set up a special team, define a processing timeframe and propose a budget for the implementation of the operation. Asylum applications in urban areas concern people from several countries with majority of asylum seekers from Central African Republic. In view of the socio-political situation that has prevailed in this country for several years, it is recommended that a simplified procedure be applied for Central African asylum seekers. A special profiling form will be developed with details allowing for easy identification of persons with specific needs.
The RSD in urban areas, particularly in Yaounde, is theoretically conducted jointly by UNHCR and the government, but in practice, UNHCR carries out most of the implementation of the registration, first instance interview, review and recognition or rejection procedure. In Douala, on the other hand, UNHCR is in charge of the entire procedure without any interference from the government. The processing operation will be conducted first in Yaounde for a period of 4 months and then in Douala for a maximum period of 10 months. The will a possibility of contract extension to Douala.
The Protection Officer (RSD) is a member of the Protection. Under the direct supervision of the Senior Protection Officer, s/he is responsible for reviewing RSD assessments undertaken by Eligibility Assistant to determine eligibility for refugee status, undertaking country of origin (COI) and other research related to the claim, as required, and drafting RSD assessments, seeking advice from the Senior Protection Officer on complex cases. The Protection Officer (RSD) assists in compiling and analyzing information related to the RSD activities of the operation.
Duties and responsibilities
- Provide legal/procedural advice and support on RSD adjudication issues within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).
- Stay abreast of legal, political, security and other developments relevant to mandate RSD, the protection environment, including developments in relation to national asylum/RSD systems, as applicable.
- Engage relevant national authorities and structures in identifying and expanding opportunities in view of developing or strengthening national asylum/RSD systems.
- Undertake quality review of RSD Assessments in line with UNHCR policies/guidelines related to mandate RSD and endorse RSD decisions as required.
- Conduct interviews and draft RSD Assessments in complex/sensitive cases per relevant standards and guidelines.
- Provide ongoing coaching as well as specialized training on the inclusion criteria; principles/procedures related to exclusion; cancellation/revocation; international humanitarian law; human rights law; interviewing techniques and credibility assessment/establishing the facts; and legal drafting.
- Support revision of the design and implementation of operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of RSD operations in line with relevant standards/policies, including UNHCR’s AGD policy and Forward Plan, ensuring the prioritisation of persons with specific needs if based in a Regional Bureau, provide support to operations on the above.
- Monitor trends and systematically compile statistics related to RSD case processing.
- Contribute to identifying and preventing fraud in RSD through oversight, advice, and guidance to UNHCR personnel, partners and persons of concern.
- Perform other related duties as required.
Advocacy, Information Management and Research:
- Conduct research on country-of-origin information (COI) and legal issues related to RSD and assist in maintaining a local repository of relevant information, guidelines and standards accessible to RSD staff in the operation.
- Ensure that persons of concern, Government authorities and legal partners have accurate information on the RSD procedures, including UNHCR standards, policy and practice.
- Assist in developing and maintaining processes to ensure that persons of concern, Government authorities and partners have accurate information on the RSD procedures, including UNHCR standards, policies and practice.
- Assist in initiatives to advocate with and support Government authorities and legal partners to establish and strengthen fair and efficient RSD procedures and RSD decision-making.
- Assist in evaluating and projecting RSD staffing needs using the RSD Staffing Benchmarks
Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required
The ideal candidate will have:
Adequate working experience directly with procedures and principles related to adjudicating individual asylum claims in RSD procedures.
In-depth knowledge of International Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law and ability to apply relevant legal principles in the RSD context, including exclusion decision-making. Thorough knowledge of the “Procedural Standards for RSD under UNHCR’s Mandate” and other guidelines and standards governing UNHCR’s mandate RSD activities. Experience in counselling asylum-seekers and individual case management
(6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree. Experience in refugee law training).
A Master degree International Refugee Law; International Human Rights Law; International Humanitarian Law; International Criminal Law; Social Sciences; or another relevant field.
Languages: Excellent Knowledge of French and another UN working language of the duty station
The successful candidate will be based with the team in Yaounde with possibility of extension in Douala.
ICA International Specialist IICA2 (P3 equivalent) Protection Officer is for 4 months in Yaounde, with possibility of extension for 6 months in Douala.
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).
Please note that the closing date for this advertisement is 2 August, 2022.