Apply for a Protection Associate in Ogoja, Nigeria

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Protection Associate, Ogoja, Nigeria
Organization: UNHCR – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Nigeria
Field location: Ogoja
Office: UNHCR in Ogoja

Closing date: Wednesday, 3 April 2024

Description of assignment title: Protection Associate

Assignment country: Nigeria

Expected start date: 05/01/2024

Sustainable Development Goal: 10. Reduced inequalities

Volunteer category: National UN Volunteer Specialist

Host entity: UNHCR

Type: Onsite

Duration: 8 months (with possibility of extension)

Number of assignments: 1

Duty stations: Ogoja


Mission and objectives

The Office of the UNHCR was established on 14 December 1950 by the UN General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. 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 ( UNHCR has also been involved in various IDP operations at the request of the concerned countries or the United Nations General Assembly/Secretariat General (UNGA/SG). Further to the humanitarian reform in 2005, UNHCR has been appointed to ensure the leadership of Protection, Shelter/NFI, and Camp management and camp coordination clusters in emergency settings. As a result, the staffing requirements have increased in UNHCR’s operations worldwide. In Nigeria, UNHCR plays the role of co-sharing with IOM the Shelter/ NFI and CCCM sector, coordination for the Protection sector working group. In the meantime, UNHCR, as a protection agency, is implementing activities to promote a favorable protection environment. In addition, UNHCR Nigeria continues to respond to a complex humanitarian situation in northeast Nigeria which has caused massive internal displacement and refugee outflows into the neighboring countries of Cameroon, Niger, and Chad.


Nigeria is a party to relevant international and regional refugee and human rights instruments relevant to the protection of refugees without reservations, most notably the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, as well as the 1969 OAU Convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa. These are domesticated through the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced People Act, signed into law on 15 February 2023. While strengthening Nigeria’s institutional structures and processes, the law enhances the protection environment for forcibly displaced persons. Violent clashes between the military and armed separatists in North-West and South-West Cameroon have driven thousands of Cameroonians, most of whom are women and children, across the border into Nigeria since 2017. Having fled with very little, their presence in host communities is straining food resources and already limited health, education, and WASH facilities. As the conflict persists in Cameroon, it is anticipated that the influx into Nigeria will continue. There are currently approximately 86,000 Refugees and Asylum seekers in Nigeria, majority are from Cameroon. As of 31 December 2023, some 64000 Cameroonian refugees were mainly located in Cross River (42.4K), Taraba (11.3K), Benue (8.9K), and Akwa Ibom (1.3K) States, with smaller populations in the Southeast (Enugu and Anambra States). UNHCR has established its presence near the refugee settlements where the Government of Nigeria has provided land for the establishment of four refugee settlements to facilitate access to services in Cross River State (Adagio 1 & 3, and Ukende Settlements) and Benue State (Ikyogen Settlement). Refugee hosting areas are in local government regions that have weak and over stretched social services, limited economic opportunities further impacted by limited access to electricity, water, sanitation and health services. While majority of refugees in Cross River and Benue are living in refugee settlements, those in host communities are not easily accessible to UNHCR due to poor transport infrastructure, connectivity, and limited human resource to respond to their immediate needs. Due to limited resources, there are serious risks of GBV. Over 90% of the GBV survivors lack socio economic assistance with very limited multi-sectoral response services. Safety and security response continue to be challenging due to logistical constraints. Health response is inadequate due to lack of professional health care providers and insufficient drugs in government health facilities. The Protection Associate will report to the Associate Community Based Protection Officer. The incumbent monitors protection standards, operational procedures, and practices in protection delivery in line with international standards.

Task description

The Protection Associate will report to the Associate Community Based Protection Officer. The incumbent monitors protection standards, operational procedures, and practices in protection delivery in line with international standards. The Protection Associate is expected to coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of displaced persons and identify opportunities to mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards in operational responses in all sectors. S/he contributes to designing a comprehensive protection strategy and liaises externally with authorities and partners on protection doctrine and policy as guided by the supervisor. The Protection Associate also ensures that refugees 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 displaced, local authorities and protection and assistance partners. Some key stakeholders would be the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs, and the State Emergency Management Agency. The incumbent will also work closely with UNHCR’s protection partners, Caritas Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Nigeria and Foundation for JusticeDevelopment and Peace Office (FJDP). Within the delegated authority and under the supervision of Associate Community Based Protection or his/her designated mandated representative(s), the UNV Volunteer Protection Associate will:

 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.

 Provide advice on protection issues to refugees; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documentation.

 Monitor Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.
 Monitor, and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents.
 Assist in identifying durable solutions for the largest possible number of refugees 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.

 Facilitate effective information management through the provision of disaggregated data on refugees and their problems.

 Participate in initiatives to capacitate authorities, relevant institutions, and NGOs to strengthen national protection related legislation and procedures. eHwXCU6 u3CVf
 Assist the supervisor with enforcing compliance of local 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.
 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 or tasks as may be required or assigned by the supervisor.

Eligibility criteria

Age: 27 – 80


Candidate must be a national or legal resident of the country of assignment.


Required experience

3 years of experience in working with persons in displacement settings with a particular focus on Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) within an Interagency humanitarian architecture. 2. Proven competencies in preparation of and delivering presentations and training facilitation skills. 3. Demonstrated competencies on adequate integration of gender analysis, planning and actions to ensure needs, priorities and capacities of women, girls, men and boys are considered in humanitarian planning, programming and response. 4. Proven experience in coordination with multiple stakeholders including with government counterparts and other relevant authorities in a humanitarian inter-agency context. Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for an elementary written test, and only the candidates who pass the test will be called for the oral interview. Scores of the written test will not be combined with the overall scoring. When completing the application, candidates are required to list all their language skills – including their mother tongue.

Area(s) of expertise

Legal affairs, Development programmes, Crisis and emergency response

Driving license


English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Bachelor degree or equivalent in International Law, Political Science or other related field.

Competencies and values

 Professionalism: demonstrated understanding of operations relevant to UNHCR; technical capabilities or knowledge relevant or transferrable to UNHCR procedures and rules; discretion, political sensitivity, diplomacy and tact to deal with clients; ability to apply good judgement; ability to liaise and coordinate with a range of different actors, especially in senior positions; where appropriate, high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; resourcefulness and willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented;
 Integrity: demonstrate the values and ethical standards of the UN and UNHCR in daily activities and behaviours while acting without consideration of personal gains; resist undue political pressure in decision-making; stand by decisions that are in the organization’s interest even if they are unpopular; take prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour; does not abuse power or authority;
 Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, mixed-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of UN operations; ability to achieve common goals and provide guidance or training to colleagues;
 Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.
 Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities;
 Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups;
 Flexibility: adaptability and ability to live and work in potentially hazardous and remote conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort; to operate independently in austere environments for protracted periods; willingness to travel within the area of operations and to transfer to other duty stations within the area of operations as necessary;
 Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity, and self-reliance; and commitment towards UNHCR’s mission and vision, as well as to the UN Core Values.
Other information

Living conditions and remarks

Ogoja is a duty station with very basic infrastructure as well as leisure and recreational facilities. Only limited health facilities are available locally; Malaria & typhoid diseases are common in the region; temperatures are high for most of the year. Most national staff rent accommodation within the Ogoja town and commute to the office. The cost of living in Ogoja is relatively affordable and foodstuff are widely available. While basic utilities such as water, banking facilities and mobile connectivity services are available, staff depend on private generators for electricity due to poor power infrastructure. Staff frequently go on mission travel to the deep Field locations. Due to the high stressful work context, self-care by staff members is critical. Staff in Ogoja would be required flexibility and the ability and willingness to live and work in harsh and potentially hazardous conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort, are essential.

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

This UNV assignment is subject to proof of vaccination against Covid-19 with WHO approved vaccine, unless the UNHCR Medical Service approves an exemption from this requirement on medical grounds

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