Associate Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Officer (VA.No. 40/2017)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Representation in Thailand
Vacancy Announcement No. 40/2017
Associate Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Officer
Date Issued of the Vacancy Announcement:
15 November 2017
Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Officer
Closing Date of the Vacancy Announcement:
28 November 2017
Fixed-Term Appointment (on replacement capacity)
Availability of the Post As soon as possible
The Associate RSD Officer is a member of the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Unit. Thailand is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and currently has no national legal framework for addressing refugee status or protection. Accordingly, at present UNHCR conducts mandate Refugee Status Determination (RSD) for its urban refugee population, although the Royal Thai Government (RTG) has committed to creating a regulatory framework for addressing refugee status and protection issues.
In this evolving context, the Associate RSD Officer will directly support the RSD Officer in day to day management of UNHCR's RSD procedures and decision-making as well as related activities in the operation. The incumbent will be responsible for carrying out supervisory responsibilities in the RSD procedure, as delegated by the RSD Officer, 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.
S/he will be 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, in particular for complex cases.
Given the RTG’s commitment to creating a regulatory framework for addressing refugee status and protection issues, it is critically important for the Associate RSD Officer to be able to liaise with government officials and civil society counterparts. To that end, the Associate RSD Officer may liaise with Government authorities and other partners, such as legal aid counterparts, 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 regarding creation of national asylum procedures.
Under the overall guidance and supervision of the RSD Officer, the incumbent will contribute to the formulation of RSD strategy—and the larger protection strategy –for the Country office.
Accountability (key results that will be achieved)
· 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.
Responsibility (process and functions undertaken to achieve results)
· 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.
Authority (decisions made in executing responsibilities and to achieve results)
· 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.
ESSENTIAL MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:
· Thai national only.
· Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in Law, political science, international relations or another related field.
· Minimum 3 years (2 years with graduate degree (equivalent of a Master's)) of relevant professional job experience, 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.
· 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 knowledge of English and Thai.
DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS & COMPETENCIES:
· Experience as a decision-maker in UNHCR or Government RSD procedures is highly desirable.
· Experience in counselling asylum seekers or refugees.
· Experience in working with vulnerable or traumatized individuals.
· Completion of UNHCR's RSD Learning Programme, COI Learning Programme, Protection Learning Programme.
· Experience in supervising and in providing training or coaching, guidance or advice to RSD staff.
· Experience in acting as a (co) team-leader of a RSD Team.
· Experience in working with government and legal aid counterparts.
· Knowledge of another UN language.
Please submit your Motivation Letter, P.11 and Curriculum Vitae indicating the vacancy announcement number and position title to: THABAHR@unhcr.org
Applications will not be acknowledged. Only the successful candidate will be notified the
outcome of the selection process.
Please note that the short-listed candidates are required to attend both written test and interview.
Download job description here.