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Volunteer Legal Advocate and Volunteer Community Advocate

Volunteer Advocates needed for Asylum Access Thailand (AAT) 

 

 

About Asylum Access

Asylum Access is a leading refugee human rights organization headquartered in Oakland, CA with substantial operations in three countries plus partnerships in additional countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Asylum Access is the only global organization working to make human rights a reality for refugees in first countries of refuge. Asylum Access believes that by empowering refugees to assert their human rights, we can create effective, lasting solutions for refugees around the world. When refugees can rebuild their lives, communities thrive.

 

Founded in 2007, Asylum Access Thailand (AAT) is a non-governmental organization and forms part of the Asylum Access family.  We work to make human rights a reality for refugees.  We believe all refugees deserve a fair chance to rebuild their lives.  Since most refugees cannot go home and very few are resettled, we find ways to help refugees live safely, move freely, work and attend school while they are here.  AAT’s work involves advocacy for policy and legislation changes, individual legal services in relation to refugee status determination and legal protection; and refugee support and empowerment.

 

Asylum Access Thailand (AAT) seeks applications from well-prepared candidates who are ready to commit themselves to spend six months to a year as a Volunteer Advocates (VAs) based out of Bangkok, Thailand. We are opening for 2 programs;

 

  1. Volunteer Legal Advocates (VLAs) will provide legal counsel, advice and advocacy on behalf of refugees seeking asylum or the assertion of other legal rights.  Following an intensive training program in international refugee law, VLAs will be given the opportunity to practice before local offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).   

Essential Job Responsibilities

Duties may include but not limited to:

  • Conduct client intake and screening interviews, assess needs, and refer to other service providers as needed

  • Advise refugees on the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) process and assist them in understanding their rights

  • Interview refugees and submit written briefs on behalf of those undergoing individual RSD before UNHCR

  • Maintain a high caseload in a fast paced, demanding environment while adhering to strict filing deadlines

  • Conduct research on “country of origin” situations and refugee law jurisprudence

  • Develop material for workshops and legal clinics for refugees, work with translators to adapt materials, and teach and/or participate in the workshops and legal clinics

  • Occasionally, represent AAT at events, conferences and meetings, and/or assist in other publicity and/or fundraising efforts

  • Assist with the general administrative duties of the office, including helping to build administrative capacity within the office to meet demand as AAT grows

 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Degree in Law (specialisation in International Law or International Refugee Law an asset)

  • Working knowledge in English is required, knowledge of other languages (Chinese, Urdu, French, Farsi, Tamil, Arabic, Khmer, Vietnamese Kinh, Hmong) is very helpful

  • Experience working in direct clients services, ideally with asylum seekers or in human rights, as well as a strong passion for social justice work

  • Experience working with vulnerable populations and/or survivors of trauma

  • International experience living and working cross-culturally in developing countries, preferably in Southeast Asia  

  • Experience working in a non-profit setting with limited resources, ideally in the global south

  • An easy-going personality with the demonstrated capacity to handle living and working in an ad-hoc environment where difficult situations and crises can develop at a moment’s notice

  • Aptitude to successfully complete assigned tasks with minimal oversight while serving clients with the highest ethical standards

  • Understanding of the importance of working as part of a team and the ability to carefully and faithfully follow the direction of AAT management staff

  • Ability to commit to at least 6 months of full-time work

 

Required Qualifications

  • Interest in international human rights and/or refugee rights and/or related topics

  • Ability to work with diverse individuals and groups. Candidate should be culturally sensitive

  • Basic working knowledge of Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Microsoft Office

 

Volunteer Program Highlights

 

Development TrainingThroughout your work with us, Asylum Access will support you with a series of tools to maximize your programmatic work and your understanding of refugee law and practice.  Regular training and debriefing sessions will offer you the chance to enhance and process your experience and share insight about cross-cultural issues.

 

Casework Once you join our team, you will be responsible for your own casework, which you will see through preparation, submission and results. This will give you an invaluable experience and lasting ties with your clients.

 

Joining our Network – After working with us, you will be connected with an ever-growing network of refugee legal advocates around the world, which circulates job openings, research opportunities, refugee news, and more.

 

 2. Volunteer Community Advocate (VCA):

VCA working primarily in supporting the Community Outreach Team in an Asylum Access office to assist refugees either directly or indirectly through the range of activities outlined below. At the discretion of the Director, VCA may also engage in other projects related to the development or growth of the local office or special initiatives designed to enhance respect for refugee rights locally or regional. 

 

    Key responsibilities  

  • Conduct a need assessment and facilitate a forum/discussion/ or training in various refugee communities to develop a community work plan in response to the refugees’ need and to fill out the gap. 

  • Identify the resources, capabilities, and capacity of refugee community members and support the successful implementation of community outreach projects in response to AAT Theory of Change. 

  • Provide training and capacity building to refugee communities in the specific area of your expertise, such as SGBV, Domestic Violence, Child Protection, Psycho-social support, and etc. 

  • Observe each training/workshop and be able to provide reflection feedback to the teams for better improvement of community outreach activities. 

 

    Qualifications:

  • University degree in Political Science, Social Science, Social Work, Community Development, Social Administration or a related field is preferred. 

  • Have a good understanding/or strong passion of refugee context. Background of working with people from a multicultural environment is an asset. 

  • Must be flexible and able to work under pressure to meet  deadlines and changing priorities.

  • Fluency in English.


 

Volunteer Program Benefits:

  • Rewarding work experience in supporting urban refugee communities from multicultural backgrounds;

  • A small amount of travel stipend to cover travel and transportation cost during AAT mission;

  • A written reference;

  • Experience in group facilitation and training clients;

  • Experience in developing work plans and monitoring and evaluation (M&E);

  • Cross-cultural communication skills, and experience working with interpreters;

  • Access to Asylum Access’ Alumni network which may present opportunities to obtain work experience in the field of refugee or human rights.


 

Instructions to Apply

Send your resume and cover letter to apply@asylumaccess.org with “VLA Thailand” or “VCA Thailand” on the subject line. In your cover letter, please indicate a proposed start date (e.g. “available to volunteer for 6 months starting December 2020”). Also, please describe your reasons for applying, relevant qualifications, and how you learned about the position. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis all year around. 

 

Only pre-selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 

 

Please note that all Asylum Access Volunteer positions are unpaid; we are happy to work with successful applicants to arrange for funding or school credit where available. The VA will be responsible for expenses incurred relating to obtaining their visa. AAT will be responsible for government and legal service fees in obtaining work permit only. Details and orientation on required documents and procedure in applying for visa and work permit will be shared with successful candidates. 




 

Asylum Access is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. For more information about our organization, visit www.asylumaccess.org.

Contact : apply@asylumaccess.org


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