Assistant Human Rights Officer, Pretoria ,Pretoria South Africa,South Africa

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Assistant Human Rights Officer, South Africa

Closing date: Friday, 1 March 2024

Description of assignment title: Assistant Human Rights Officer

Assignment country: South Africa

Expected start date: 03/01/2024

Sustainable Development Goal: 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

Volunteer category: National UN Volunteer Specialist

Host entity: OHCHR

Type: Onsite

Duration: 12 months (with possibility of extension)

Number of assignments: 1

Duty stations: Pretoria


Mission and objectives

The mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is to work for the protection of all human rights for all people; to help empower people to realize their rights; and to assist those responsible for upholding such rights in ensuring that they are implemented.


The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) is based in Pretoria, South Africa, and covers Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In addition to the staff in Pretoria, OHCHR has Human Rights Advisors in Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and has a project with staff based in Mozambique. A Human Rights Advisor is due to be deployed to Eswatini in 2021. The Regional Office provides technical support and guidance to Resident Coordinators (RCs), UN Country Teams (UNCTs), States, national human rights institutions, civil society and other stakeholders on early warning and prevention, enhancing participation and protecting civic space, strengthening rule of law, accountability and national human rights institutions, advancing equality and non-discrimination, addressing gender-based violence, integrating human rights in sustainable development and supporting States and other stakeholders to engage with and follow up to recommendations of human rights mechanisms. The work of the Regional Office includes identifying, collecting, processing and sharing data, information and analysis of human rights trends in the region, ensuring support to RCs/UNCTs as well as other OHCHR presences in the region. This work requires human rights and information management expertise to better advocate for the protection of human rights by strengthening its analysis with accurate supporting data, empowering the Office to take a more active inter-agency leadership role and to better engage key decision-makers with compelling analytical and data-driven information and preventative measures in support of early action. This post is located in the ROSA of the United Nations OHCHR. The objective of this 1-year NUNV post is to support ROSA in promoting and protecting human rights throughout the Southern Africa region.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the Human Rights Officer in charge of the Emergency Response Team in the OHCHR Regional Office for Southern Africa, the NUNV will undertake the following tasks:

Researches and collects information pertaining to human rights matters, including their gender dimensions, from a variety of data sources (e.g. communications, publications, the press) and through remote monitoring to keep abreast of relevant issues/events in the Southern Africa Region and provide up-to-date information;
Assists in the analysis of information, to include the impact on the countries and thematic mandates on the human rights situation in assigned area, with a focus on vulnerable groups, and supports the development of early warning analysis and the identification of preventative measures to address human rights protection needs;

Participates in meetings and consultations; prepare summaries of results/outcomes;

Reviews human rights issues, including their gender dimensions, and participates in discussions with other Human Rights Officers on the integration of these issues into political, humanitarian and socio-economic efforts and programmes;
Work on civic space and participation in relation to early warning, prevention and early action measures in relation to civil society actors and human rights defenders;
Drafts a variety of reports and correspondence relating to human rights matters;
Performs other related duties as required.

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 Human Rights, Political Affairs, International Relations, Law or related area is required.

Experience working with international human rights standards, instruments and mechanisms is desirable;
Experience in human rights monitoring and reporting and/or in building capacity for the promotion and protection of human rights is desirable.

Internships and voluntary work may be considered at 50% if deemed relevant;

Previous experience as a volunteer and/or experience of another culture, (i.e. studies, volunteer work, internship) would be highly regarded.

Area(s) of expertise

Legal affairs

Driving license


English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Master degree or equivalent in Law, Political Science, International Relations, Conflict and Development Studies, Peace and Security, Human Rights or related field.

A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Competencies and values

Communication, Planning and Organizing, Professionalism

Other information

Living conditions and remarks

Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province in South Africa. It is one of the country’s two capital cities serving as the executive (administrative) and de facto national capital. It offers excellent living conditions with various types of world-class available facilities. Housing is readily available, and rents can be negotiated. Infrastructure, internet connectivity, roads, utilities, telecommunications are of a high standard. Airbnb and Uber are in common use. The other city is Cape Town, the legislative capital. Pretoria is classified as an A duty station, and South Africa is in security phase 1. Like in other big cities with significant crime rates, caution must be exercised always. UNVs receive the below entitlements:

A monthly Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) of ZAR20631,00;
A once of $400 entry lumpsum;
Medical and Annual leave;
Comprehensive insurance;
Access to all the learning platforms;
A once of exit lumpsum of ZAR20631,00 at the end of your assignment.

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

Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy

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