1. General Background
Haiti is characterized by mixed migration flows and is primarily a transit country, particularly as part of smuggling and trafficking routes in the region. Though the known number of persons seeking international protection in Haiti is relatively small compared to regions experiencing larger displacement, the absence of needed capacities to assist UNHCR's persons of concern (PoC) gives rise to a challenging protection environment. Moreover, since Haiti's ratification of refugee instruments in 1984, Haiti has not adopted a relevant legal framework or legislation and lacks systematic protection-sensitive access to territory and safeguards to prevent refoulement.
In the Caribbean, the issue of statelessness remains challenging, affecting an estimated three million persons of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Bahamas, according to the Haitian Director of the National Archives. In 2018 the Government of Haiti acceded to the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Moreover, Haiti's laudable commitments at the High-Level Segment (HLS) on Statelessness in 2019 regarding late birth registration and civil registry reform have facilitated the registration of Haitians at risk of statelessness in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands, which positively reiterates the Government's commitment to eradicating statelessness by 2024, as reflected in the Brazil Declaration and Plan of Action. However, the adoption of a nationality law to introduce safeguards to prevent statelessness remains a pending issue.
Haiti has been subjected to a myriad of challenges due to the protracted political, humanitarian and security crisis over the past two years. This is further compounded by a deterioration in the socio-economic situation due to the pandemic and an increase in violence over the first half of 2021. Moreover, projections estimate that kidnap-for-ransom will continue to pose a high risk throughout Haiti due to the fact that gangs have taken control of geographical areas and police are unable to intervene. As of 15 July, there are approximately 19,000 IDPs in the country, including 5,300 staying at organized shelters and 2,500 others in spontaneous sites. While the security situation in Haiti has remained relatively calm following late President Jovenel Moise's assassination, the outlook remains unpredictable and tenuous.
2. Purpose and Scope of Assignment
It is within this context that UNHCR's Multi-Country Office in Washington DC (MCO-W) seeks a Protection Officer (National Officer, level NO-C) to be based in UNHCR's Port-au-Prince Office. The Protection Officer will report to the Liaison Officer in Port-au-Prince who reports to the head of Talent and Operations Support Unit (TOSU) in MCO-W The incumbent will also liaise closely with of the UNHCR office in the DR and is part of the Caribbean Protection Unit team. The incumbent is responsible for monitoring the humanitarian situation, displacement scenarios and overall protection trends in Haiti and s/he plays a crucial role in ensuring UNHCR's approach to the Government is consistent, strategic, and coherent. S/he will oversee joint coordination with a range of UN Agencies and local organizations as well as ongoing cooperation with various government departments in service delivery, and regular dialogue at all levels on protection issues.
The incumbent ensures that UNHCR can fulfil its role to support the Government of Haiti to respond to the current humanitarian situation, promoting a protection sensitive approach to asylum, statelessness, and internal displacement with a special focus on border monitoring and expansion of partner network in Haiti. The incumbent's work should be done in line with UNHCR's Mandate, the Global Compact for Refugees, the IDP policy, and agreed inter-agency commitments. More specifically, the incumbent advises senior management on issues and processes concerning the relationship with NGOs, civil society actors, and other relevant actors, through strong engagement in inter-agency processes. S/he is expected to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of UNHCR's leadership role and responses to situations affecting people of concern to UNHCR in Haiti through an open and transparent partnership approach with the Government and key actors in the country's humanitarian architecture.
3. Monitoring and Progress Controls
- Support the UNHCR MCO Washington to reflect the protection and solution angle in support of persons of concern within regional processes.
- Support Country Operations in the development of strategies to build and further develop national asylum/RSD systems with a view to ensuring their fairness, efficiency, adaptability and integrity, favourable protection environment and solutions.
- Assist UNHCR management at regional and country level to comply with polices and commitment on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse measures.
- Support Country Operations and ensure they meet their complementary pathways objectives and resettlement quotas.
- In close collaboration with DIP, (a) contribute to the development of background and general normative, policy, and legal positions, in compliance with UNHCR's global protection policies and standards; (b) contribute to the development of strategies at the regional and country level on the usage of law and policy approaches, including legislative and judicial engagement and UN human rights mechanisms and/or regional ones and other protection frameworks, and integrated human rights standards in protection strategies and advocacy; and (c) support coordination and review of UNHCR's country reports to the UN human rights mechanisms.
- Engage in relevant international and regional fora and contribute to forging regional partnerships to advocate for key protection and mandate issues, and engage in cross-cutting protection-related matters, including mixed movement, internal displacement and climate change/disaster-related displacement responses, as well as Statelessness, in cooperation with DIP and where relevant RSD.
- Perform other related duties as required.
4. Qualifications and Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P3/NOC - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
- Law; International Law; International Refugee Law;
- International Human Rights Law;
- International Humanitarian Law;
- Refugee and Forced Migration Studies; Political Sciences or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
- Protection Learning Programme
- RSD- Resettlement Learning Programme
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
- Fluent in both English and French required.
Relevant Job Experience
- Minimum 5 years of relevant professional experience in the area of refugee protection, internal displacement, human rights or international humanitarian law, including experience in working directly with Field Offices. Good knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles. Excellent legal research, analytical skills and drafting.
- Diverse field experience. Good IT skills including database management skills.
- Organizational Awareness
- Teamwork & Collaboration
- Commitment to Continuous Learning
- Client & Result Orientation
- Managing Performance
- Judgement and Decision Making
- Empowering and Building Trust
- Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
- Planning and Organizing
- Political Awareness
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.
Persons interested in applying for this position must be legally present in Haiti and at the time of application, recruitment and hire.
Candidates must have legal residence with valid work permission in Haiti for the duration of the contract.
Applications will be accepted only via the online portals. Please do not send application via email. Incomplete and late applications will not be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. For any technical problems during the submission of application or any further information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for a written tests and/or oral interview.
UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing or any other fees).
UNHCR strongly encourages qualified female applicants to apply. UNHCR seeks to ensure that male and female employees are given equal career opportunities.
UNHCR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, disability, marital or civil partnership status, race, color or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.
All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.