Terms of Reference
Libya is not party to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or its Protocol. It has ratified the 1969 Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (OAU Convention) and is also party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (“Banjul Charter”). While the right to asylum is provided for in Article 10 of Libya’s 2011 interim Constitutional Declaration, there is no asylum legislation or any established asylum procedures. As a result, all non-Libyans, regardless of their status or protection needs, including asylum-seekers and refugees, fall under national immigration laws. Libyan laws criminalize all irregular entry, stay, or exit, for example without the appropriate documentation or through unofficial border posts, without distinguishing between asylum-seekers/refugees, migrants, or victims of trafficking. Over 45,000 refugees and asylum-seekers are registered with UNHCR. Refugees and asylum seekers face discrimination and challenges in access to basic services, while at risk of arrest and arbitrary detention in inhumane conditions. The decreasing resources in an economy damaged by conflict and COVID-19, limited cash liquidity and sharp price increases pose additional challenges for refugees and asylum seekers. Protection challenges are a grave concern, primarily driven by exposure, vulnerability and inability to cope with conflict and violence, human rights violations and abuses, breakdown of rule of law, and impediments to access goods and services.
In this context, the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) unit contributes to the implementation of the Libya Operation Protection and Solutions Strategy, aiming at expanding options for providing lifesaving alternatives and solutions to persons presumed to be of concern to UNHCR currently in detention centers and at urban settings in Libya through the implementation of a comprehensive approach to identification, case processing for solutions pathways, and support to departure from Libya. The RSD unit conducts regular RSD for those who are identified as having resettlement (RST) needs and uses RSD-driven processes to identify those eligible for humanitarian evacuation through the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) response.
2. Purpose and Scope of Assignment
The RSD Expert is a member of the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) team. Under the direct supervision of the RSD Officer (RSD Supervisor), s/he is responsible for carrying out technical supervisory responsibilities in the RSD and Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) humanitarian evacuation procedure, as delegated by the RSD Officer (RSD Supervisor), which may include responsibilities related to technical supervision, direction and support of UNHCR staff engaged in RSD and humanitarian evacuation in Tripoli and in Tunis, the reception and registration of asylum seekers and refugees, file assignment and scheduling of RSD and eligibility for evacuation interviews, coordination of the work of interpreters, reviewing RSD assessments and eligibility for humanitarian evacuation recommendations of members of the RSD team, coordinating the notification of RSD and eligibility for evacuation decisions and providing legal and procedural guidance and coaching, as required. The incumbent monitors the efficiency and quality of RSD and eligibility for humanitarian evacuation decision-making. The RSD Expert may conduct RSD interviews and draft RSD assessments for complex or sensitive cases in accordance with applicable standards and guidelines. The RSD Expert may liaise with other protection units about issues related to UNHCR’s RSD procedure and relevant UNHCR guidelines and standards related to RSD. S/he may carry out training for UNHCR protection staff and other partners on legal and procedural issues related to RSD and humanitarian evacuation and provide technical advice to strengthen existing procedures. S/he may liaise with Emergency Transit Mechanism operations regarding cases submitted for humanitarian evacuation, to ensure integrity and efficiency of the evacuation process and consistency of eligibility criteria throughout the ETM response. Based in Tunis, the incumbent will not be expected to travel to Libya.
3. Monitoring and Progress Controls
Under the direct supervision of the RSD Officer at UNHCR Libya, the RSD Expert will:
– Assist in ensuring that UNHCR’s RSD procedures are implemented in accordance with relevant UNHCR standards and policies, including policies related to age, gender, and diversity mainstreaming (AGDM).
– Assist in ensuring that persons of concern have fair and transparent access to the RSD and humanitarian evacuation procedures.
– Assist in preventing identifying and addressing fraud in RSD and eligibility for humanitarian evacuation through oversight, advice and guidance to UNHCR staff, partners and persons of concern.
– Stay abreast of legal, political, security and other developments which impact on the protection
environment, and in particular, on protection delivery through RSD and humanitarian evacuation.
– Assist in the development of the RSD strategy of the operation and in the annual planning exercise.
– Contribute to the development and enhancement of regional and global RSD standards and policies.
– Contribute to ensure integrity and efficiency of humanitarian evacuations through the ETMs and consistency of eligibility criteria throughout the ETM response.
– Assist in the supervision and oversight of RSD and RSD-related activities to promote full compliance with written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
– Review and endorse RSD decisions and eligibility for humanitarian evacuation decisions and provide appropriate feedback and guidance to RSD staff.
– Conduct RSD interviews and draft RSD Assessments for complex and sensitive cases in accordance with applicable standards and guidelines.
– Maintain accurate and up-to date records and data related to all work on individual cases.
– Provide counselling to asylum seekers and refugees.
– Assist in designing, implementing and revising operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of the RSD and humanitarian evacuation operations in accordance with applicable standards and policies.
– Assist in developing and maintaining processes to ensure that persons of concern, government authorities and partners have accurate information on RSD and humanitarian evacuation procedures, including UNHCR standards, policies and practices
– Assist in monitoring RSD and humanitarian evacuation trends and in compiling and analysing RSD and humanitarian evacuation statistics related to RSD and eligibility for evacuation cases processing to identify and respond to developments or issues impacting on the efficiency or quality of RSD decision-making, and to propose remedial measures.
– 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.
– Regularly assess training needs of UNHCR staff engaged in RSD and related activities and provide ongoing training and coaching on legal and procedural RSD issues.
– Support the development and implementation of COI and Interview techniques training initiatives for
UNHCR Protection staff and legal partners.
– Approve decisions to accelerate RSD processing for cases meeting established criteria.
– Assist in enforcing compliance by UNHCR staff engaged in RSD and related activities with UNHCR standards, policies and operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of the RSD operation.
Daily, Weekly and Monthly reports to the Supervisor
Final report due 31 December 2023
Final Evaluation: The final evaluation will be carried out by the Supervisor.
4. Qualifications and Experience
– Graduate degree (Equivalent to a master’s degree) in Law, Political science, International relations or another related field
b. Work Experience
Required work experience
– 5 years of relevant professional job experience, preferably in the area of refugee protection, human rights or international humanitarian law. Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 2 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
– Minimum 3 years of experience working directly with procedures and principles related to RSD.
Desired work experience:
– Experience as decision-maker in UNHCR or Government RSD procedures
– Additional work experience in International Refugee Law, Human Rights Law or Humanitarian law
– Managerial experience, including experience in remote management
– Training and coaching experience
– Experience in working with vulnerable or traumatized individuals
c. Key Competencies
– Knowledge of International Refugee Law and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal
– Thorough knowledge of the “Procedural Standards for Refugee Status Determination under UNHCR’s Mandate” and other guidelines and standards governing UNHCR’s mandate RSD activities.
– Strong research and analytical skills.
– Excellent oral and written communication skills.
– Knowledge of English
– Expertise in Interviewing Techniques
– Expertise in Country of Origin Information and refugee claims from countries of the Horn of Africa
– Expertise in Exclusion assessments including related to trafficking
– Judgement and Decision-Making
– Analytical thinking
– Planning and Organizing
– Knowledge of additional UN languages, in particular Arabic.
– Completion of UNHCR RSD Learning Program, Interviewing Learning Program, Interviewing Learning Program Training of Trainers, and/or Protection Learning Program, Management Learning Program
– Empowering and building trust
– Managing performance
– Policy Development and Research
This position doesn’t require a functional clearance