The Associate RSD Officer 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 conducting RSD interviews to determine eligibility for refugee status, undertaking country of origin (COI) and other research related to the claim, as required, and drafting RSD assessments, including for complex cases. The incumbent is also responsible for carrying out supervisory responsibilities in the RSD procedure, as delegated by the RSD Officer (RSD Supervisor), which may include responsibilities related to the reception and registration of asylum seekers and refugees, file assignment and scheduling of RSD interviews, coordination of the work of interpreters, reviewing RSD assessments of members of the RSD team and providing legal and procedural guidance and coaching, as required. The Associate RSD Officer may liaise with Government authorities and other partners about issues related to UNHCR's RSD procedure and relevant UNHCR guidelines and standards related to RSD. S/he may carry out training for Government authorities and other partners on legal and procedural issues related to RSD and provide technical advice to strengthen national asylum procedures.
- UNHCR¿s RSD procedures are implemented in accordance with relevant UNHCR standards and policies,
including policies related to age, gender, and diversity mainstreaming (AGDM).
- Persons of concern have fair and transparent access to the RSD procedures.
- Fraud in the RSD process is identified and appropriately addressed.
-- Stay abreast of legal, political, security and other developments which impact on the protection environment, and in particular, on protection delivery through RSD.
- 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.
- 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 provide appropriate feedback and guidance to RSD staff.
- Conduct RSD interviews and draft RSD Assessments 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 operation in accordance with applicable standards and policies.
- Assist in preventing and identifying fraud in RSD through oversight, advice and guidance to UNHCR staff, partners and persons of concern.
- Assist in monitoring RSD trends and in compiling and analysing RSD statistics related to RSD case 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. - Assist in developing and maintaining processes to ensure that persons of concern, Government authorities and partners have accurate information on the RSD procedures, including UNHCR standards, policy and practice.
- Assist in initiatives to advocate with and support Government authorities and legal partners to establish and strengthen fair and efficient RSD procedures and RSD decision-making.
- Regularly assess training needs of UNHCR staff engaged in RSD and related activities and provide on-going training and coaching on legal and procedural RSD issues.
- Support the development and implementation of RSD training initiatives for Government authorities and legal partners.
- Approve decisions to accelerate RSD processing for cases meeting established criteria.
- Enforce 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.
- Decide and endorse RSD decisions.
EDUCATION/QUALIFICATION: Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master¿s) in Law, International Law, International Relations, Political Sciences or related field. Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) may also be accepted. The degree must have been obtained in an accredited institution listed under www.whed.net.
WORK EXPERIENCE: With a Master's degree, minimum 2 years of professionnal work experience relevant to the function (3 with a BA and 1 with a PhD), preferably in the area of refugee protection, human rights or international humanitarian law.
- Minimum 1 year of experience working directly with procedures and principles related to RSD.
SKILLS: Knowledge of International Refugee Law and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles.
- Strong research and analytical skills.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Excellent analytical and legal drafting skills;
- Computer literacy;
DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS & COMPETENCIES.
- Experience as a decision-maker in UNHCR or Government RSD procedures.
- Experience in counselling asylum seekers or refugees.
- Experience in working with vulnerable or traumatized individuals.
- Experience in supervising and in providing training or coaching, guidance or advice to staff.
REQUIRED COMPETENCIES, which illustrate behaviours that are essential to achieving deliverables described above, and that are critical to successful performance. All jobs require the staff to abide to the Values and Core competencies of UNHCR.
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