Saint Andrew’s Refugee Services, Cairo
Vacancy Announcement: Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Senior 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, assists refugees in accessing resettlement to safe third countries, and advises refugees on protection matters. Refugee Legal Aid Program is seeking a Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officer to assist and advise refugees in Refugee Status Determination and registration procedures.
Under the supervision of the Refugee Status Determination Coordinator the Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officer is responsible for the provision of legal advice and representation to refugees undergoing registration and Refugee Status Determination processing. In consultation with the Refugee Status Determination Coordinator the Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officer shall be responsible for providing technical and administrative support to implement activities supporting the strategic goals of the Refugee Status Determination Program. The Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officer will be part of a group of six Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officers managing the day-to-day activities of Refugee Status Determination services provided to clients.
All duties are carried out under the supervision of the Refugee Legal Aid Program Director and the Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officer is responsible for the provision of legal advice and representation adult urban refugees in the areas of registration, and Refugee Status Determination. This includes but is not limited to: conducting and reviewing intake interviews to assess refugee claims of clients, drafting and reviewing legal submissions made on behalf of clients in the Refugee Status Determination process, and providing administrative support to manage an area of service provided by the Refugee Status Determination Program. The Refugee Status Determination Senior 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 Senior Legal Officer is a member of a team of approximately 15 legal staff and reports to the 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 manage and oversee Refugee Legal Aid Program’s caseload in Refugee Status Determination matters, ensuring timely provision of assistance and follow-up on client cases as necessary.
- 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 engage with refugee community-based organizations in providing trainings and follow-up support, as well as participating in open-floor meetings and information sessions.
- To adhere to the Nairobi Code of Ethics, the StARS Policies and Procedures Manual, and the StARS Code of Conduct.
- To assist the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator in development and implementation of team systems, policies, and procedures.
- To assist other members of Refugee Legal Aid Program and StARS programs regarding issues related to the urban refugee population.
- To attend and contribute to Refugee Legal Aid Program meetings and other staff meetings.
- 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.
- To communicate with refugee communities, other service providers, and UNHCR to facilitate the provision of accurate information and advice leading to the fulfillment of refugee rights.
- To assist the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator and other Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officers in conducting intensive one to two week training for new volunteer legal advisors four or five times per year.
- To assist the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator in the development of supervision procedures and mechanisms.
- To supervisor volunteer legal advisors and legal officers in Refugee Status Determination legal work, including providing guidance on managing workload, reviewing written drafts, and monitoring recordkeeping.
- 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.
- To undergo probation and regular performance appraisals.
- To communicate regularly with the Refugee Legal Aid Program Director and the Refugee Status Determination Coordinator, reporting on all major issues and developments in the field and within Refugee Legal Aid Program.
- To become familiar with Refugee Legal Aid Program’s database program and accurately record and follow up on all relevant case management.
- To provide case reporting data to the Refugee Legal Aid Program Director as requested in order to accurately report work to senior management, funders, and others.
- To submit activity reports as requested.
- To promote information-sharing within Refugee Legal Aid Program 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 with particular emphasis on vulnerable populations.
- 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.
- 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 registration and Refugee Status Determination guidelines and procedures.
- 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.
- Fluency in Arabic or a refugee language is an advantage but not a requirement.
- 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.
- Fluency in Arabic or a refugee language is an advantage.
Working Hours: The Refugee Status Determination Senior 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 Status Determination Coordinator
Salary: 9,200 EGP/month, rising to 9,700 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: 25 September 2022
Anticipated Starting date: 30 October 2022
How to apply
To apply: Please send your CV, Cover Letter and brief legal writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org Using the subject line “Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officer”. All applications should provide contact information of two professional/academic references (referees will only be contacted after interviews).
***Note:***Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for an interview.