Chief of Service, Human Rights

Job Opening

Posting Title: Chief of Service, Human Rights
Duty Station: MOGADISCIO
Posting Period: 20 April 2016 – 18 June 2016
Job Opening Number: 59002
Staffing Exercise SE3(POLNET 2016 Semi-Annual 1)
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

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Special Notice

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

Org. 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. Learn more about the mission’s mandate at


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 judgment, 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.
Integrity: Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviours; acts without consideration of personal gain; resists undue political pressure in decision-making; does not abuse power or authority; stands by decisions that are in the Organization’s interest, even if they are unpopular; takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour.

Integrity: Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviours; acts without consideration of personal gain; resists undue political pressure in decision-making; does not abuse power or authority; stands by decisions that are in the Organization’s interest, even if they are unpopular; takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour.

Respect for Diversity: Works effectively with people from all backgrounds; treats all people with dignity and respect; treats men and women equally; shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in daily work and decision-making; examines own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses; does not discriminate against any individual or group.

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 the field of human rights, 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. Human rights 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 is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language is desirable.


Previously rostered candidates who are already placed on pre-approved rosters, following a review by a United Nations Central Review Body, will not be subject to any further assessment and, accordingly, will not be invited for such an assessment. Core values and competencies will be assessed throughout the evaluation process.

United Nations Considerations

Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8). 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 At-a-Glance on “The Application Process” and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of inspira account-holder homepage.

Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application. In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills. Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening. Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted. Applications cannot be amended following submission. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee



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