The Refugee Legal Aid Program (RLAP) 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. RLAP is seeking a Resettlement Senior Legal Officer to assist vulnerable refugees in their resettlement processes.
Under the supervision of the RLAP Director and the Resettlement Coordinator, the Resettlement Senior Legal Officer is responsible for the provision of legal advice and representation to urban refugees in matters related to resettlement. This includes: assessment of initial requests for assistance with resettlement; the screening of refugee cases to identify those of heightened vulnerability fitting UNHCR’s criteria, specific need, or strategic importance; preparation of detailed written statements addressing accounts of persecution in countries of origin; drafting legal briefs in support of claims for resettlement; and communicating with UNHCR, IOM, USCIS, and others concerning client cases and additional support. The Resettlement Senior Legal Officer is also expected to contribute to advocacy efforts regarding the urban refugee population and to supervise and train volunteer staff. The Resettlement Senior Legal Officer is a member of a team of approximately 20 legal staff and reports to the RLAP Resettlement Coordinator.
All duties are carried out under the supervision of the RLAP Resettlement Coordinator.
Legal and Technical
- To develop and supervise the screening and intake of potential clients for representation in resettlement matters.
- To maintain good working knowledge of UNHCR policies and procedures in resettlement matters.
- To oversee the review and preparation of resettlement referrals to both the African/Iraqi and Syrian Resettlement Units at UNHCR.
- To identify cases appropriate for expedited consideration by UNHCR and to draft such requests.
- To manage regular referrals of resettlement cases to UNHCR’s African/Iraqi and Syrian Resettlement Units and to manage follow-up communication and inquiries regarding resettlement cases.
- To provide general legal counseling and assistance to refugees regarding their applications for registration, protection, and resettlement before UNHCR.
- 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 StARS’ clients.
- To assess extra-legal client needs and refer to other StARS teams or external organizations as appropriate.
- 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 prepare and facilitate Know Your Rights trainings for refugee communities.
- To adhere to the Nairobi Code of Ethics, the StARS Staff Handbook Manual, and the StARS Code of Conduct.
- To assist the RLAP Resettlement Coordinator in development and implementation of team policies and procedures.
- To assist other members of RLAP and StARS programs regarding issues related to the urban refugee population.
- To provide case reporting data to the RLAP Director as requested in order to accurately report work to senior management, funders, and others.
- To attend and contribute to RLAP meetings and other staff meetings.
- To build and maintain strong relationships with refugee communities in Cairo.
- To build and maintain relationships with StARS psychosocial and education staff and operational partners.
- To communicate with refugee communities, other service providers, and UNHCR to facilitate the communication of accurate information leading to the fulfillment of refugee rights.
- To assist the RLAP Resettlement Coordinator in the recruitment of volunteer legal advisors and other staff.
- To assist the RLAP Resettlement Coordinator in conducting intensive one-week training for new volunteers two to three times per year.
- To supervise volunteer legal advisors in resettlement legal work, including providing written and oral feedback on written submissions and other work.
- To assist the RLAP Resettlement 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.
- To monitor and maintain strong financial records and procedures as per StARS financial rules and ensure proper financial documentation of all activities.
- To undergo probation and regular performance appraisals.
- To communicate regularly with the RLAP Director and the Resettlement Coordinator, reporting on all major issues and developments in the field and within RLAP.
- To submit activity reports as requested.
- To promote information sharing within RLAP and StARS on all issues affecting the populations we serve.
- Other duties as assigned.
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.
- English being the official language of UNHCR Cairo and StARS, the RLAP Resettlement Senior 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 RSD processes OR two years 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.
- 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.
Hours: 40-hour work week (Sunday – Thursday), and other hours and overtime as required.
Supervised by: RLAP Resettlement Coordinator
Salary: 6,300 EGP per month, rising to 6,800 EGP per month at the completion of the probationary period with (plus 175 EGP/month medical allowance and 50 EGP/month pension contribution upon completion of probationary period).
Benefits: StARS official benefit policies as stipulated in StARS Staff Handbook Guidelines
Interested applicants should send a cover letter, CV, and brief writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “Resettlement Senior Legal Officer” in the subject line.