Representative Human Rights

  • Full Time
  • Senegal

United Nations


Department/Office: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Duty Station: DAKAR
Posting Period: 08 March 2023 – 21 April 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-Human Rights Affairs-OHCHR-203541-R-Dakar (G)
Staffing Exercise N/A

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

Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is heading the Regional Office for West Africa of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in Dakar, Senegal. The incumbent reports to the Chief of the Africa Branch, under the overall supervision of the Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD).

Within delegated authority, the Regional Representative is responsible for the following duries:

Follows human rights developments in the region, with a view to providing the High Commissioner with advice on human rights situations in countries of the region and alerts the High Commissioner through the Africa Branch to any early-warning signs of serious human rights crises in the region in order for him/her to take appropriate action within his/her mandate.

In line with human rights mainstreaming mechanisms established under the Development Coordination Office (DCO), develops strategic relationships with the UN Country Teams (UNCT) of the region as well as with the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), advising and lending support as required, especially within the framework of the human rights-based approach and human rights-based planning and programming, coordination mechanisms and inter-agency cooperation.

As a member of the UN Country Team, develops, widens and enhances OHCHRs network of partners and contacts in the region to provide human rights advice and support the Resident Coordinator and UN partner agencies, as required. Formulates the programme of work, budget and medium-term plan, and supervises the timely delivery of outputs specified in the work-plan of the Regional Office, and administrative matters, including the best use of human and financial resources in accordance with priorities and workload.

Advises on strategic interventions, including country visits by special procedures mandate holders in the region, as appropriate and generally follows up on the recommendations of treaty bodies and mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights for the countries of the region, in close cooperation with UNCTs, in countries that do not have an OHCHR field presence.

Manages the Regional Office of OHCHR, including supervision, development and training of international and national staff; sets performance objectives and undertakes regular review of performance.

Represents OHCHR on human rights matters in meetings at national, regional and international levels. Designs, develops and implements significant policies and programs to address regional human rights issues and to assist governments in identifying and specifying their needs for advisory services and technical cooperation, including through the preparation and conduct of assessment missions.

Promotes the ratification and implementation of international human rights mechanisms and support activities of these, including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) processes.

Engages with regional intergovernmental organizations, civil society, national human rights institutions and media for the promotion of the respect and protection of human rights.

Performs other related duties as required.

PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of the full range of human rights issues, in particular with regard to national protection systems, and human rights mainstreaming; Knowledge of institutional mandates and international standards pertaining to human rights; Knowledge of the region, including its human rights and political situation; Ability to exercise independent judgement and discretion in advising on and handling major issues and problems; Solid knowledge of mainstreaming human rights in development and humanitarian assistance; Very good knowledge of the programming and planning tools and frameworks, such as the Common Country Assessment/United Nations Development Assistance Framework and Consolidated Appeal Process/Common Humanitarian Action Plan. 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.

TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

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.

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 conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; 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.

JUDGMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.

Advanced University degree (Masters degree or equivalent) in law, human rights, political science, international relations or closely related relevant discipline. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advance university degree.

Work Experience
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in the human rights field at national and international levels is required.

Experience in developing, implementing and coordinating strategies related to human rights is required.

Experience working in the region of deployment is desirable.

Field experience in an OHCHR field presence or human rights component of a UN operation, or similar experience in the field of human rights, is desirable.

At least five years of experience in managing teams (minimum 10 staff) is desirable.

Experience in human rights mainstreaming in UN development and/or humanitarian strategic planning processes is desirable.

Experience in human rights technical cooperation is desirable.

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English and French is required.

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

Special Notice
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 October 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Malta, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu.

Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.

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.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

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

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