Egypt

Refugee Status Determination Legal Officer

Organization
Posted
Closing date

Saint Andrew’s Refugee Services, Cairo

Vacancy Announcement: Refugee Status Determination Legal Officer

Founded in 1979, StARS is a refugee service provider in central Cairo that works to enhance the quality of life for refugees and vulnerable migrants through five broad program areas: education, psychosocial, legal, community outreach and unaccompanied youth and children support services. We provide high-quality services meeting the unaddressed needs of refugees, and we provide a safe and inclusive space for displaced people to come together as a community. We work for refugees, with refugees, to make rights recognition a reality.

StARS’ Mission: Driven by a commitment to justice and fairness, StARS works as displaced people and for displaced people to respect human dignity and enhance quality of life.

StARS’ Vision: Displaced people lead in the creation and implementation of responses to different forms of migration to establish safe, just, welcoming, and inclusive communities globally.

We serve people from many places, including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

To learn more please visit our website: www.stars-egypt.org or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/standrewsrefugeeservices?fref=ts

Project Description: Refugee Legal Aid Program

The Refugee Legal Aid Program provides advice and representation to refugees seeking recognition by UNHCR through refugee status determination procedures in Egypt and assists refugees in accessing resettlement to safe third countries. Refugee Legal Aid Program is seeking a Refugee Status Determination Legal Officer to assist vulnerable refugees in their Refugee Status Determination process.

Role

Under the supervision of the Refugee Status Determination Coordinator, the Refugee Status Determination Legal Officer is responsible for the provision of legal advice and representation to urban refugees in matters related to Refugee Status Determination procedures. This includes: assessment of initial requests for assistance; the screening of refugee cases to identify those of heightened vulnerability, specific need, or strategic importance; preparation of detailed written statements addressing accounts of persecution in countries of origin; and drafting legal briefs in support of refugee claims in appeal and reopening procedures. The Refugee Status Determination Legal Officer is also expected to contribute to advocacy efforts regarding the urban refugee population and to supervise and train volunteer staff. The Refugee Status Determination Legal Officer is a member of a team of approximately 25 legal staff and reports to the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator.

Responsibilities

All duties are carried out under the supervision of the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator.

Legal and Technical

  • To develop and supervise the screening and intake of potential clients for representation in Refugee Status Determination matters.
  • To provide general legal counseling and assistance to refugees regarding their applications for registration, protection, and Refugee Status Determination before UNHCR.
  • To prepare clients for registration and Refugee Status Determination interviews and represent clients in such interviews as needed.
  • To draft legal briefs and prepare witness declarations and other evidence in support of Refugee Status Determination appeals and reopening requests.
  • To serve periodically as an on-call legal advisor, assisting clients by providing legal advice and assistance on a walk-in basis.
  • To prepare and facilitate Refugee Status Determination preparation workshops and Know Your Rights trainings for refugee communities.
  • To undertake country of origin research in support of individual claims and for general organizational research purposes and to maintain good working knowledge of the current political and social situations in the countries of origin of Refugee Legal Aid Program’s clients.
  • To assess extra-legal client needs and refer to other StARS teams or external organizations as appropriate.
  • To maintain good working knowledge of UNHCR’s Refugee Status Determination policies and procedures.
  • To undertake comprehensive case management practices including maintaining and updating electronic databases and records for each client, and keeping detailed notes of all casework activities.
  • To adhere to the Nairobi Code of Ethics, the StARS Policies and Procedures Manual, and the StARS Code of Conduct.

Programmatic

  • To assist the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator in development and implementation of team policies and procedures.
  • To assist the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator in conducting data and trends analysis of clients approaching Refugee Legal Aid Program for Refugee Status Determination related services.
  • To assist the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator in conducting data and trends analysis of UNHCR’s Policies and Practices.
  • To assist the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator in establishing written manuals and procedures for the different services provided by the Refugee Status Determination team.
  • To build and maintain strong relationships with refugee communities in Cairo.
  • To build and maintain relationships with psychosocial and education staff and operational partners.

Supervisory

  • To assist the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator and Refugee Status Determination Legal Officers in conducting intensive one to two week training for new volunteers two to three times per year.
  • To assist the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator in the development of supervision procedures and mechanisms.
  • To assist the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator in the management of volunteer caseloads, and the provision of case specific advice.
  • To engage proactively in promoting self-care among volunteers and other staff.
  • To ensure high quality legal advice and representation and a refugee rights-based approach.

Finance/Administration

· To undergo probation and regular performance appraisals.

Communication/Reporting

· To communicate regularly with the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator, reporting on all major issues and developments in the field and within Refugee Legal Aid Program.

· To promote information-sharing within Refugee Legal Aid Program and StARS on all issues affecting the populations we serve.

Qualifications & Experience

The ideal candidate will be energetic, articulate, and comfortable interacting with diverse segments of society. She or he will have demonstrated a firm commitment to human rights and refugee issues.

Essential qualifications:

· English being the official language of UNHCR Cairo and StARS, the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Legal Officer must be fluent in oral and written English.

· Fluency in Arabic or a refugee language is an advantage.

· Master’s degree in a related field (international development, international law, development studies, Middle East Studies) OR a qualified lawyer in any jurisdiction (J.D., LLB or equivalent) OR a minimum of one year of experience in representing refugees in the resettlement or Refugee Status Determination processes OR two years of experience providing direct representation to indigent people in any setting.

· Excellent legal research and drafting skills.

· Knowledge of UNHCR guidelines and procedures, especially resettlement criteria.

· Knowledge of the general protection situation and vulnerabilities of refugees in Egypt.

· A demonstrated commitment to and sensitivity toward vulnerable or displaced people.

· Ability to live and work in a fluid security environment.

· Proven experience drafting client affidavits and legal arguments.

· Ability to exercise sound legal judgment, well organized, self-motivated, and reliable.

· Demonstrated compassion for refugees and displaced people.

· Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

· Demonstrated ability to work in a team as well as individually.

· A positive attitude and sensitive manner when dealing with clients including a range of interviewing skills for dealing with challenging scenarios, particularly in advocating for survivors of violence, trafficking, torture, and SGBV.

Desirable Characteristics:

· Experience designing and conducting trainings for non-technical audiences.

· Managerial experience or familiarity with volunteer oversight.

· Life and work experience in the Middle East or Egypt or with an urban refugee population.

Working Hours: The Refugee Status Determination Legal Officer is expected to be at work for 40 hours per week, between the hours of 9am and 5pm, from Sunday to Thursday. Longer hours, evening and weekend work are sometimes necessary. Work will be conducted both in StARS premises and also in refugee communities and centers.

Supervised by: Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officers and the Refugee Status Determination Coordinator

Salary: 4,650 EGP/month, rising to 5,150 EGP/month following successful completion three-month probationary period. Plus 4,020 EGP/year Health Coverage and 100 EGP/month Saving Scheme Contribution upon completion of probationary period.

Additional official benefits as stipulated in StARS Staff Handbook Guidelines.

This position is subject to a three-month probationary period, at which time the employee’s performance will be reviewed and probation may be extended.

Closing date for applications: 2 December 2021

Anticipated Starting date: 16 January 2021

To apply: Interested applicants should send a cover letter, CV, and brief legal writing sample to applications@stars-egypt.org Please write “Refugee Status Determination Legal Officer” in the subject line. All applications should provide contact information of two professional/academic references (referees will only be contacted after interview and upon notification to the candidate).

Note: Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for an interview.

How to apply

To apply: Interested applicants should send a cover letter, CV, and brief legal writing sample to applications@stars-egypt.org Please write “Refugee Status Determination Legal Officer” in the subject line. All applications should provide contact information of two professional/academic references (referees will only be contacted after interview and upon notification to the candidate).

Note: Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for an interview.