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Protection Assistant (UNOPS/LICA-4)

Palenque | Mexico City

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Palenque | Mexico City
  • Grade: Administrative support - Administrative Services and Support - Generally no need for Higher Education
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed

Hardship Level (not applicable for home-based)


Family Type (not applicable for home-based)


Staff Member / Affiliate Type


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

June 23, 2023

Terms of Reference

1. General Background

Within the 10-Point Plan in action for Refugee Protection and Mixed Migration, the activities of UNHCR in Chiapas consist of providing legal and basic material assistance and information to refugees and asylum-seekers, promote refugee local integration, promote the access to a fair and efficient refugee status determination procedure and train governmental staff and civil society in International Refugee Law.

The presence of UNHCR in Palenque, Chiapas is of key importance given the office's important location close to the southern border of Mexico. The borders between Chiapas and Guatemala are the entrance of hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants to Mexico, and among them there is a significant number of people in need of international protection, including highly vulnerable cases such as unaccompanied children and victims of human trafficking. UNHCR presence ensures refugee identification within migratory flows and their access to a fair and efficient RSD procedure, and also preventing refoulement.

In close collaboration with its governmental counterpart -the Mexican Commission of Refugee Aid (COMAR)-, UNHCR looks to strengthen the protection framework in the southeast border area, and monitors the refugee status determination procedure carried out by COMAR, making sure to identify people in need of international protection in order to provide them with information regarding their right to seek asylum, and the procedure in Mexico. UNHCR also intervenes with local authorities in topics such as non-refoulment, expulsion and arbitrary detention of asylum- seekers and refugees. In order to ensure the identification of PoC, the protection networks within relevant sectors of civil society is enhanced and fostered. In addition, UNHCR provides assistance to Persons of concern to UNHCR if this is not covered by the authorities

UNHCR provides frequently trainings, workshops and technical advice to the National Migration Institute (INM), the COMAR, civil society organizations and to other relevant governmental actors such as the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH), among others.

2. Purpose and Scope of Assignment

Under the overall supervision of Protection Associate, the Protection Assistant will perform the following tasks:

• Conduct tasks related to the registration and general counseling of PoC. Refer the cases to the appropriate services provided by the government as well as partner agencies. Follow-up on the most vulnerable cases in order to ensure the protection responses (including the assessment of internal relocation of cases within Chiapas and to other States) as well as ensure a protection perspective is considered in the relocation of cases for local integration.
• Implement the appropriate use of UNHCR database (e.g. ProGres) to ensure the follow-up of cases and statistics.
• Provide asylum seekers continued information and guidance regarding the legal procedure for asylum in Mexico, including the necessary information and guidance regarding the appeal procedure for those asylum-seekers who want to exercise this, in the area of intervention of FUPAL.
• Monitoring of migrant detention centers located in the geographical coverage area of UNHCRs’ field office Palenque, for the identification of people in need of international protection and to provide them information. Also, identify cases and promote and follow up it for alternatives to detention.
• Conduct efforts for the prevention and attention of SGBV and protection of LGBTI persons, including case management tasks. Analyze the main risks and trends related to SGBV incidents and protections risks faced by LGBTI.
• Identify and assess cases that could be in need of resettlement.
• Support processes of identification and assessment for cases of internal relocation for local integration.
• Gather information and statistics related to internal relocation.
• Support the documentation of Refoulement cases.
• Contribute to the preparation and provide inputs for institutional reports, specially related to issues related to LGBTI and SGBV survivors.
• Contribute as required by her supervisor to the field/border monitoring, and continuously contribute to the identification of possible new stakeholders that can strengthen the protection network in Chiapas.
• Support the delivery of the humanitarian assistance program as required by her supervisor
• Carry out any other duties as required in the Field Office.
3. Monitoring and Progress Controls

• More people of concern to UNHCR detected and assisted in the migration holding center, and interviews carried out with all willing to collaborate.
• Stronger knowledge about refugee matters, with special emphasis on International Refugee Law, through trainings and presentations provided to authorities and civil society.
• All cases that need follow up are provided the needed legal and basic assistance within the limitations of UNHCR.
• Good coordination amongst the actors which provide legal, and basic assistance to PoC is provided.
• Asylum-seekers, refugees, and migrants properly informed regarding their rights and obligations, and all given cases receive thorough follow-up.
• Strengthened capacity-building of actors -governmental, NGOs, civil society- working with asylum-seekers, refugees, and migrants to better detect and inform potential asylum seekers.
• More people of concern beneficiaries of alternatives to detention.

4. Qualifications and Experience

a. Education (Level and area of required and/or preferred education)

• Completion of Secondary education or equivalent technical in law or Social Science studies.

b. Work Experience
(List number of years and area of required work experience. Clearly distinguish between required experience and experience which could be an asset.)
• Minimum 1 years’ experience related to the above description of activities.

c. Key Competencies

(Technical knowledge, skills, managerial competencies or other personal competencies relevant to the performance of the assignment. Clearly distinguish between required and desired competencies)

• Be proactive and possess a sense of urgency.
• Good knowledge of English.
• Demonstrated communication skills, and teamwork oriented.
• Demonstrated ability to work in an international, and multicultural environment.
• Demonstrated ability when working with PoC to be assertive, to demonstrate sensitivity, and to make good and quick decisions.
• Demonstrated ability to work in stressful, and demanding situations with difficult PoC cases.
• Demonstrated ability to manage, and follow-through complex PoC cases.
• Demonstrated ability to deliver presentations in public settings.
• Demonstrated ability to manage confidential information in a professional manner.
• Demonstrated ability of time management, and work organization skills.
• Demonstrated ability to work with little guidance.
• Demonstrated ability to interact with several governmental, non-governmental, and other actors in order to ensure good collaboration among all.
• MS Office excellent knowledge and management.


• This position is advertised to internal and external applicants. Candidates must be legally present in México at the time of application, recruitment and hire. Only Mexicans or candidates holding a valid work permit in México will be considered eligible.

• Recruitment as a UNHCR staff member and engagement under a UNHCR affiliate scheme or as an intern, is subject to proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, independently of contract type and duration. The selected candidate(s) will be required to provide the proof of vaccination prior to recruitment.

• Only short-listed candidates will be notified. The recruitment process might include written test and/or oral interview for this job opening. No late applications will be accepted.

• UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training or any other fees).

• This position is offered under UNOPS Local ICA contract until 31/12/2023 with possibility of extension.

• Remuneration: A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered depending on relevant experience as per the requirements of the job advertisement. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, please visit the portal of the Office of HR Management of United Nations.


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This position doesn't require a functional clearance
This vacancy is now closed.
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