Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 17 Jul 2018
Organizational context and General background of assignment:
The Statelessness Unit in the UNHCR Regional Representation in Dakar provides doctrinal support and coordinates operational responses to statelessness in all 15 ECOWAS member states. Although the ECOWAS states have shown significant leadership in cause of preventing and reducing statelessness, at least 1 million people remain at risk of statelessness in the region.
The main causes of statelessness are gaps in domestic nationality legislation, including provisions which operate to exclude women and particular ethnicities from receiving and/or conferring citizenship on their children, and administrative procedures which fail to ensure appropriate civil/birth registration, to ordinary residents.
In February 2015, ECOWAS member states adopted the Abidjan Declaration on the Prevention and Response to Statelessness. In doing so, member states made a series of commitments to specific actions intended to eradicate statelessness in their territory, including obtaining concrete information on the causes of statelessness, and the number and profile of stateless persons, in their country, and the development of specific domestic action plans, to include steps towards (as/where necessary), reforming domestic legislation, strengthening birth registration mechanisms, and improvements in the administration of identity and nationality documentation. The Declaration also emphasises that every child should acquire a nationality at birth, and that all foundlings should be considered nationals of the State in which they are found. It also recognises the need to ensure that men and women have equal rights to acquire, change, and retain their nationality, and to confer nationality on their children.
The Declaration was followed by the adoption of the Banjul Plan of Action in 2017, which sets out a series of six (6) Strategic Objectives, each accompanied by a series clearly articulated activities in support, and with the specific goal of ending statelessness in the region by 2024. The Plan of Action also clearly articulates the responsibilities of ECOWAS institutions, and relevant partner institutions, and the support that can be provided to member states by ECOWAS and UNHCR, pursuant to Article 22 ad 25 of the Abidjan Declaration.
The Statelessness Unit in Dakar follows up with ECOWAS and its member’s states, directly or through its operations in the field, to support and coordinate activities undertaken pursuant to the implementation of the Abidjan Declaration and the Banjul Plan of Action. To assist in meeting its objectives, it is necessary to bolster the human resources of the Statelessness Section through the engagement of a consultant for an initial period of 12 months from 1 August 2018.
Functional expertise and responsibilities:
These terms of reference set out the scope of the tasks and responsibilities to be undertaken by the consultant, as well as the qualifications, experience, and key competencies necessary for the role.
Purpose and Scope of Assignment:
Under the direct supervision of the Senior Regional Protection Officer (Statelessness), the incumbent will have the following responsibilities:
1) Review effective engagement with UN human rights mechanisms on statelessness, including the Universal Periodic Review;
2) Review nationality legislations in all countries. Follow-up with concerned UNHCR office on the strategy to include UNHCR recommendations in later drafts, and to promote adoption of drafts by concerned parliaments;
3) Finalise, disseminate, and monitor the strategy on birth registration, including outreach and advocacy with specific country operations on changes/amendments to birth registration practices within their resect AoRs;
4) Assist in the elaboration and implementation of national action plans in the region, including elements of the Banjul Plan of Action;
5) Recruit, support, and monitor the work of national consultants engaged in the preparation of country-specific qualitative and quantitative studies on statelessness in the region, including conducting field missions outside of Senegal;
6) Support and administer particular capacity-building exercises, including administration related to the attendance of national officials in training exercises and meetings abroad;
7) Deliver training and capacity-building activities related to the prevention and reduction of statelessness, including delivering lectures, and facilitating workshops/seminars on this issue with UN, NGO and national/country officials;
8) Provide other support as needed for the day-to-day activities of the Statelessness Unit.
Monitoring and Progress Controls
1) Nationality legislation in the region reviewed and commented. Guidance provided to all operations where reform is ongoing with a view to incorporate UNHCR recommendations in any draft bills, and to sensitize stakeholders responsible for adoption on key issues related to the reduction/prevention of statelessness;
2) All country submissions to Human Rights mechanisms reviewed and commented;
3) Support delivered for the development and implementation of national action plans to end statelessness;
4) Birth registration strategy finalised and disseminated, and support provided to all operations for its implementation;
5) Statelessness studies (qualitative and quantitative, including comprehensive desk reviews as to the causes/risks of statelessness in the relevant AoR) initiated and completed, with properly validated and statistically rigorous methodologies, leading to the production of a publishable report.
5) Other support provided as needed for the day-to-day activities of the Statelessness Section.
Required qualifications and experience:
The expert consultant should hold a graduate level degree from an internationally-recognized university in a relevant discipline, with a specialization in international law and/or forced migration, with evidence of expertise in the area of nationality and the prevention/reduction of statelessness. Evidence of this may include further/more specialized training on this subject, or previous publications or work in this area of law/protection.
The expert consultant should have at least four (4) years of increasingly responsible professional experience in the area of refugee protection/forced migration, with knowledge and experience of nationality/citizenship procedure/law as it relates to international protection and, in particular, the prevention and reduction of statelessness. In addition, the consultant should have previous experience of administration and delivery to strict deadlines and targets, including the preparations of working plans and budgets with clearly articulated outcomes/indicators.
-Experience of working with AU and related institutions, and regional organization’s in Africa, including ECOWAS;
-Experience of commissioning, monitoring, and coordinating complex research studies, with both qualitative and quantitative/statistical elements;
-Experience of conducting field research and/or preparing independent research studies;
-Experience of planning and facilitating training activities, including workshops/seminars with government and non-governmental actors;
-Experience of delivering training and capacity-building activities on international protection and the prevention/reduction of statelessness for both national/government and civil society actors;
-Experience of administration and delivery to strict deadlines and targets in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural office, ideally within the UN system and/or an international NGO.
-Expert knowledge of nationality/citizenship law as it relates to international protection and, in particular, the prevention and reduction of statelessness;
-Expert knowledge of international law related to the protection of refugees and forced migrants, particularly as this relates to the work/mandate of UNHCR;
-Understanding of study/survey methodologies, including sampling and interview strategies;
-Ability to work to tight deadlines, balancing and prioritising among a range of objectives and activities;
-Calm and optimistic under pressure, with the ability to work with people from a wide range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds;
-Working proficiency in both French and English.
How to apply:
Those interested in this announcement should send their applications to the following email address: Sendarh@unhcr.org
or under cover at the following address:
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
FAALO Building King Fahd Road
BP 3125 Dakar – Senegal
Please put as an object to your application email: “Application for the position of Human Resources Assistant Administrator”. Resumes should be as detailed as possible and include an e-mail address. Only the shortlisted candidates will be called for interview and/or written test and no file will be returned to the candidates. Only attach photocopies.
NB: Women candidates are strongly encouraged.
UNHCR is a NON-SMOKING environment
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