December 18, 2012

Application Deadline: January 9, 2012

Applications must be emailed to by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the date indicated in order to be considered. Thank you.

How to Apply:

Please note that PRM-sponsored JPO positions are open to U.S. Citizens only.

Applicants must submit a completed United Nations Personal History form (UN P-11) via email to by the deadline noted above. The UN P-11 form is available for download from the UNHCR website at PRM will accept the UN P-11 form without a signature. If desired, you may also submit a resume, curriculum vitae and a letter of interest. Please specify the position for which you are applying in the Subject line of the email (i.e. Associate Protection Officer – Kabul, AFGHANISTAN). You must send a separate email and application for each position for which you are qualified and wish to be considered. For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions on the PRM website.

PRM Notes:

· For more information about UNHCR’s operations at this post, please visit the UNHCR website at

· Fluency in both English and Spanish is required.

· University degree in Law/International Law required. An advanced degree is strongly preferred for participation in the PRM-sponsored JPO program.

· At least 3 years of relevant professional experience. Working experience as a lawyer in private practice and/or judiciary and/or administrative bodies would be an advantage. preferably including a minimum of one year of international experience

· International experience, refugee experience, and experience working with international organizations is an asset for participation in the PRM-sponsored JPO program.

· The JPO job description and related information attached are provided by UNHCR.

· JPO contracts are initially issued for one (1) year and then renewed. U.S. JPOs are expected to serve a complete (2) two-year JPO term.

Associate Protection Officer (JPO)

Guasdualito, Venezuela

Job Description (JPO)


Title: Associate Protection Officer, JPO

Post No. 10011468

Sector: Protection

Location: Guasdualito, Apure State, Venezuela

Duration of Assignment: Initial period of 1 year


Title and name of Supervisor: Ms. Marcela Rodriguez-Farrelly, Head of Field Office (P2)

Title of other international staff members in same duty station: None

Content and methodology of the supervision: The Head of Office works directly and on a daily basis with the JPO. Together, they will establish objectives, which will be reviewed on a regular basis, built upon the team’s regular daily interaction. In addition to missions and regular meetings, email and telephone is part of the normal operating work.


Since January 2006, the UNHCR Field Office based in Guasdualito covering the Apure State, has registered over 1500 Colombian asylum-seekers, most of them being in remote rural communities. Many other Colombians remain hidden in rural areas as fear of deportation, mistreatment or trauma and lack of knowledge prevents them from approaching authorities and UNHCR to register as asylum seekers. In fact, registration remains the legal gate a Colombian national has to pass in order to receive international protection from Venezuelan authorities as an asylum seeker or refugee.

Now, UNHCR is conducting registration with the support and authorization from local authorities as well as the Venezuelan refugee law. Local operative agreements with Venezuelan authorities allow UNHCR to register Colombian asylum-seekers in almost inaccessible rural communities and bring their cases before Venezuelan refugee institutions.

Nevertheless, the extensive Arauca river borderline, limited availability of fluvial transportation and, above all, the limited number of UNHCR field protection personnel make it difficult for the Field Office in Guasdualito to reach these rural communities, which continue to receive Colombian asylum seekers almost on a daily basis.

Therefore, the limited staffing capacities of UNHCR in Guasdualito contribute to the increasing invisibility regarding the presence of Colombian refugee families in the Apure State’s rural host communities.

Contact with refugee families in host communities remains an essential activity for UNHCR and the fulfillment of its operational alliance with the Regional Technical Secretariat. The lack of protection personnel working at the field level could undermine UNHCR’s and Venezuelan authorities’ efforts to reach and provide protection to these Colombian families fleeing fight, violence and persecution.

Therefore, the Associate Protection Officer (JPO), will help develop a strategic protection framework, which ensures the safety and well-being, according to international standards, of refugees and asylum seekers in the Area of Responsibility (AOR) of UNHCR’s Field Office in Guasdualito through:

· Assisting in the establishment of a network of mutual trust with host communities and local civilian and military authorities in order to promote and expand access to asylum procedures in Alto Apure border rural communities of the Apure State.

· Assisting in coordinating with the Regional Technical Refugee Secretariat (STF Apure) in order to ensure that asylum seekers have access to national RSD procedures and that international standards are being met regarding reception, registration, documentation and eligibility interviews involving asylum seekers and refugees in Alto Apure.

· Supervising registration activities being conducted by UNHCR local implementing partner in Apure State, particularly in rural communities.

· Organizing and maintaining the office’s individual cases’ files.

· Reporting statistical information in a precise, accurate, effective, and timely manner.

· Assisting the UNHCR Field Office in providing effective and sustainable solutions to problems affecting the rights of refuges and asylum seekers in FO Guasdualito's AOR, through:

o Identifying legal/protection problems being faced by refugees and asylum seekers in Apure State, particularly in rural host communities, with a special focus on integration, and access to social and economic rights, and providing legal assistance accordingly.

o Assisting in the improvement of access to the refugee status determination process and provisional documentation to newly arrived Colombian asylum-seekers presently in Apure State, particularly for those who reside in rural communities.

o Coordinating with local state and municipal authorities in Apure State, in order to allow the inclusion of asylum-seekers and refugees in planned and ongoing social programs, in particular, the governmental social programs (locally known as “Misiones”).

o Reporting on border authorities’ practices regarding undocumented Colombian nationals who could be of interest to UNHCR or in need of international protection, focusing on the situation of bordering towns such as El Amparo, La Victoria and El Nula.

o Assisting in the identification of and assessing individual cases with special protection needs and/or who may be in need of resettlement. Preparation and processing of resettlement cases in accordance with UNHCR guidelines.

o Applying the AGDM approach to all protection interventions in dealing with persons of interest to UNHCR.


Qualifications: University Degree in Law/International Law

Experience: 3 years minimum job experience including as a professional. Working experience as a lawyer in private practice and/or judiciary and/or administrative bodies would be an advantage.

Skills: Fluency in Spanish and English

Competencies required:

· PT02 Protecting refugees or other persons of concern to UNHCR

· PT03 Establishing eligibility for refugee status

· PT04 Providing legal support and advice

· PT05 Promoting refugee law/protection principles

· PT07 Providing protection information

Training components and learning elements:

Training components: The main training will be on-the-job and coaching, through the daily support of the Head of Field Office and the Protection Officer in Caracas. Various team-building meetings are also held throughout the year. The incumbent may also have the opportunity to undertake missions to the various countries in the region.

Learning elements:

· Write assessment reports pertaining to the displaced population in the region

· Prepare statistical data on the population of concern

· Know how on the intervention of asylum seekers and authorities

· Analyze the local political, economic and migratory situation in the region

· Prepare proposals on durable solutions for the displaced population