Job Title: Senior Protection Assistant (Legal Aid) Vacancy Notice: VN-111-19 -MEX Position Number 111-19
Location: Ciudad de Mexico Position Grade: LICA 5 Closing Date: 2019-09-15
Organizational Context

UNHCR continues to observe an increasing number of asylum claims being submitted by citizens of the Northern Triangle of Northern America in Mexico, including a significant number of people with special protection needs, such as LGBTI persons, unaccompanied and separated children, women at risk and survivors of violence. 

Within this context, UNHCR protection activities consist mainly of: 
(i) providing legal and basic material assistance and information to refugees and asylum-seekers, through local partners and ensuring access to a fair and efficient refugee status determination (RSD) procedure, including for those in detention, 
(ii) promoting livelihoods and local integration and 
(iii) the delivery of training activities to different governmental staff and civil society organisations on basic principles of International Refugee Law, in particular to the Mexican Refugee Commission (COMAR), Migration officials (INM) and the Child Protection Authorites (Procuradurķas). 

UNHCR monitors COMAR-led RSD procedures, ensuring the provision of legal aid both in the context of communitybased shelters and within detention facilities. UNHCR also aims at facilitating access to and the timely finalization of RSD procedures. UNHCR regularly visits migration detention facilities, informing those detained on their right to seek asylum in Mexico, and seeking to prevent and respond to instances of refoulement as well as promoting alternatives to detention. 

The office also works closely with the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) on diverse issues affecting the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees. With the Mexican Child Protection Authorities (Procuradurķas) at the federal, state, and municipal levels, UNHCR works to ensure proper protection responses and the systematic implementation of BID procedures on cases involving unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children. UNHCR also delivers training activities to both government and civil society agencies on a wide range of issues, including on RSD, basic principles of refugee law, child protection and the prevention and response to instances of SGBV.  

In line with the priorities of Mexico's operational context, UNHCR has begun strengthening the capacities of legal aid providers that serve persons of concern along Mexico's migration routes, including lawyers and newly-incorporated paralegals located in community-based shelters throughout the country. 


The benchmarks listed below will enable the UNHCR Representation in Mexico to assess progress made by the incumbent and provide appropriate feedback.
  • Number of trainings developed for legal aid providers and paralegals 
  • Number of trainings implemented legal aid providers and paralegals throughout Mexico 
  • Number of individuals trained in relevant protection topics 
  • Number of timely and adequate Notes for the File and Mission Reports submitted to the Protection Officer. 
  • Impact of trainings and comfort of participants with topics covered (measured via administration of pre and posttraining evaluations).
  • Number of visits to immigration detention centres. 


Under the overall supervision of the Assistant Protection Officer, the Snr. Protection Assistant (Legal Aid) will be required to: 
  • Plan, coordinate, and deliver quality, timely and effective training to legal aid providers and paralegals supported by UNHCR around the country 
  • Develop quality trainings on basic principles of refugee law, with emphasis on the prevention of instances of refoulement and contributing to capacity building efforts to better identify, inform and channel potential asylum seekers. 
  • Ensure that trainings reflect the needs of populations of concern, in line with UNHCR's Age, Gender and Diversity approach. 
  • Advocate for and contribute to advocacy towards proper interpretation of law and doctrine as well as in the development of standards of protection. 
  • Ensure that protection principles and international law as relevant to persons of concern to UNHCR are promoted 
  • Monitor and provide feedback and guidance to UNHCR staff and partners dedicated to legal aid, ensuring asylum seekers and refugees receive timely, adequate and professional legal assistance and representation, in particular in the context of RSD procedures. 
  • Support the creation and functioning of protection and legal networks aimed at ensuring the highest number of asylum seekers have access to legal aid and orientation.
  • Prepare monitoring reports reflecting the progress made by the implementing partner and the project staff members. He/she is expected to draft and structure reports and related content to be shared with stakeholders and counterparts. 
  • Perform other related duties as required.






Essential Minimum Qualifications and Experience

a. Education
  • Education: Completion of secondary education.
  • Additional training in protection related issues (Law, Social Sciences or similar related fields). 
b. Work Experience
  • Minimum 5 years of previous job experience relevant to the function. 
  • Previous work experience with UN agencies, non-governmental organizations or research networks is an asset. 
  • Previous exposure to thematic fields relating to the asylum system in Mexico is a strong asset.

Desirable Qualifications & Competencies

Flexibility: The incumbent is expected to spend a considerable amount of time travelling to project sites where monitoring activities are undertaken. Mission often take place over weekends and request to stay overnight in other locations. Willingness to travel over long period of time and upon short notice is expected.


  • Excellent drafting skills in Spanish; good knowledge of both written and oral English. 
  • Ability to work in an international multicultural environment, demonstrating flexibility and adaptability in the face of adverse and sometimes urgent situations affecting asylum seekers and refugees; 
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability con convey complex material in a clear and easy-to-understand manner; 
  • Demonstrated skills to make good and quick decisions, including under pressure; 
  • Demonstrated ability to work in stressful, and demanding situations affecting individual cases; 
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver presentations and training, including in public settings; 
  • Demonstrated ability of time management, and work organization skills. 
  • MS Office excelent knowledge and management. 

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