Job Title: Protection Assistant Vacancy Notice: VN-119-19 -MEX Position Number 119-19
Location: Ciudad de Mexico Position Grade: G4 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 trainning activities to different governmental staff and civil society organisations on basic principles of International Refugee Law, in particular the Mexican Refugee Commission (COMAR), Migration officials (INM) and the Child Protection Authority (Procuraduría).

UNHCR monitors COMAR-led RSD procedures, ensuring the provision of legal aid both in the context of community-based shelters and within detention facilities. In close coordination with COMAR, UNHCR also aims at facilitating access to and the timely finalization of RSD procedures. In coordination with the National Immigration Institute (INM), UNHCR regularly visits migration detention facilities, informing those detained on their right to seek asylum in Mexico, ensuring the prevention and responses 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 Authority (Procuraduría), 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.


The Protection Assistant will be required to:

  • Conduct regular monitoring visits to migration detention centres and community-based shelters for the identification of people in need of international protection, the provision of adequate information on RSD procedures and the timely documentation of situations affecting asylum seekers and refugees human rights.
  • Deliver training on basic principles of refugee law, with emphasis on the prevention of instances of refoulement, to government and civil society agencies, contributing to capacity builiding efforts to better identify, inform and channel potential asylum-seekers.
  • Ensure the proper collection of qualitative and quantitative data on issues considered to be of concern to UNHCR. This includes the regular collection of detention and RSD-related statistical information and drafting specific protection reports, as required by the Senior Protection Officer.
  • Compile relevant information being collected by FIeld Offices, in particular qualitative information obtained through needs and participatory assessments exercises, with emphasis on the protection situation of groups with special needs such as unaccompanied children, the LGBTI, women at risk and survivors of violence.
  • Contribute to the development, implementation and review of standard operating procedures (SOPs) on a wide range of protection issues, in particular on detention.
  • Monitor Migration Detention Facilities in Mexico City (EM Iztapalapa) as well as in other locations as required.
  • Support the National Protection Officer in charge of detention on the training of CNDH (Human Rights Commission) and INM (Migration) officials on principles of international refugee law and on the relevance of the principle of non-refoulement to the Mexican context, focusing on ensuring access to asylum procedures to all those in need. 
  • Regularly contribute to different protection reports, ensuring the timely provision of precise and well-written analysis of protection issues affecting asylum seekers and refugees human rights nationwide.
  • Carry out any other duties, as required and under the permanent guidance of the Head of Field Office / Associate Protection Officer.


  • The Protection Assistant is expected to ensure the regular and timely compilation of protection-related information being collected at the field level, ensuring appropriate guidance on the required responses are implemented and aiming at the effectiveness of UNHCR interventions, in particular on inidividual situations affecting the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees.
  • Number of reports and protection-oriented notes and interventions elaborated or implemented, including instances where the Protection Assistant has substantially contributed to the drafting of specific protection reports.
  • Number of individuals effectively accessing asylum procedures in Mexico. Particular attention will be provided to the number of individuals accessing asylum procedures in regions not covered by UNHCR field offices;
  • Number of individuals beneffiting from legal aid services, by both UNHCR partners and others, in particular those in detention;
  • Number of individuals being informed on their right to seek aylum in the context of migration detention (nationwide);
  • Number of protection interventions implemented, in particular those related to (i) the prevention and responses to potential instances of refoulement, (ii) the provision of effective alternatives to detention (including those beneffiting children) and (iii) all others aimed at responding to special protection needs (in particular affecting the LGBTI, women at risk and survivors of violence);
  • Number of field missions conducted, including the provision of timely and adequate Notes for the File and Mission Reports submittedt to the Senior Protection Officer.





  • Same as Responsibility.

Essential Minimum Qualifications and Experience

  • Education: University degree in law or social science studies (international relations, political sciences, anthropology, sociology).
  • Job experience: Minimum one year experience related to the above description of activities.
  • Fluency in English and working knowledge of another relevant UN language or local language.

Desirable Qualifications & Competencies

  • Excelent 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, including with both civil society and government staff;
  • MS Office excelent knowledge and management.  


  • Ability to effectively engage in a constructive dialogue with asyum seekers, refugees, members of host communities and other stakeholders;
  • Demonstrated skills to 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 to manage personal and protected data information in a professional manner;
  • Demonstrated ability of time management, and work organization skills.


Internal candidates 
General Service Staff members currently serving in the country where the vacancy exists, who have been appointed through the AC process and have indefinite or Fixed Term appointment. Interested staff members should consult the Policy and Procedures on Assignments of Locally recruited Staff (PPAL). 

External candidates must be legally present in Mexico at the time of application, recruitment and hire.


If you wish to be considered for this vacancy, please submit your application on by 15 September 2019.

Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for a test. Only shortlisted candidates will be notified. No late applications will be accepted.

Se puede aplicar un examen escrito.

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.

El ACNUR está comprometido con la diversidad y acepta solicitudes de candidatos calificados, independientemente de su género, discapacidad, estado civil, raza, color, origen étnico y nacional, religión o creencias, y orientación sexual.

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

Tome nota que el ACNUR no cobrará ningún cargo en ninguna de las fases del proceso de reclutamiento y selección.

Mexican citizenship or permanent residency in Mexico is needed.

ACNUR no prevé ningún apoyo relacionado a permisos de trabajo en México. Los candidatos expatriados son bienvenidos, pero deben contar con la residencia permanente o el correspondiente documento migratorio que les permita trabajar en México.


A competitive compensation and benefits package are offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, please visit the portal of the International Civil Service Commission at:

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