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Individual Consultant, Legal Expert

Company: UNHCR Armenia Office
Location: Work from home, Armenia
Duration: 3 months
Start Date: Immediately
Deadline: 09 December 2021

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TERM: 

Part-time with a flexible schedule

JOB DESCRIPTION: 

Title of Project: Baseline Assessment and Gap Analysis of the International Protection System of the Republic of Armenia.
Purpose of Project: To support the Government of Armenia to analyse national asylum strategies and related legislation, adopted and implemented in the Republic of Armenia (RA), and to provide baseline information for further development of 5-year Migration Management Strategy and Action Plan.
Overall Purpose and Scope of Assignment: UNHCR supports the RA with enhancement of the fairness, efficiency, adaptability, and integrity of the asylum system. Since 2013, in the framework of a regional project Quality Initiative in Eastern Europe and South Caucasus (QIEE), UNHCR has systematically monitored and analysed the relevant practices and provided recommendations and support to improve the national international protection system. Building on the latest commitment of the RA Government to further improve the national international protection system, as expressed in the 2019 Global Refugee Forum pledges, the 2021-2026 Programme of the Government, and the Conceptual Framework, UNHCR is seeking a national individual consultant (hereafter - the Consultant) with a recognized authority in public administration, to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the gaps and needs in the RA asylum system and make relevant recommendations. More specifically, the Consultant will:
- Review and analyse current and completed national strategies, also existing legal framework and regulations related to asylum-seekers and refugees, their rights, also relevant asylum procedures determining the entitlement to protection (i.e., reception, detention, registration, refugee status determination) as well as procedural safeguards;
- Identify needs and areas requiring further improvement and strengthening as well as relevant partnerships which may contribute to successful implementation of these tasks;
- Review the gap assessment reports conducted in the framework of the QIEE project and more generally consider and use the QIEE-related material, tools and reports, as well as consider the UNHCR submissions to the UN treaty bodies and the corresponding recommendations;
- Review and analyse secondary data (statistical data, relevant reports, and recommendations) on management of asylum flows and protection of rights of asylum-seekers and persons granted international protection;
- Consult key government and non-government stakeholders involved in the field of management of asylum flows and working with beneficiaries of international protection in the RA;
- Draft and submit a report, revealing main achievements and good practices, lessons learned and remaining gaps and develop recommendations for the development of the Program on Management of Migration Flows and relevant action plans, in line with objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Monitoring and Progress Controls (report requirements, periodicity, format, deadlines):
a) The final product (e.g. survey completed, data collected, workshop conducted, research documents produced specify):
- One report (in English) assessing the gaps and needs in the international protection system in Armenia vis-à-vis the international standards and best practices and proposing relevant recommendations for inclusion into the Program on Management of Migration Flows and action plan;
b) Delivery Periodicity, as applicable:
- Methodology for the assessment developed and submitted: within 7 calendar days after signing the contract;
- Meetings/ interviews with key state and non-governmental stakeholders and desk review: within four weeks after signing the contract;
- First draft of the report submitted to UNHCR: 8th week of the contract;
- Presentation of the outcomes of the assessment to the relevant stakeholders, such as the Migration Service, the National Security Service, the Ministry of Justice, the Office of the Human Rights Defender, relevant parliamentary committee(s), and international and non-governmental organizations: 9th week of the contract;
- Submission of the final report to UNHCR: 12th week of the contract.
c) If it is to result in a written product specify:
- Number of pages: up to 30 pages;
- Language(s): English;
- Number of copies: one.

RESPONSIBILITIES: 

The tasks to be performed under this assignment will include the following:
- Conduct desk review of available policy and strategic documents containing existing national and international standards related to well-managed, fair and efficient asylum system;
- Conduct assessment of the RA previous and existing national policies related to international protection, also strategic and legal documents on migration management with asylum-seekers/ international protection related components and/ or related to the rights of beneficiaries of international protection;
- Review mechanisms and practices of identification and treatment of person in need of international protection, including at border-crossing points and detention facilities, also assess the reception conditions and current national support system for asylum-seekers and refugees, with a particular focus on persons with specific needs;
- Reviewing the infrastructure, institutional structure, and capacities of the national competent determining authority (Migration Service), including physical infrastructure, supporting systems, such as administrative and human resources; technology (case management systems, filing, IT infrastructure etc.) as well as quality assurance mechanisms;
- Assess overall efficiency and adaptability of procedures for assessment of international protection claims at all stages of asylum procedure, also current mechanisms for provision of translation and interpretation services and collection of independent and reliable country information by all actors assessing international protection needs (Migration Service, judiciary);
- Carry out consultations with governmental and other institutions and stakeholders, involved in the field of international protection, to understand inter alia the current level of cooperation and information exchange between various government institutions involved in asylum or refugee related activities or services;
- Based on desk review, strategic documents assessment and stakeholders’ consultations reveal the main gaps identified in the policy and strategic documents regulating international protection and rights of asylum-seekers and refugees in the Republic of Armenia;
- Present the key findings and recommendations for the upcoming Program on Management of Migration Flows of the Republic of Armenia in support of commitments under the GCR and 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development to the Migration Service and key stakeholders in the RA;
- Progressively report on implementation of the activities and results achieved during the period of assignment; incorporate inputs by UNHCR Armenia and other stakeholders as suggested by UNHCR Armenia;
- Meet the deadlines set for the assignment.

Notes:
Working Hours: The Consultant will work part-time with a flexible schedule.
The remuneration will be provided for the product delivered and not the hours of work.
Location(s) (specify if working from home): Work from home.
Assignment and/ or Mission travel are not applicable.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: 

Level of responsibilities required: Individual Consultant
- Advanced university degree (MA) in Law, Political Science, International Relations, Migration Studies, Public Administration, and/ or other social science related areas relevant for the assignment; PhD in these areas will be considered as an asset;
- At least 5 years of proven experience, preferably in the area of development of national policies and strategies;
- Previous experience covering the areas of international protection, migration management, human rights, and similar;
- Previous experience, as expert or independent researcher, in preparation and implementation of multi-stakeholders’ analyses, drafting of strategic or policy documents, national action plans, standard operating procedures or similar, facilitating cooperation and organization of workshops, roundtables, stakeholders’ meetings in international protection, migration policy issues or human rights areas;
- Experience in development of international protection, migration policies, and similar will be considered as an advantage;
- At least 10 years of proven experience in working with public administration, academia, or institutions/ organizations working on international protection or other related issues at national level;
- Previous experience developing reports for governments, will be considered as an advantage;
- Experience in working with international organizations or UN agencies, will be considered as an advantage;
- Demonstrated outstanding time-management skills;
- Ability to establish and maintain effective and constructive working relationships with people of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds while maintaining impartiality and objectivity;
- Excellent knowledge of Eastern Armenian and English languages; knowledge of Russian language is an asset;
- Excellent research, drafting and communication skills in Armenian and English languages;
- Familiarity with UNHCR mandate;
- Experience with drafting government strategy papers is desirable.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES: 

Applicants are invited to fill in the online application. The vacancy is posted on the external UNHCR website and applicants who do not have internal status must apply through the external UNHCR website. Application and instructions are provided on: www.unhcr.org - Careers - Vacancies - Armenia. No late applications will be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for a competency-based oral interview. The previously done similar research works may be required to be submitted.
UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing or any other fees). For any technical problems encountered during the on-line application, please contact the Global Service Desk at: globalsd@unhcr.org well before the deadline to allow sufficient time for problems to be resolved. For any other type of support, please contact the HR Unit on: armyehr@unhcr.org .

Please clearly mention in your application letter that you learned of this job opportunity through Career Center and mention the URL of its website - www.careercenter.am, Thanks.

REMUNERATION/ SALARY: 

Fees of the individual consultant may be linked to the local UN salary for National Professional Officer. For information on UN salaries please visit the portal of the International Civil Service Commission at: http://icsc.un.org. To determine the fee, the Consultant’s earnings over the past year for similar work will be reviewed. The national consultants will be paid in the local currency of the country of work (Armenian dram). Payment schedule: The payment will be executed in four installments, as follows: - 10% - upon submission of the methodology and outline of the study; - 20% - upon completion of consultations with stakeholders; - 20% - upon submission of a first draft of the contract deliverable (report) of a satisfactory quality; - 50% - to be paid upon satisfactory completion of the whole assignment.

OPEN TO/ ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: 

Candidates must meet the essential minimum requirements of the position and candidates not citizens of the country must comply with all eligibility requirements for employment in line with the prevailing legislative prerequisites in the country. * The approval of the Director of DHRM must be obtained before a former staff member of UNHCR or the UN Common System can be engaged on a consultancy Contract. ** Before UNHCR or other UN retirees can be hired under a consultancy contract, at least three months must have elapsed since the date of retirement, including early retirement. ***A consultancy contract may not be granted to a person who is the father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister of a staff member of UNHCR.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: 

UNHCR is committed to diversity and welcomes applications from qualified candidates regardless of disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, race, colour or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

ABOUT: 

Operational Context
The Republic of Armenia ratified the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol in 1993. The current Law on Refugees and Asylum of the Republic of Armenia was adopted in 2008 and was extensively amended in 2015. Since 2000, the Government of the Republic of Armenia (RA) has developed several concept papers or strategies and two action plans (2011 and 2017), which defined the main directions of national migration policy at the relevant point in time. On 20 May 2021, the RA Government endorsed a Conceptual Framework and Action Plan of State Management of Migration (hereafter “the Conceptual Framework”). The goal of the Conceptual Framework is to combine the commitments made by the Government in the sphere of migration management in one document, to define the principles of migration management and establish the main directions of the migration policy. Asylum-seekers, refugees and other forcibly displaced persons are among the target groups of the Conceptual Framework. The Conceptual Framework envisages development of four programs in the following areas:
- Regulation of Integration and Reintegration Issues;
- Management of Migration Flows;
- Crisis Management of Forced Migrant Mass Influx;
- Promotion of repatriation.
It is anticipated that the Program on Management of Migration Flows shall include an asylum and refugees related component focusing on further improvement of the national international protection system. A draft of the Program should be submitted to the Office of the Prime Minister of Armenia nine months after the establishment of the Ministry of the Interior (expected in early 2022). Given the institutional changes anticipated in 2022, including the establishment of a Migration and Citizenship Service under the Ministry of the Interior, an up-to-date assessment is required to make sure that the strategic documents to be endorsed by the Government are evidence-based, respond to the current realities, needs and challenges and ensure the investment of the required resources. The outcomes of the assessment will inform the development of those sections of the Program on Management of Migration Flows which relate to the improvement of the RA national international protection system. A similar exercise regarding the migration related needs and gaps will be performed by the International Organization for Migration. Both assessments are supposed to be consolidated by the Migration Service and presented to the RA Government in spring 2022.

Consent:
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term "sexual exploitation" means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term "sexual abuse" means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term "sexual harassment" means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator's working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Useful links:
http://un.am/en/agency/UNHCR
https://www.unhcr.org/
https://undg.org/document/united-nations-sustainable-development-cooperation-framework/
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/.

ABOUT COMPANY: 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a humanitarian and non-political organization mandated by the United Nations to protect refugees and help them find lasting solutions to their problems. UNHCR's activities are based on a framework of international refugee and statelessness law and standards that includes the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions, as well as an array of international and regional treaties on human rights and humanitarian law. The mandate of UNHCR is the international protection of refugees and stateless persons. The provision of international protection by UNHCR implies ensuring the basic human rights of refugees and stateless persons. UNHCR has presence in the Republic of Armenia since 1992, under a Co-operation Agreement signed with the Government. UNHCR's work in Armenia presently concentrates on capacity-building activities geared towards strengthening national authorities, laws and policies to ensure the proper handling of refugee and statelessness issues, the reception and care of refugees, the promotion of self-reliance of refugees and the realization of durable solutions. These are carried out in combination with other activities such as advocacy, information dissemination and monitoring. The internship shall give an opportunity to familiarize the intern with all of UNHCR protection activities with a focus on statelessness.