Job Title Associate Legal Officer
Type Internal/External
Type Of Contract UNOPS

Vacancy Notice Internal/ External UNOPS - 003/2019
Position Number UNOPS/003/19/1
Number Of Vacancies 1
Location Kampala
Position Grade LICA-9
Closing Date 2019-06-20
Organizational Context

The UNHCR’s mandate on statelessness is universal in scope and includes four pillars: identification of stateless persons and at risk, prevention of new statelessness cases, and reduction of existing statelessness situation, as well as protection of stateless persons.

UNHCR involvement in stateless situation in Uganda is triggered by the national registration exercises which left out certain groups such as the Maragoli, persons of Asian descent   and descendant of migrants who arrived in Uganda before 1926. 

In November 2014, UNHCR launched the #IBelong campaign with the aim of eradicating statelessness worldwide by 2024. With this purpose, and in consultation with States, civil society and international organizations, UNHCR developed the Global Action Plan to End Statelessness ("Global Action Plan") proposing a comprehensive strategic framework of ten actions to resolve the existing situations of statelessness, prevent new cases from emerging, and better identify and protect stateless populations.

In June 2017, the International Conference on the Great Lake Region (ICGLR) to which Uganda is a Member State under the auspices of UNHCR affirmed their commitment to end statelessness in support of UNHCR #I Belong campaign At Brazzaville, on 16 October 2017, all the ICGLR Member States signed the Declaration of ICGLR Member States to eradicate statelessness along with the Action Plan of ICGLR. In December 2018, a first awareness raising workshop was organized under the auspices of UNHCR resulting in the preparation of an outline national action plan.  In a bid to implement the Brazzaville Declaration and at the midway point of the Campaign, the Government of Uganda presented six commitments at the April 2019 Ministerial Conference on the eradication of  statelessness representing actions to be undertaken by 2024 to end statelessness

Against this backdrop, it is now imperative that necessary technical support and local expertise is provided in support of the government  and to ensure achievement of the key commitments made within the proposed timeline.   In view of this, the protection Unit proposes to hire an Individual contractor/  Associate Legal  Officer (Statelessness expert) at the level of Associate Officer (NOB) initially for a period of six month with a possibility for extension to provide advisory and technical support to the government and other key stakeholders.

Functional Statement

Purpose and scope of assignment

The incumbent will be responsible for ensuring that all statelessness issues in the country are analyzed, monitored, and effective responses and strategies are developed. The area of engagement will include Identification, Prevention, and Reduction of statelessness and if needed protection of stateless persons. The incumbent will be expected to work with the relevant Government entities, partners, UN agencies, community members, and civil society organizations to;

  • Identify and map stateless persons/situations/actors including; Assessment of the scale of the problem through research and participatory assessment. Understand the profile of the population affected (demographic composition, including data disaggregated by sex and age); Determine causes and obstacles to solutions to statelessness (gaps in legislation, administrative practice, etc.) identify any protection issues faced; and potential stakeholders.
  • Undertake advocacy for prevention of statelessness including; activities for promoting accession to 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness; Advocacy for improved birth registration and documentation; Advocacy to bridge gaps in policy and nationality legislation; Building capacity and awareness of State actors and partners (parliamentarians, line ministries and civil society) on the question of statelessness.
  • Provision of technical advice on solutions including; Working with partners to set out Community Outreach and Information campaigns; Provision of legal counselling to individuals; Advocate for changes to law and policy to allow for inclusion of stateless/ at risk population; Advocate for facilitated naturalization and durable solutions for stateless refugees.
  • Protection activities including; Ensuring enjoyment of basic human rights by stateless persons; provide technical advice for establishing/improving status determination procedures for stateless persons; Advocate for adequate legislation and good administrative practices to ensure rights of stateless persons;  Advocate for integration of stateless persons/formerly stateless persons into development programmes; Promote the IBelong Campaign to create awareness on statelessness

Accountability

  • Timely and pertinent technical support on statelessness and policy advice is provided to the Representation.
  • Representation is regularly kept informed of developments and trends on statelessness in Uganda.
  • Technical assistance is provided in the development of strategies at the national level on statelessness.

Responsibility

  • Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment, in particular, on the issue of statelessness.
  • Serve as the focal point for thematic issues of law and policy relating to statelessness and provides technical advice and policy support on these issues to the Representation.
  • Collect, monitor, and analyse information, statistics, and developments related to statelessness in the country, and initiate and carry out activities to identify how many stateless persons reside in Uganda.
  • Analyse regular and ad hoc reporting, and provide support to the Representation to react to and initiate actions to revise citizenship laws to prevent and reduce statelessness in line with relevant international standards.
  • Obtain regular statistical updates on the official number and profile of persons of concern under UNHCR’s statelessness mandate in Uganda and, particularly, the accurate reporting of statistics on the reduction of statelessness.
  • Continue advocacy with the relevant actors in relation to further legislative reform in respect of statelessness.
  • Provide expert input on the identification of nationality and statelessness within repatriated persons.
  • Engage with offices in the country and work units in the country, region and at Headquarters to devise strategies to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness and protect stateless persons.
  • Identify potential partners outside UNHCR, including for operational responses, training and fundraising, and, in consultation with the supervisors, initiate and maintain contact with them.

 

Required Competencies
  • Knowledge of  Uganda's Law and Policy  regarding Immigration and citizenship
  • Knowledge on International Humanitarian Law
  • Ability to provide leadership
  • Proficiency in communication skills
  • Ability to asses the political environment affecting trends
  • Ability to provide performance feedback
  • Ability to create consensus among stakeholders
  • Provide legal analysis of the law and practice on citizenship
  • Experience in provision/advise of Legal aid and legal assistance to populations of concern to UNHCR and, in particular, managing legal assistance projects.
Essential Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience
  • University Degree in Law, International Law, political Sciences or related field is required
  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant job experience is required.
  • Experience in working closely with and coordinating a number of stakeholders at a high level including Government, UN Agencies and civil society.
  • Professionalism and sound knowledge and interpretation of international law and international human rights law, with particular reference to statelessness and nationality
  • Experience in protection/human rights monitoring and in providing protection information.
  • Political sensitiveness and ability to operate in complex political situations.
  • Gender, age and diversity perspective, to ensure adequate attention to women participation and attention to other concerns of persons with specific needs (children elderly etc.)
  • Excellent drafting and communication skills
  • Excellent knowledge of English.
Desirable qualifications & competencies
  • Focus on employees’ career development needs
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