+252 612 680 166 Wadajir District, Mogadishu. info@afrijobs.so

Principal Human Rights Officer [temporary], Mogadishu, Somalia, Mogadishu, Somalia

  • Location:
    Mogadishu Mogadishu Mogadishu Mogadishu
  • Salary:
  • Posted:
    5 months ago
  • Category:
  • Deadline:
    November 15, 2019


Posting Title: PRINCIPAL HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICER, D1 (Temporary Job Opening)


Department/Office: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia

Duty Station: MOGADISHU

Posting Period: 01 November 2019 – 15 November 2019

Job Opening Number: 19-Human Rights Affairs-UNSOM-125967-J-Mogadishu (M)

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Organisational Setting and Reporting

This position is financed by the United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) assessed funding. This position is located in Mogadishu. Mogadishu is classified as an E hardship duty station and a non-family duty station. The incumbent has a dual reporting line to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Established on 2 May 2013 by the UN Security Council, UNSOM was launched on 3 June 2013. UNSOM’s core role is to act as an enabler, helping to create and galvanize the political and strategic environment in which stabilisation and peace-building can proceed, including by leveraging other parts of the UN system and international partners. UNSOM supports the Federal Government of Somalia’s agenda of peace, security and nation-building and will help the country move towards free and fair elections. It exercises its mandate guided by the principles of Somali ownership, flexibility, collaboration and partnerships.


Under the overall authority of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), through the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General – Rule of Law, and with a reporting line to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, whose office provides the substantive support and general policy guidance, and in line with relevant Security Council resolutions the Principal Human Rights Officer will be the Chief of the UNSOM Human Rights and Protection Group (HRPG) and will be responsible for the following duties: Advisory and representative roles

1.Acts as the Principal Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia on all human

rights promotion and protection activities in the mission area, including the protection of civilians, transitional justice, the fight against impunity, sexual violence, the protection of women and children in armed conflict, human rights aspects of peace and reconciliation, and report on issues related to human rights and the work of the Human Rights component;

2.Acts as the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the country, and reports to the High Commissioner (HC) in Geneva in this capacity;

3.Ensures that the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG-CAAC) and Sexual Violence in Conflict (SRSG-SVC) is systematically informed of strategic developments, progress and challenges related to their respective mandates;

4.Represents the UNSOM Human Rights and Protection Group (HRPG) and OHCHR at inter-agency meetings in the country and, in his/her capacity as the HC’s representative, advises the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) to ensure that human rights issues are fully integrated into political, humanitarian and development efforts and programmes including with respect to the United Nations Development Assistance and Integrated Strategic Frameworks (UNDAF and ISF) as well as the Consolidated Humanitarian Appeal (CHAP) processes;

5.Advises the SRSG/DSRSG and oversees the implementation by the Senior Child Protection Adviser and Senior Women Protection Adviser of the Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) and Sexual Violence in Conflict (SVC) mandates, including the ongoing work of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) and the Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements (MARA) ;

6.Leads as necessary, the Mission’s efforts on Protection of Civilians, including through the development and implementation of the UN system-wide strategy on PoC and close collaboration with the UNCT and the Protection Cluster; Ensures the integration of human rights into the mission’s efforts to improve protection of civilians, including through participating in the planning and carrying of mission’s response or in establishing coordination mechanisms as necessary, and ensures coordination with AMISOM on Protection of Civilians response, namely in translating human rights early warning information into operational response and in responding to gross human rights violations;

7.Advises the Government of Somalia, including the Executive, uniformed services and others, with respect to specific human rights concerns, bringing to their attention actual and potential violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and suggesting appropriate actions;

8.Advises the Government of Somalia on strategies, policies and actions necessary to ratify and report on key international human rights instruments and on its obligations under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), on cooperating with Special Procedures Mandate-Holders and on ensuring respect and implementation of international human rights law and standards;

9.Represents UNSOM and OHCHR on human rights matters during contacts with national and international organizations working in the field of human rights, diplomatic missions, donors, and other international actors; 10.Participates in the mission’s internal policy and decision-making fora, namely all senior mission leadership fora, and advises on strategic, policy and operational decisions that may have human rights implications and on measures necessary for the Mission to protect and promote human rights in the mission area, mainstreams human rights and implements a human rights-based approach, with special attention to national peacebuilding priorities;

Substantive coordination

11.Ensures coordination of all human rights activities in the mission area; ensures timely and effective flow of information within UNSOM and with OHCHR and the channelling of human rights analysis and concerns for inclusion in crisis management and response;

12.Develops a human rights monitoring strategy; Ensures investigations of human rights violations are conducted and recommendations of conclusive reports are followed up with the Government;

13.Ensures the timely and regular issuance of public reports in consultation with the SRSG and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with current policy directives and guidance on public reporting by peace missions;

14.Oversees the timely submission of all MRM outputs (quarterly reports, SG country reports on CAAC, contributions to the SG annual report on CAAC) to the co-chairs of the MRM Country Task Force and the chair of Working Group on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence; Oversees the timely submission of biannual MARA reports and contributions to the SG annual report on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, as well as other information for Security Council briefings, as required;

15.Oversees the Senior CPA and Senior WPA’s provision of guidance to Child Protection and Women Protection Advisers, and the strategic design and implementation of work plans to implement the CAAC and the CRSV mandates, respectively, including their establishment, engagement and dialogue with parties to the conflict, and timely monitoring, reporting on grave violations against children and conflict-related sexual violence, respectively;

16.In close coordination with United Nations agencies, funds and programs, UNSOM components, and other international actors, supports Somali authorities and civil society at all levels to promote compliance with obligations related to the protection of civilians and to protect the human rights of those most vulnerable, including women and children, as well as human rights defenders, victims and witnesses; ensures that activities in furtherance of the CAAC and CRSV mandates are undertaken through relevant task forces and working groups;

17.Promotes and oversees initiatives linked to supporting and strengthening the national human rights promotion and protection system in the country, including through, inter alia, the establishment or reinforcing of a national human rights institution, building civil society and state capacities and in setting protection programs to support victims and witnesses in the context of the fight against impunity in close coordination with national authorities and civil society;

18.Ensures, as OHCHR Representative, that human rights considerations are reflected and integrated into humanitarian activities, including in emergency planning, preparedness and response, and through participating and/or playing a lead role in the Protection Cluster, as appropriate;

19.Counsels the Government and advocates for compliance with international human rights standards in the drafting of legislation, including of the Constitution as relevant, and to this effect, collaborate with the Government, UN, and other stakeholders in the planning and implementation of rule of law and security sector reforms and provide strategic advice to improve compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law with a view to combat impunity;

20.Maintains close liaison with UN counterparts in the country, including neighbouring countries and regional presences, with regard to developments that could affect the observance of the human rights in the mission area;

21.Oversees the UN’s implementation of the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP) in Somalia, ensuring coherence in its application across UN entities and effective communication and coordination with UNSOS and AMISOM, and advises the SRSG on strategic issues related to HRDDP implementation as necessary.

22.Maintains close liaison with OHCHR for timely communication on the human rights situation, to support the UN human rights mechanisms and to maximize the impact of common and joint strategies between OHCHR and UNSOM; Ensures the provision of support to the Government, civil society and the UNCT on the UPR, as relevant, and on the implementation of its recommendations;

23.Ensures coordination, cooperation and support to Special Procedures mandates of the Human Rights Council, including the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Somalia;

24.Ensures gender considerations are included and reflected in all human rights activities and outputs and ensures compliance with the UN commitment to promote gender equality and mainstreaming in Mission activities, in cooperation with the UNSOM Gender Adviser.

Managerial responsibilities

26. Manages and provides substantive guidance to the Human Rights component and OHCHR technical cooperation programmes and the provision of substantive leadership through, inter alia, formulating a human rights and protection strategy, including requirements for delivering on the CAAC and CRSV agendas in Somalia, and the substantive work programme of the office, allocating resources, preparing and reporting on budget and programme performance, evaluating staff performance and ensuring appropriate staffing of the component; through the Head of Mission, maintains overall accountability for delivering on the Security Council mandates for CAAC and CRSV

27 Ensures that the Human Rights component collects, consolidates and analyses information on human rights developments received from staff/offices from across the mission area in line with established methodology, including through the utilisation of a human rights database, the establishment of quality control mechanisms and the timely and quality entry of data into the database;

28. Performs other duties as required by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Professionalism: Excellent knowledge of and exposure to a range of human rights issues, the international human rights legal framework, including mechanisms available for redress, and relevant UN human rights related mandates, policies and operational frameworks, including on conflict-related sexual violence, children and armed conflict, the protection of civilians, humanitarian action, DDR and security sector reform, legislative and rule of law reforms, and the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP); Ability to produce in-depth analysis of political, ethnic, racial, gender-based, social, economic and other human rights related problems to assess their impact and to provide concrete strategy recommendations to redress situations; Familiarity with the human rights considerations in conflict and post-conflict countries, knowledge of the Somalia context and the challenges it poses; Proven representational and managerial skills, and capacity to maintain effective partnerships with relevant stakeholders to further the mandate of the organization and to strategically advocate for the integration of human rights in various fora; Capacity to lead the continual improvement of human rights-related work processes and ability to obtain optimum performance of the human rights component; Sound knowledge for the organisation and conduct of human rights investigations; Knowledge and understanding of gender concepts and methodologies and on women/girl’s rights issues; Ability to work and act under pressure in a politically and stressful environment, with a minimum of comfort and in dangerous security conditions; Sound political judgement, impartiality, diplomacy and discretion; Shows pride in work and in achievements; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; Remains calm in stressful situations.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Managerial Competencies

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; Empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflict by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Drives for change and improvement: does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands; Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in human rights, international relations, political science, law, or other 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.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible professional experience at national and international levels in human rights, justice, humanitarian action, political or social affairs, of which at least ten in the field of human rights is required. Such experience must include the monitoring and investigating of human rights violations.

A minimum of seven years in management and leadership capacities is required, including the supervision of large teams, is required.

Professional experience in an international or non-governmental organization, donor and/or governmental representation advocating for the promotion of and respect for human rights in a conflict or post-conflict environment is required.

Experience in assigned geographic conflict or post-conflict locations is required.

A proven record of advisory experience to senior governmental representatives in the human rights area is required.

Experience overseeing the implementation of the HRDDP, including the establishment and oversight of coordination mechanisms, is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English (oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

  • This position is temporarily available until 30 November 2020. A Temporary Appointment/Assignment against this Temporary Job Opening will be for a duration through 30 November 2020 . If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
  • While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.
  • Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
  • This temporary job opening may be limited to ‘internal candidates,’ who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule
  • 16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule
  • 15.
  • Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
  • Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as ‘retirement.’ Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

United Nations Considerations

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.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on ‘Manuals’ hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee