Senior Protection Associate, G7

Location: Hong Kong
Discipline: Program/project/events management
Job type: Full Time
Published: 30 days ago

​UNHCR is a global organization, 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 130 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions. The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce.

Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

The position may entail supervisory responsibilities for protection staff including community services, registration, resettlement and education depending on the structure of the Office. The incumbent monitors protection standards, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery in line with international standards and provides functional protection support to information management and programme staff.

The Senior Protection Associate is expected to coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern (PoC) and identify opportunities to mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards in operational responses in all sectors. The incumbent contributes to designing a comprehensive protection strategy and represents the Office externally on protection doctrine and policy as guided by the supervisor.

S/he also ensures that PoC are involved in making decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying appropriate solutions to their problems. To achieve this, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, local authorities and protection and assistance partners.

General Background
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to provide protection (including assistance) and seek durable solutions for millions of refugees around the world. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return
home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.

Operational Context

UNHCR’s presence in Hong Kong SAR dates back to 1979 with the arrival of Vietnamese boat people. Subsequently the office undertook refugee status determination (RSD) until March 2014, when the Hong Kong SAR Government started its Unified Screening Mechanism (USM) to assess claims for non-refoulement protection. Such claims are lodged by persons not having the right to enter and remain in Hong Kong SAR, on the basis that removing them to another country would expose them to a risk of torture or persecution. Persons who indicate that they will face the risk of 2 persecution upon return to their country will not be removed until a final determination of persecution risk is reached under the USM. UNHCR continues to work with all stakeholders to ensure all Persons of Concern to UNHCR receive adequate protection and assistance, as well as to seek durable solutions for refugees.

The Senior Protection Associate will be supervised by the Head of Sub-Office in Hong Kong SAR and work closely with the Senior Protection Officer in Beijing who provides regular advice and guidance on protection related issues. The incumbent will collaborate closely with Government counterparts, diplomatic and civil society partners in the territory, as well as engaging directly with the refugee and USM claimant community. S/he will review substantiated USM claims to pursue solutions for them, as well as provide technical advice and training to support the authorities in developing and implementing the USM in line with accepted international standards.

The appointment offer will be subject to the proof of vaccination against Covid-19 with WHO approved vaccine1, medical clearance and satisfactory reference checks.

Functional Statement:

• Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment.
• Consistently apply International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct.
• Assist in providing comments on existing and draft legislation related to PoC.
• Provide advice and guidance on protection issues to PoC; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.
• Assist in conducting eligibility and status determination for PoC in compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.
• Contribute to measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness.
• Contribute to a country-level child protection plan as part of the protection strategy.
• Contribute to a country-level education plan as part of the protection strategy.
• Assist the supervisor in implementing and monitoring Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.
• Manage individual protection cases including those on GBV and child protection. Monitor, and assist the supervisor with intervening in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents.
• Assist in identifying durable solutions for the largest possible number of PoC through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement.
• Contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.
• Contribute to and facilitate a programme of results-based advocacy with sectorial and/or cluster partners.
• Facilitate effective information management through the provision of disaggregated data on PoC and their problems.
• Participate in initiatives to capacitate authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen national protection related legislation and procedures.
• Assist the supervisor with intervening with authorities on protection issues.
• Provide assistance to the supervisor in deciding priorities for reception, interviewing and counselling for groups or individuals.
• Assist the supervisor with enforcing compliance of staff and implementing partners with global protection policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of protection services.
• Assist the supervisor with enforcing compliance with, and integrity of, all protection standard operating procedures.
• Recommend and prepare payments to individual cases.
• Perform other related duties as required.

Essential Minimum Qualifications and Experience:
• 4 Years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher
• Preferably with a bachelor’s degree in International Law, Political Science or other related fields

Desirable Qualifications & Competencies:
• RSD-Resettlement LP and/or Protection Learning Programme

Functional Skill:
• IT-Computer literacy
• CL-Protection & Solutions Awareness
• PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
• PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework

Language Requirement:
• Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
• Proficiency in both English and Chinese (Cantonese and Putonghua)

Required Competencies:
Core Competencies:
Organizational Awareness
Teamwork & Collaboration
Commitment to Continuous Learning
Client & Result Orientation
Judgement and Decision making
Empowering and Building Trust

Cross-Functional Competencies:
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Political Awareness
Stakeholder Management

A competitive compensation and benefits package are offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances andbenefits, please visit the portal of the International Civil Service Commission at:

Submission of Applications:
If you wish to be considered for this vacancy, please submit your letter of motivation and signed Personal History Form by e-mail clearly stating the position title “Senior
Protection Associate” and your Last Name in the subject line to: by the closing date.

The Personal History Form and its supplementary sheet can be downloaded from here. No late applications will be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Shortlisted candidates will be required to sit for a written test and oral interview. UNHCR does not charge a fee at anystage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing or any other fees)

UNHCR strongly encourages qualified female applicants for this position. UNHCR seeks to ensure that male and female employees are given equal career opportunities. UNHCR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

Refugees – who cares? We Do