Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located within the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The Human Rights Officer will be based in Kabul and reports to the Principal Human Rights Officer, Human Rights Service. The Human Rights Officer will support the work of human rights team in Kabul.
Summary of duties:
Duties contribute to the mandate implementation of the mission and of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) through the promotion and protection of human rights including representing at technical level the mission and OHCHR on human rights matters; coordinating field activities and providing guidance on policy, thematic issues or operational aspects of human rights work; coordinating the production and drafting human rights reports and inputs to the Secretary-General (SG) reports; managing, guiding and conducting of human rights monitoring, reporting and investigations; coordinating, designing and implementing strategies and programs for building the capacity of civil society, State authorities at national and local levels; carrying out advocacy, including related to human rights protection and protection of civilians under imminent physical threat; taking responsibility for referral of individual cases to relevant UN or other international, national or local partner services (i.e. legal or medical aid, protection, access to justice, etc.) and contributing to build such referral mechanisms; advising on integrating human rights in mission wide and UN Country Team (UNCT) activities and responses, including in relation to protection of civilians, UN development framework, and for humanitarian crisis contexts; managing the human rights component work plan, monitoring and evaluating its implementation and ensuring mainstreaming of gender in all activities; supporting the Chief of the component and administering resources, including the component budget and OHCHR funds; conducting recruitment and assessment of staff.
The Human Rights Officer will act as team leader and can be responsible for a particular portfolio, as determined by the mission's mandate and by the Chief of the Human Rights component. This portfolio may include the protection of civilians, the protection and promotion of women’s rights and the elimination of gender-based violence, the prevention of torture, child protection and engagement with civil society and national human rights institutions, including in relation to the human rights aspects of peace and reconciliation. Within delegated authority, the Human Rights Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Formulates recommendations and suggests strategies to better promote and protect human rights in the mission area, including for peace processes;
- Works directly with other components of the UN political mission to integrate human rights considerations into the planning and review of their programs and operations, including through developing procedures and policies, as appropriate;
- Plans, designs, implements and evaluates strategies for the mainstreaming of human rights in the activities of the UN political mission and the UNCT and advocates for the integration of human rights in these programmes;
- Contributes to the integration of human rights in humanitarian action, through participating or coordinating emergency preparedness and response activities including in the work of the Protection Cluster, as appropriate;
- Contributes to advocacy strategies, advocates and advises relevant authorities, inducting State officials, the UN Country Team (UNCT) and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), UN and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) senior management on strategies to better protect and promote human rights and mechanisms to stop impunity and redress human rights violations;
- Establishes and maintains contact with national authorities, civil society, UN Agencies, Funds/ and Programmes with complementary mandates, and other relevant partners to inform on the human rights situation in the mission area and advises on strategic and policy issues to better and promote human rights;
- Contributes to the integration of gender perspectives/considerations and specific women/girls' rights issues in all activities, programmes and strategies;
- Facilitates cooperation and appropriate communication with OHCHR in the establishment of policies and sharing of best practices;
- Represents the human rights component in decision-making fora as appropriate;
- Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with other UN and non- UN actors, state authorities, national human rights institutions, donors and other stakeholders for effective policy coordination;
- Promotes coordination among all human rights related mandates present in the mission area;
- Analyses and synthesizes information of relevance to human rights, including from open sources;
- Reaches out to various UN actors to collect and analyze information of relevance to human rights;
- Promotes the effective flow of information and channels human rights analysis and concerns for inclusion in UN crisis management and response;
- Assists in the development, coordination and implementation of the human rights work plan; Evaluates or assists in the evaluation of its progress and suggests adjustments as needed;
- Serves as team leader with responsibility for carrying out, in consultation with the Head of the Human Rights component, work coordination and administrative functions relating to the staffing, planning and budgeting;
- Trains, coaches and supervises new and junior staff, manages their performance, and assists in training needs assessments;
- Performs other related duties as required.
Human Rights Monitoring, Reporting and Field Coordination:
- Coordinates, supervises and conducts human rights monitoring activities in compliance with United Nations (UN) methodology and relevant to the observance of international human rights and humanitarian law in the mission area; Establishes as needed, baseline data for the appropriate monitoring of the human rights situation in the mission area;
- Coordinates the monitoring of and evaluates the legal system and its compliance with international human rights instruments and advises where appropriate, relevant authorities including on the implementation of UN recommendations;
- Plans, coordinates and leads multidisciplinary teams in the conduct of investigations into alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in compliance with UN standards;
- Plans coordinates and leads monitoring investigations and reporting of conflict-related sexual violence as mandated;
- Develops and coordinates initiatives to strengthen the response to systematic and/or emerging patterns of human rights violations and abuses, including with respect to sexual violence in conflict;
- Contributes, and where required, coordinates the implementation of the Human Rights Due-Diligence Policy on UN support to non-UN forces including by coordinating risk assessments and ensuring relevant human rights monitoring information is gathered, as well as advises on support and follow-up for the implementation of the Policy;
- Drafts, reviews and coordinates the timely delivery of a variety of reports, briefings and other type of communications in compliance with established standards, including with regard to public human rights reports;
- Ensures, coordinates and supervises the timely entry of accurate and verified human rights cases into an established database; conducts quality control and delivers statistics and trend reports as required;
- Ensures the integration of UN-developed methodology into human rights monitoring, reporting, protection and investigation Activities.
- Advises UN and national authorities on the establishment of vetting mechanisms, including mechanisms pertaining to the implementation of the UN Human Rights Due Diligence Policy on United Nations Support to Non-United Nations Security Forces, as mandated;
- Works with national authorities, the national human rights institution and civil society for the establishment of transitional justice processes and the establishment of accountability and compensation mechanisms, as appropriate;
- Advises national authorities on national legislation relative to transitional justice processes;
- Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with national authorities, civil society (human rights and victim organizations, and organizations with a focus on transitional justice), and other partners in order to develop and strengthen transitional justice mechanisms and the implementation of transitional justice processes;
- Ensures compliance of national efforts with UN-developed methodologies and best practices in the areas of transitional justice and rule of law for post-conflict countries;
- Leads the coordination of mission and UNCT actions in support of transitional justice mechanisms and processes;
- Ensures the integration of gender-sensitive victim perspectives in the design and implementation of transitional justice mechanisms and processes, as well as relevant advocacy strategies and capacity building initiatives.
Capacity Building and Technical Cooperation:
- Designs, coordinates and evaluates capacity building efforts, including those supporting institution-building and institutional reforms, for alignment with international human rights norms and to meet international human rights law obligations;
- Assists national authorities in their coordination and evaluation of activities relating to the implementation and follow-up of recommendations by UN Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures and other mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council;
- Designs, delivers, coordinates and evaluates human rights training programmes for national officials, civil society representatives, human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs), National Human Rights Institutions and other national stakeholders;
- Coordinates with other UN mission components, UN actors and other regional and international organizations to create opportunities to integrate human rights into their training and cooperation programmes, including those aiming at legislative, rule of law and security sector reforms.
- Plans, designs, implements and evaluates strategies for the mainstreaming of human rights in the activities of the UN political mission, the UNCT and the Humanitarian Country Team, and advocates for the integration of human rights in these programmes;
- Contributes to the integration of human rights in humanitarian action, through participating in or coordinating in. Emergency preparedness and response activities including in the work of the Protection Cluster, as appropriate;
- Contributes to advocacy strategies, advocates and advises relevant authorities, including State officials, the UN Country Team (UNCT) and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), UN and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) senior management, on strategies to better protect and promote human rights and mechanisms to stop impunity and redress human rights violations;
- Establishes and maintains contact with national authorities, civil society, UN Agencies, Funds, and Programmes with complementary mandates, and other relevant partners to inform on the human rights situation in the mission area and advise on strategic and policy issues to better protect and promote human rights;
- Drafts, reviews and coordinates the timely delivery of a variety of reports, briefings and other types of communications in compliance with established standards, including with regard to public human rights reports;
- Chairs and coordinates the working groups established within the Protection Cluster as relevant and takes part of discussions with other clusters leads to ensure human rights integration;
- Identifies protection gaps and strengthens the existing protection response strategy by ensuring synergies within the mission, the members of the Protection Cluster and other clusters as well as with other relevant fora;
- Provides human rights colleagues with technical expertise and guidance on their engagement with humanitarian and other protection partners in field offices, in particular the Humanitarian Country Team and Clusters, notably regional Protection Clusters.
- PROFESSIONALISM: Good knowledge of international human rights law standards and international humanitarian law; knowledge of the human rights based approach to human rights field work and operational methods of work on civilian protection, working with women and child victims of human rights violations; child protection, and victims of torture; ability to relate complex human rights issues and perspectives, including gender perspectives, to political, social, economic and humanitarian programmes in conflict-affected areas. Good analytical and research skills, including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources. Shows pride in work and in achievements; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations;
- PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; Identifies priority activities and assignments; Adjusts priorities as required; Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; Uses time efficiently;
- LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; Empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Drives for change and improvement, does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands; Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing;
- ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable;
- MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly.
An advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in law, political science, international relations, social sciences or a related area. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in the human rights or closely related field, of which at least half in the area of human rights are required. A minimum of one year's experience working in a United Nations common system field operation (inclusive of peacekeeping, political missions and UN agencies, funds, and programmes) or similar international organization or non-governmental organization in a conflict or post-conflict setting may be requited. Experience of human rights monitoring and reporting is required. Experience on human rights advocacy and/or on the design and management of capacity building programmes and/or conducting human rights investigations is required.
The following experience is desirable:
One year of experience in a managerial capacity and supervising a team. Experience in the conduct of human rights investigations. Experience working in inter-agency humanitarian coordination and/or humanitarian response. Demonstrated experience on sexual and gender-based violence, including conflict- related sexual violence. Experience on child protection. Experience in contributing to transitional justice related activities. Experience in human rights protection work, including through engaging with military and police for the protection of civilians. Experience in the management of technical cooperation projects. Human rights training experience. Experience in vetting processes for committed human rights violations. Experience acquired in multidimensional crisis. Previous experience in a UN peace mission.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Good knowledge of Dari or Pashto is desirable.
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