Hardship Level (not applicable for home-based)
H (no hardship)
Family Type (not applicable for home-based)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
Target Start Date
Job Posting End Date
February 2, 2024
Terms of Reference
Terms of Reference
1. General Background:
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”) is the agency entrusted by the United Nations General Assembly with the mandate to provide international protection to refugees and, together with Governments, to seek permanent solutions to the problems of refugees. Article 35 of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and Article II of the 1967 Protocol requires states parties to cooperate with the office of the UNHCR in the exercise of its supervisory responsibilities. UNHCR’s supervisory responsibility has been reflected in European Union law, including by way of a general reference to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees in Article 78 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”), as well as in Declaration 17 to the Treaty of Amsterdam, which provides that “consultations shall be established with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees … on matters relating to asylum policy”.
Within the framework of UNHCR’s supervisory responsibility, the UNHCR country office in Cyprus seeks a Senior Protection Assistant to be stationed or have regular presence at the first reception centre ‘Pournara’ in Kokkinotrimithia and/or other reception and detention facilities as needed. The Senior Protection Assistant undertakes to monitor the protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery at the reception centers, in line with international standards, participates in the vulnerability assessments conducted jointly by the authorities, UNHCR and EUAA, as well as provides information and advice to residents who seek UNHCR support.
2. Purpose and Scope of Assignment:
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. In addition, the Senior Protection Assistant provides functional protection support to UNHCR information management and Programme, i.e. follow-up on persons arriving at the center and verify means of arrival, travel routes, as well as conduct trends analysis.
The Senior Protection Assistant ensures that PoC are involved in decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying appropriate solutions to their problems. To achieve this, the Senior Protection Assistant will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, the authorities and protection and assistance partners.
Main duties and responsibilities:
The Senior Protection Assistant will undertake the following tasks and responsibilities:
• Consistently apply International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct.
• Monitor Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities, identify gaps and make recommendations to remedy them.
• Provide information and counselling on protection issues to PoC; liaise with competent authorities to advocate for adherence to protection standards.
• Support the management of the centers as required, particularly in relation to coordination and communication with the initiatives of the communities.
• Participate in individual protection case management including cases of SGBV and child protection.
• Support activities in protection related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.
• Participate in the vulnerability assessment process, alongside the authorities and EUAA.
• Conduct an assessment of arrival trends, reasons, travel routes and means of arrival.
• Liaise with national and European authorities, as well as local and international monitoring bodies, to enhance cooperation between UNHCR and these bodies, facilitate two-way information sharing, validate the data on arrivals, and advocate for adherence to protection standards.
• 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.
• Enforce integrity in the delivery of protection services by local implementing partners.
• Perform other related duties as required.
3. Monitoring and Progress Controls:
The Senior Protection Assistant will work under the supervision of the Protection Officer of UNHCR. S/he will also maintain close contact with all other relevant staff in the office, and other UNHCR offices as required. S/he will have regular meetings with the supervisor where, among other things, performance issues would be discussed. Given the nature of the assignment, a weekly report/update shall be prepared and submitted at the end of each week.
4. Qualifications and Experience:
• Completion of secondary education, Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in Law, Psychology, Social Science, International Relations, Political Science, Social Work, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, or related field. Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s) or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) may also be accepted.
b. Work Experience
– At least 2 years of previous work experience directly relevant to the position. Working experience with humanitarian actors (UNHCR, UN agencies or national/European/international organizations and agencies) and/or the authorities. Professional experience in refugee protection in Cyprus;
Experience with working directly with asylum seekers and refugees, familiarity with UNHCR community-based, AGD and participatory approaches
c. Key Competencies
• Computer skills (MS Office and People Soft applications)
• Excellent writing/drafting skills
• Analytical skills: Ability to identify trends and produce relevant and usable information; assesses needs quickly and accurately; offers well-supported recommendations for a course of action
• Planning and organizing skills: ability to establish priorities and to plan work assignments, respond to competing demands and work under pressure of frequent, multiple and tight deadlines
• Inter-personal skills: ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; ability to develop partnership and networks in community development work.
• Communication skills: Is sensitive, compelling and clear in formal and informal communication; has well developed listening skills; explains complex matters in a clear and informative way.
• Client & Result Orientation: Understands and exceeds client needs. Ensures overall provision of quality service to persons of concern. Is sensitive to and responsive to the age, gender and diversity requirements of clients.
• Stakeholder Management: Builds networks of mutual trust with stakeholders in order to maximize results for people of concern. Effectively engages with stakeholders and collaborates with partners.
• Technical training: courses certifications on refugee protection topics
• Solid knowledge of the humanitarian context and key stakeholders in Cyprus
• Fluency in English and Greek is essential, knowledge of French or Arabic is desirable.
No late applications will be accepted.
Candidates may required to sit for a test. Candidates must have the right to work in Cyprus.
Senior Protection Assistant
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
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.
– 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.
– Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
– Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
G5 – 2 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 1 year relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher
Field(s) of Education
Certificates and/or Licenses
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Essential: Not specified.
Desirable: Not specified.
PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
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.
IT-Computer Literacy, PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators, PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework
International Law – Other, Political Science – Other
This position doesn’t require a functional clearance