Human Rights Advisor

United Nations Development Programme
  • Location
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jul 26

Position description

This position is located in the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in Belmopan, Belize. The incumbent will report to the UN Resident Coordinator in the country of assignment and to the Chief of the Americas Section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC), and the functional support and guidance of the OHCHR, the National Human Rights Adviser will perform the following functions:

  • Support the UNRC and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in integrating human rights into their programmes and activities, in particular the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and other key strategic planning tools, including by building UNCT capacities to apply a human rights-based approach to their programmes and activities, conducting situational assessments and a mapping of UNCT capacities and needs, facilitating country level coordination and acting as a resource person in programme activities implemented by the UNCT;
  • Advise the UNRC and the UNCT in developing strategies and programmes to build and strengthen national capacities and institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, based on assessment of national context, capacities and priorities and facilitate access to specific human rights expertise, including by drawing from human rights resources and tools available;
  • Support the UNRC and the UNCT in promoting human rights as a common UN value and upholding international norms and standards through advocacy and awareness-raising;
  • Where applicable, advise on integrating human rights in the humanitarian response and post-crisis recovery under the direction of the RC/Humanitarian Coordinator, should a humanitarian emergency be declared in the country of assignment;
  • Support the UNRC and UNCT and national partners in their engagement with international human rights mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, as well as those under relevant international instruments of specialized agencies, including by supporting the dissemination and sharing of information, coordinating or facilitating the UNCT's contributions and programmatic follow up to the recommendations of these bodies, and helping the UNCT to provide timely and effective support to relevant country missions of Special Procedures mandate holders and other UN mechanisms;
  • Upon request, and under the direct supervision and guidance of the UNRC, provide advice, training and technical assistance to the Government and other national stakeholders with a view to further catalysing coordinated UN responses in order to strengthen national capacity for the promotion and protection of human rights, including follow up to recommendations from the human rights mechanisms;
  • Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:
    • Synthesis of best practices and lessons learnt on coordination;
    • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice;
    • Support organization of trainings to UN staff on coordination issues.
  • And perform other related duties as required.

Impact of Results:

The key results have an impact on the overall UN programmes efficiency. Accurate analysis and presentation of information strengthens the capacity of the UN Coordination Unit. The information provided facilitates decision making of the management.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates commitment to UN mission, vision and values;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies:

  • Professionalism: Comprehensive knowledge of and exposure to a range of human rights issues, including:
    • approaches and techniques to address sensitive and complex issues;
    • very good knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines related to human rights including the human rights mechanisms and treaties;
    • operational activities for development, peace and security and humanitarian affairs and good knowledge of and experience in development programming. Comprehensive knowledge of the region or country of assignment, including its human rights and political situation, as well as its culture, history and traditions;
    • demonstrated ability to complete in-depth analysis and reach conclusions on possible causes and solutions to human rights issues;
    • good political judgement and advocacy skills and the ability to understand and respond to sensitive and complex political and social events;
    • ability to describe human rights issues and perspectives, including gender issues. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Communication:
    • speaks and writes clearly and effectively:
    • listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately;
    • asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication;
    • tailors’ language, tone, style and format to match audience;
    • demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • Judgement/Decision Making:
    • Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly;
    • Gathers relevant information before making a decision;
    • Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them;
    • Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization;
    • Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information;
    • Checks assumptions against facts;
    • Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision;
    • Makes tough decisions when necessary.
  • Leadership:
    • serves as a role model that other people want to follow; empowers others to translate vision into results;
    • is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives;
    • establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support;
    • anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions;
    • drives for change and improvement;
    • does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent), preferably in law, political science, international relations or another related field;
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two more years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • At least 5 years of progressively responsible experience at the national level in the field of human rights, with development and/or humanitarian experience.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of Spanish is an asset.

Application instructions

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