Senior Protection Assistant – ACNUR – Boa Vista, RR.


Standard Job Description

Senior Protection Assistant

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Senior Protection Assistant normally reports to a more senior Protection colleague. 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 Assistant provides quality, timely and effective protection support to persons of concern (PoC) and identifies opportunities to mainstream protection methodologies and safeguards in operational responses. S/he contributes to designing a comprehensive protection strategy and may liaise externally with local authorities and partners on protection issues as guided by the supervisor.

The Senior Protection Assistant 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.

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.


  • Consistently apply International and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct.
  • Provide counselling on protection issues to PoC; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.
  • Support activities in protection related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.
  • Conduct preliminary information gathering and interviews in support of eligibility, status determination, durable solutions and social needs assessment.
  • 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 for PoC as part of the protection strategy.
  • Monitor Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities
  • Participate in individual protection case management including cases of GBV and child protection
  • Monitor and report on cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents.
  • Assist in identifying durable solutions for PoC in 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.
  • Draft reports, routine correspondence, update relevant databases and compiling statistics within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).
  • Contribute to initiatives to enhance national and local protection capacities.
  • Select PoC for preliminary interviews and decide which relevant information to share.
  • Enforce integrity in the delivery of protection services by local implementing partners.
  • Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Education & Professional Work Experience
  • Years of Experience / Degree Level
  • G5 – 2 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 1 year relevant work experience with
  • Bachelor or equivalent or higher
  • Field(s) of Education
  • Certificates and/or Licenses
  • International Law; Political Science;
  • (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

    Relevant Job Experience
    Essential: Not specified.
    Desirable: Not specified.

    Functional Skills:

  • IT-Computer Literacy
  • PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
  • PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework
  • (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

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


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

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

Nature of Position

The position is based in the UNHCR office in Boa Vista and provides support to all protection activities implemented by partners or directly by the Area of Responsibility of the Office. Therefore, the incumbent should have excellent written and oral communication skills in English in addition to being fluent in Portuguese language. The activities include voluminous coordination work for which strong analytical skills and attention to detail is required as well as capacity to work independently with tight deadlines. Demonstrated ability to communicate successfully within a team and with external stakeholders, will be considered essential.

Under the supervision of the Protection Officer, the Senior Protection Assistant will undertake the following tasks:

  • Support the development of the Community-Based Protection strategy and the monitoring of age-, gender- and diversity-sensitive (AGD) interventions on community issues by assisting and responding to protection concerns and incidents within Boa Vista sub-office, and by engaging with the persons and communities UNHCR serves on agreed parameters. This should include staying abreast and updated on existing community structures, as well as on the protection and security situation, including political, social, economic, and cultural developments, which may have an impact on the protection environment of the persons UNHCR serves, while strengthening relationships and links with a range of members of the refugee and asylum-seekers communities, using an AGD approach.
  • Advise the protection team and senior management on the perspectives, capacities, needs, resources and concerns of the persons UNHCR serves, to ensure that these are reflected in the Community-Based Protection strategy, as well as in the planning processes and in the Operation’s plan, thus ensuring that the necessary resources are allocated to enable community work to further identify and address protection and assistance gaps, as well as respond simultaneously to the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and the elderly, people with disabilities and minority groups, including LGBTIQ+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS. To this end, he/she should contribute to the design of the Community-Based Protection strategy, project submissions and budgets for endorsement by the supervisor.
  • Support the Boa Vista sub-office in initiatives with the persons UNHCR serves and host communities to engage national civil society groups in refugee protection and develop community activities to address, where applicable, social, educational, psychosocial, cultural, health, organizational and livelihood concerns, as well as child protection and GBV prevention and response.
  • Assist in supporting consultative processes with local government counterparts, partners and UNHCR staff to develop and implement integrated strategies that address key protection priorities, including, for example, child protection, education and gender-based violence, as well as solutions approaches.
  • Lead participatory assessments on a regular basis and ensure the promotion of open dialogues with communities throughout the year; with a calendar of consultations promoted to cover different topics of interest. Ensure that the information gathered is considered in the Protection strategy and programming, and feedback is provided to the community.
  • Lead the implementation of projects aimed at peaceful coexistence, in coordination with other units, notably Durable Solutions and Programmes units, while promoting trust-building and conflict resolution among the populations of concern, the authorities and the host communities.
  • Identify and support existing community structures, including refugee-led organizations and leadership structures, building on their capacities, and/or support in setting up, developing, and organizing new representation and coordination structures that enhance their participation and protection.
  • Support the design, implementation, and evaluation of protection-focused and solution-oriented programming, in collaboration with operational and implementing partners, ensuring the integration of community-owned activities.
  • Provide guidance and technical support to UNHCR and partners, as well as implement and oversee standard operating procedures (SOPs) in all matters related to the CBP. To this end, he/she should liaise and coordinate with local counterparts, partners and POCs on Community-Based Protection-related activities.
  • Ensure that communication with the community (CwC) is done regularly and effectively, through the most accessible channels, thus ensuring that everyone has access to relevant and accurate information that has an impact on their lives, in order to mitigate increased protection risks.
  • Contribute to the information management component of the protection team, which provides disaggregated data on the populations of concern and their problems; research, collect and disseminate relevant information on protection and good practices to improve the provision of protection and provide technical advice if necessary. Therefore, ensure that all relevant information is recorded into proGres database.
  • Maintain an assiduous protection presence through regular visits to communities inside and outside shelters, reporting on their situation, thus establishing direct contacts with the persons of concern, host communities, local authorities, and partners. To fulfil this task, the Senior Protection Assistant is required to spend a substantial percentage of the workday outside the office, building and maintaining networks within the communities and persons UNHCR serves.

Living and Working Conditions:

Additional Qualifications:


  • IT-Computer Literacy.
  • PR-Protection-related guidelines.
  • standards and indicators.
  • PR-Refugee Protection Principles and Framework


  • Certifications
  • International Law – Other, Political Science – Other

Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Organizational awareness, Political awareness, Stakeholder management, Teamwork & collaboration

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