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Assistant Statelessness Officer
The Assistant Statelessness Officer, under the direct supervision of a more senior protection colleague and in close cooperation with the DIP Statelessness Section, provides legal and policy support to Operations relating to statelessness, as well as guidance and advice on operational planning and practices to ensure that effective activities to address statelessness are undertaken in the AoR. The incumbent maintains close working relations with senior protection staff, and interacts at the technical level with colleagues of regionally based UN sister agencies, other intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organisations, embassies and academic institutions. 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. Duties - Provide advice to Field Offices to ensure that operational and advocacy responses to statelessness reflect international standards and mainstream methodologies for responses to the problem of statelessness, including its prevention and reduction. - Provide analysis and technical advice on nationality laws and statelessness determination procedures, operational responses, including to resolve protracted situations; guidance on methods of identification of stateless persons; civil status registration and documentation. - Monitor the development of international law and doctrine on statelessness, nationality and related areas and developments in the field of nationality law. - Advocate for proper interpretation of law and doctrine and promote protection principles and international law development of standards as relevant to the prevention and reduction of statelessness and the protection of stateless persons - Provide quality legal support and protection advice on statelessness, draft position papers and guidelines on pertinent legal and operational issues. - Advise on efforts to map statelessness situations and provide guidance in the formulation of strategies for the identification, prevention and reduction of statelessness and protection of stateless persons. - With the support of the supervisor, handle individual cases and situations raising special questions of application or interpretation of international law, international standards on statelessness, including the two UN Statelessness Conventions, as well as refugee and human rights law. - Prepare protection documents and policies in cooperation with supervisor. - Participate in the development of project proposals and project implementation. - Liaise with DIP, Divisions and Bureaux work units and external actors to enhance awareness of principles relating to statelessness. - Produce and deliver quality training tools on statelessness and workshops. - Engage with external partners and stakeholders, including governments, non-governmental organizations, international organizations and other relevant stakeholders on issues related to legal principles pertaining to statelessness and related international law. - Help to build and maintain effective interfaces with stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing responses to statelessness. - Represent the Office on protection doctrine and policy in meetings within UNHCR and with external counterparts. - Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Education & Professional Work Experience Years of Experience / Degree Level For P1/NOA - 1 year relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or no experience with Graduate degree; or no experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education Law; International Human Rights Law; or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses HCR Prot Lrng Pgr Statelessnes; (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential Not specified. Desirable Experience in refugee issues/human rights/or nationality law/civil status issues. Experience with the UN and/or a Foreign Ministry. Functional Skills PR-Statelessness- Doctrinal issues on nationality and statelessness PR-Statelessness- Principles and Procedures, operational arrangements/assistance LE-Legal Research (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language. For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise. This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.
Desired Candidate Profile
The Assistant Protection Officer (Statelessness) should have strong knowledge of UNHCR’s policies related to statelessness and international statelessness standards. Knowledge of domestic law and policy in at least one of the countries covered by the MCO is an asset. The incumbent should have excellent research and analytical skills, as well as excellent drafting and communication skills. Demonstrated experience working on statelessness is an asset. The Assistant Protection Officer (Statelessness) should have excellent interpersonal and advocacy skills to facilitate strong and constructive engagement with a wide range of actors, including stateless persons, Government officials and NGOs. A training certificate in Stateless learning programme is desirable. Some travel is expected. The incumbent should have some management experience as s/he will directly manage one G6 Protection Associate (Statelessness) and one G5-level Senior Data Management Assistant (UNOPS).
The desired qualifications :
- Experience engaging and coordinating with external actors on the abovementioned issues, including United Nations Agencies, Government officials, NGOs, academia and diplomatic missions;
- Strong English-language drafting and communication skills and experience using English language in the workplace.
Experience working with stateless populations and on statelessness issues in countries covered by the MCO Thailand is highly desirable.
This position has responsibility for activities regarding statelessness in Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam.
There are nearly 500,000 registered stateless persons in Thailand – one of the five largest populations in the world. In recent years the Royal Thai Government (RTG) has made some progress in addressing statelessness. The RTG has signalled political will to resolve this issue; it is one of the core supporters of the #IBelong campaign and made substantive pledges to address statelessness during the 2019 High-level Segment. Nonetheless, significant challenges remain in facilitating access to nationality, not least administrative bottlenecks and resource constraints. There have also been gaps identified with respect to accessing basic rights and social protection for stateless individuals, highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are no updated stateless statistics available for Cambodia. However, in 2020, the Immigration Department indicated that there were 75,000 ethnic Vietnamese whose legal documents were withdrawn. These are persons of undetermined nationality and fall under UNHCR’s statelessness mandate. Cross-border migration and irregular movement of undocumented ethnic Vietnamese between Cambodia and Viet Nam is also a significant cause of statelessness. Cambodia is undertaking work to reform its civil registration and vital statistics law, which may provide avenues through which to strengthen the legal framework and prevent statelessness. UNHCR is also working with the Royal Cambodian Government on a project to strengthen civil registration capacity.
UNHCR has minimal activities and no presence in Laos. Official statelessness statistics are currently unavailable. However, UNHCR has been informed through its ongoing project in Vietnam that there are a number of stateless persons or persons of undetermined nationality residing in the border areas between Laos and Vietnam and that the two countries are implementing a Bilateral Agreement to naturalize and solve civil registration-related issues for persons residing in the border areas.
There were reported to be over 35,000 individuals who fall under the statelessness mandate in Viet Nam at the end of 2021. In 2020, Vietnam promulgated a Prime Minister's Decision, which represents a firm commitment to undertake ambitious activities to address statelessness, including acceding to the Statelessness Conventions, establishing a statelessness determination procedure, strengthening access to civil registration, and wider commitments to improve the identification and reduction of statelessness and protect the rights of stateless persons. UNHCR works closely with the Vietnam government on statelessness and to support the above workplan, including through joint projects.
The Assistant Statelessness Officer is a member of the Multi-country Office (MCO) Protection team and is relied upon to provide quality, timely and effective support on statelessness issues. Under the overall guidance of the Senior Protection Officer, the Assistant Protection Officer will be the MCO’s focal point for the ongoing formulation and implementation of the statelessness strategy as regards Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam. Responsibilities will include, inter alia: undertaking analysis and preparing advice on statelessness; engaging in advocacy and awareness raising activities with government counterparts and other stakeholders; capacity building activities, including facilitating training on statelessness; managing UNHCR’s statelessness projects in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam; and engaging with UN Country Teams covered by the MCO on statelessness issues, including in relation to United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks.
LE-Legal Research, PR-Statelessness- Doctrinal issues on nationality and statelessness, PR-Statelessness- Principles and Procedures, operational arrangements/assistance
HCR Protection Learning Program Statelessness - UNHCR
Accountability, Analytical thinking, Change capability & adaptability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Teamwork & collaboration
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