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Assistant Representative- Protection


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Job Description

8+ Year
Male, Female, Both
Bachelor Degree
  • Organization: UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Kabul
  • Grade: Administrative support – Administrative Services and Support – Generally no need for Higher Education
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
    • Managerial positions

Hardship Level

E (most hardship) 

Family Type

Non Family


Family Type

Non FamilyDanger Pay 

Residential location (if applicable)





Staff Member / Affiliate Type



Regular > Regular Assignment 

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

April 20, 2023


Standard Job Description

Assistant Representative – Protection Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The Assistant Representative- Protection is the senior protection manager in a Country Office and reports to the Representative. A member of the senior management team, the incumbent has direct or reviewing supervisory responsibility for protection staff who may include community services, registration, resettlement and education. He/she has country-wide functional supervisory responsibility for protection staff and provides protection oversight and guidance to the information and programme management functions. The Assistant Representative- Protection transposes UNHCR¿s Global Strategic Priorities into a comprehensive protection strategy adapted to the country context. He/she is guardian of protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery at country level and represents the UNHCR to authorities, UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on protection policy and doctrine. UNHCR is well integrated into the UN Resident Coordinator System. The Assistant Representative- Protection is relied upon by the Office to plan, manage and guide country-wide protection delivery to populations of concern and to promote and gain support for UNHCR¿s protection agenda externally. This includes ensuring that operational responses in sectors are shaped in a protection optic, mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. He/she ensures that persons and communities of concern are involved with the Office in making decisions that affect them and that their interests are effectively represented to authorities, protection and assistance partners and to the broad network of donors and stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection. All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity. Duties – Stay abreast of political, social, economic and security developments that have an impact on the protection environment and protection delivery capacity and advise the Representative in the overall management of UNHCR¿s operations. – Manage a consultative process with government counterparts, partners and persons of concern to develop and implement a comprehensive protection strategy addressing the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, minority groups such as sexual minorities and persons living with HIV/AIDS; and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) priorities with regard to these persons. – In operations applying the Cluster Approach, ensure the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in a strategy which covers assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations. – Ensure the protection strategy is fully integrated into the Country Operations Plan, the UN Development and Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and in respect of UNHCR¿s mandate, the Humanitarian Country Team¿s common humanitarian action plan where applicable. – Ensure that necessary resources are allocated to address protection gaps. – Promote International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct. Foster their consistent and coherent interpretation and application and ensure that sectors and /or in clusters in applicable operations fulfil their responsibilities mainstreaming protection. – Design, deliver and monitor programmes on an AGD basis to address identified protection needs. – Oversee the provision of expert legal advice and guidance on protection issues to internal and external interlocutors and ensure that legal assistance and documentation is accessible to persons of concern. – Oversee Eligibility and Status Determination operations ensuring compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles. – Oversee the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for protection /solutions processes and systems. – Promote and supervise the delivery of effective measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness. – Develop and implement a country-level education plan as part of the protection strategy. Ensure the provision of quality and protective education with an emphasis on learning outcomes and lifelong learning opportunities forging partnerships with the Ministry for Education, UNICEF and other partners as appropriate. – Develop and implement a country-level child protection plan as part of the protection strategy ensuring programmes use a child protection systems approach. – Ensure that appropriate interventions are undertaken by the Office, or intervene directly, in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners. – Coordinate the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related programming with implementing and operational partners. – Ensure with governments and partners that durable solutions through voluntary repatriation, local integration, and where appropriate, resettlement are sought and provided to the largest possible number of persons of concern. – Oversee the development and implementation of a results-based advocacy programme in consultation with sectorial and/or cluster partners. – Advocate with authorities and stakeholders for access to and respect for the rights of persons of concern and their access to services. – Ensure the Protection Sector or Cluster strategy has an effective information management component to provide disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems; and researches, collects and disseminates relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery. – Build the protection capacity of national and local government, partners and civil society to assume their responsibilities vis-à-vis persons of concern through protection training, mainstreaming and related activities. – Coordinate capacity-building initiatives for communities and persons of concern to assert their rights. – Advise and capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen legislation and status determination procedures and mechanisms. – Contribute to a communications strategy to generate external support for UNHCR¿s operations and the Protection Sector/Cluster. – Provide effective supervisory and managerial oversight, direction and guidance of the protection function. – Design and establish effective protection staffing structures in Offices ensuring staffing configurations, profiles and competencies are commensurate with protection challenges. – Approve the comprehensive protection strategy for endorsement by the Representative and Regional Office or Headquarters. – Chair strategic or operational protection meetings, including Protection Cluster meetings in applicable operations and represent the protection sector/cluster in inter-agency mechanisms. – Issue advocacy statements on behalf of UNHCR or the Protection Cluster in applicable operations. Intervene with authorities on protection issues. – Negotiate with resettlement countries and countries of return on behalf of UNHCR. – Clear documents and reports prepared by the Protection Unit / Section. – Take decisions on individual cases. – Negotiate with the Humanitarian Coordinator/Resident Coordinator, the Humanitarian Country Team and partners on protection funding priorities in inter-agency funding appeals. – Enforce compliance of staff and partners with global protection policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of protection services. – Enforce compliance with, and integrity of protection standard operating procedures. – Approve expenditures under the UNHCR protection budget and direct transparent and accountable financial and other resource allocation within the Protection Cluster in applicable operations. – Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Education & Professional Work Experience Years of Experience / Degree Level For P5 – 12 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 11 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 10 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education Humanitarian Law; International Relations; Law; Political Science; International Refugee Law; or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses HCR Learning Prog; HCR Management Lrng Prg; HCR Protection Learning Prg; (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential – minimum 11 years of previous work experience in progressively responsible functions in an organisation or institution that administer/manage and assist a large number of asylum seekers, refugees and Displaced persons, preferably within the UN. – Thorough knowledge in International refugee law, its applications under different circumstances; ability to analyse and advocate the application of various regional refugee instruments for the benefits of the persons of concern to UNHCR. Field experience, preferably in the context of UNHCR, in repatriation and resettlement of refugees. Desirable – Solid UNHCR experience from both the Field (including Hardship Duty stations) and Headquarters. – UNHCR specific learning/training activities (i.e. Management Learning Programme, Protection Learning Programme). Functional Skills *PR-International Humanitarian Law *PR-Refugee Resettlement programs *PR-Managing large influx of Persons of Concern *PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework FO-Operational activities in hardship duty stations *PR-Application of various regional refugee instruments (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language. For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise. This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates. 

Desired Candidate Profile

1) passionate about supporting vulnerable people in Afghanistan
2) committed to fulfil duties and often go beyond call for duty to advocate for the vulnerable people of Afghanistan
3) change capacity: being able to adopt oneself in fast-changing situation
4) result oriented: ensure the support reaches to the people we serve in most effective and efficient manner
5) Duty of care: be a role model and provide necessary support for the staff, of particular national female staff.
6) Leadership: based on analysis, be proactive in addressing problems
7) evidence based: argue with the sound evidence and analysis based on the evidence 

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):



Desired languages



Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

UNHCR and UN agencies jointly run JMS Level 1 medical clinic and satellite located in ICON compound. UNHCR and WFP have contracted IQARUS international to provide medical interventions under the AFMAT clinics in Kabul and Field Offices. Staff members  on special prescription should travel with sufficient quantity of medication. Medical facilities for referral in Kabul include German Clinic, French Medical Institute for Mothers & Children (FMIC) and Blossom Health Center. Seasonal air pollution occurs in Afghanistan and contributes to comorbidities that are known to worsen outcomes among those infected with COVID-19.


To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:



Nature of Position:

The situation in Afghanistan is dynamically complex and continues to deteriorate, especially for the human rights of women and girls. The country is in general experiencing wholescale erosion of fundamental human rights for everyone. The international community, with the donor partners, the United Nations and humanitarian country teams at the vanguard, has taken a firm and principled stand in support of the people of Afghanistan by meeting their humanitarian assistance and basic human needs in this context and, inter alia, advocating strongly for the reversal of the deteriorating human rights situation. Increased political, reputational, operational, security and safety risks remain present. Principled engagement with the de facto authorities is a priority, as they control access to 37 million Afghans, and are an advocacy focus for the work of UNHCR to find solutions for the more than 2 million refugees, in Iran and Pakistan, and the more than 3.4 million IDPs in Afghanistan. This calls for constant and rapid adjustments of UNHCR approaches and engagement policies while maintaining humanitarian principles within the framework of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan refugees (SSAR. It also calls for the implementation of the humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus using the area-based approach.

Full and impactful inclusion of returning refugees into national development planning and programming is essential to enable their sustainable reintegration which will in turn solidify and fortify the broader stabilization efforts. In addition, there are currently 67,200 refugees and asylum seekers in Afghanistan. Most of this group were displaced from Pakistan to Afghanistan in 2014 and settled in areas of Khost and Paktika provinces. Small numbers are residing in urban areas of Kabul and other cities. Refugees constitute one of the most vulnerable populations in the country. They face significant legal challenges due to the fact that that the National Law on Asylum still has not been enacted.


UNHCR provides protection and finds solutions to the refugee and IDP situation in Afghanistan building upon the ongoing consultations within the context of the Support Platform for the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) and the Global Compact on Refugees. In addition, UNHCR is the lead agency for Protection and ES/NFI (Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Item) clusters and CCCM WG, providing technical guidance and coordinating humanitarian response.


In 2023, a staggering 28.3 million people (two thirds of Afghanistan’s population) will need urgent humanitarian assistance to survive as the country enters its third consecutive year of drought-like conditions and the second year of crippling economic decline, while still reeling from the effects of 40 years of conflict and recurrent natural disasters. High levels of unemployment and sustained inflation of key commodity prices – although prices seem to have stabilized during the second half of 2022 – have caused the average household’s debt to increase, challenging people’s coping mechanisms and thwarting the already fragile economy’s ability to adapt to shocks.

The Assistant Repesentative- Protection is the senior protection manager in a Country Office and reports to the Deputy Representative. As a member of the senior management team, the incumbent has direct or reviewing supervisory responsibility for protection staff which includes community services, durable solutions, GBV, child protection and Information Management.  The incumbent will also ensure that operational responses in these sectors are shaped in a protection optic, mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. The candidate will be expected to provide country-wide functional supervision for protection staff and provides protection oversight and guidance to the information and programme management functions to eight (8) field offices in Afghanistan.

The Assistant Representative- Protection transposes UNHCR ‘s Global Strategic Priorities into a comprehensive protection strategy adapted to the country context. The candidate  is guardian of protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery at country level and represents the UNHCR to authorities, UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on protection policy and doctrine.

Living and Working Conditions:

Afghanistan is a high-risk country with a very complex operational environment, characterized by uncertainty and frequent security incidents. Movement by all personnel is restricted, coordinated and monitored by the security officers. UNHCR in Kabul is located within the ICON Compound on the Supreme road of the Police district 9. It occupies 40 MOSS compliant rooms for staff accommodation with each room having its own washroom and other facilities. Offices are within the ICON compound. No visits except in UN compounds and Embassies which is frustrating, stressful to cope.


Outdoor air quality is a health concern in Kabul. The degree of exposure and concentration of air pollutants can be detrimental to breathing problems, development of chronic diseases and deterioration of health status in individuals with chronic diseases. Office provides air purifiers both in the office and accommodation.


Security situation is unstable, volatile, unpredictable with rise 2022-2023. A daily radio check is mandatory. All movements is strictly by Armoured Vehicle or by air. A 4 weeks R&R cycle is applicable for the duty station and staff are highly encouraged not to delay. Considering the serious restrictions on staff movement, it is crucial to demonstrate a record of maintaining a positive attitude whenever confronted with adversity and restraints in social life. Staff interested in the position should be mentally, psychologically, and physically fit and ready to face situations when required to be locked down in compound bunkers for an extended period due to security incidents.


Additional Qualifications



PR-Developing Strategic Protection Framework, PR-Development of Protection Strategies at Protection Cluster 


BA: Humanitarian Law (Required), BA: International Refugee Law (Required), BA: International Relations (Required), BA: Law (Required), BA: Political Science (Required) 


HCR Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Management Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR 

Work Experience

Annual Budget OL in Operation/Office, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Workforce to Supervise, Working with Persons of Concern: Asylum Seekers, Working with Persons of Concern: Internally Displaced Persons, Working with Persons of Concern: Others of Concern, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned IDPs, Working with Persons of Concern: Returned Refugees, Working with Persons of Concern: StatelessCompetencies

Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Leadership, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Stakeholder management, Strategic planning & visions, Teamwork & collaboration

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March 2023 Compendium – Part BAdditional Information






Functional clearance

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization’s page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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