Assistant Refugee Status Determination Officer, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago


Ph.d. & forskning
Udlandet (øvrige)

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Terms of Reference Assistant RSD Officer UNOPS Consultant IICA-1 UNHCR Trinidad & Tobago UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a full time position within the UNHCR Trinidad and Tobago in our Port of Spain, Trinidad. The Assistant RSD Officer works within the Protection Unit, and works closely with Protection. S/he is responsible for conducting RSD interviews to determine eligibility for refugee status and drafting RSD assessments and supporting all activities related to the processing of refugee claims in the Operation. UNHCR is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions. Title: Assistant RSD Officer Duty Station: Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago Duration: 1 October– 31 December 2019 (with expectation of renewal based on satisfactory performance) Contract Type: UNOPS, IICA-1 Closing date: 18 September 2019 Start date: 1 October 2019 1 Organisational context The office in Trinidad and Tobago was opened in 2016, with one protection officer and has rapidly expanded to have a team of about 36 staff. The office is currently constituted of an even mix of international and national staff on a variety of contract modalities. There are approximately 16 international staff and 20 national staff in the operation. In 2018, the operation expanded to conduct registration for RSD under mandate in the country, taking over from the regional office which had previously conducted remote registration with the support of its main implementing partner. It continues to do RSD under mandate and has a community-based protection team which works on social cohesion in the country. The number of people registered by UNHCR tripled during 2018, and has so far registered, as of 31 December 2018, 10,855 persons, 75% (8,167) of these POCs are Venezuelans. The legal statuses are: 800 refugees, 9,983 asylum-seekers and 72 others of concern. Out of them, 6 ,511 (60%) were male and 4,344 (40%) were female. There are 890 (8.2%) children (under 8) registered with UNHCR. The majority of the registered population is of Venezuelan 1 nationality, with Cubans at the second largest proportion. Refugees live in urban and semi- urban areas. In response to the growing number of asylum-seekers, the Government adopted a Refugee Policy in 2014 and UNHCR established an office in January 2016. UNHCR focuses on activities related to refugee status determination, capacity-building and advocacy. Protection activities are implemented in the areas of education, health, shelter, food security and durable solutions. UNHCR began collaborating with a local non-governmental organization, Living Water Community, in 1989. For over 25 years, Living Water Community identified and referred persons of concern to UNHCR, and ensured their access to protection. As UNHCR’s implementing partner, Living Water Community provides psychosocial support and humanitarian assistance to asylum-seekers and refugees and facilitates the registration of asylum-seekers with UNHCR. Living Water Community also conducts participatory assessments with the refugee community. 2 UNHCR works closely with the Immigration Division of the Ministry of National Security, which established a Refugee Office within the Ministry in 2016. UNHCR additionally works closely with sister UN agencies, regional bodies and other civil society organizations. In Trinidad and Tobago, persons in need of international protection are not systematically given access to RSD procedures and, therefore, respect of the non-refoulement principle is not always ensured. Since Trinidad and Tobago has not adopted a national asylum law to ensure that those in need of international protection are identified as such and recognized as refugees, UNHCR conducts refugee status determination under its mandate. Due to a variety of factors, the number of new asylum-seekers in Trinidad and Tobago has risen considerably, motivating the need for increased protection and programmatic support. The position The Assistant RSD Officer is part of the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) team. S/he is responsible for conducting RSD interviews to determine eligibility for refugee status and drafting RSD assessments. S/he is responsible for supporting all activities related to the processing of refugee claims in the Operation. The RSD Associate provides counseling to, and responds to queries from, asylum seekers and refugees regarding UNHCR's RSD procedures, their rights and obligations, including towards the host authorities, and the status of the processing of their claims. In discharging these responsibilities, the RSD Associate liaises closely with Registration, Community Services, Resettlement, and other Protection staff. The RSD Associate is responsible for conducting COI and other research related to RSD and maintaining the Operation's local repository of relevant information, guidelines and standards. Under the supervision of more senior RSD Officer, s/he may also review RSD assessments of less experienced members of the RSD team, and may assist in developing and implementing RSD training and other measures to enhance the quality and efficiency of RSD decision- making. The Assistant RSD Officer assists in compiling and analyzing information related to the RSD activities of the Operation, and in drafting related correspondence and reports: Duties and responsibilities Review and endorsed 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. 3  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 preventing and identifying fraud in RSD through oversight, advice and guidance to UNHCR staff, partners and persons of concern.   Assist in designing, implementing and revising, as required, operation-specific SOPs for all aspects of the RSD operation in accordance with applicable standards and policies. Assist in monitoring RSD trends and in compiling and analyzing 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.   Support the development and implementation of RSD training initiatives. Perform other related duties as required. Monitor and Progress Controls    35-35 decision recommended review and endorsed per week Contribution to RSD-related trainings/coaching activities for RSD Taskforce Contribution on RSD Tools including SOPs Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required Minimum Qualifications  Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in International Law, International Relations, Political Science, Social Sciences or related fields of discipline plus minimum 1 year of previous work experience relevant to the function. Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s) or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) may also be accepted.    Strong research and analytical skills. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Written and oral communication skills in both English and Spanish. 4

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UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.

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