Job Opening

Posting Title: International consultant – Waste trafficking
Department/Office: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 06 June 2023 - 08 July 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-210865-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Result of Service

The international consultant will be responsible for drafting the UNODC strategy, provide expertise and technical support, and helping develop and facilitate an expert group meeting to feed into the strategy development

Work Location

Home-based with travel to Vienna, Austria

Expected duration

August-November 2023

Duties and Responsibilities

Waste and plastics are globally recognized as a major source of pollution, and the illegal trade in waste (or waste trafficking) is a type of crime that affects the environment. Once it reaches destination countries, illegal waste often ends up in illegal landfills or illegal storage sites, or is burnt in the open, causing harm to both the environment and human health, while undermining the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and stunting the transition towards a circular economy.

With an estimated value of 12.5-18.8 billion USD per year, organized crime groups have much to gain from this low-risk high-reward illegal trade. The boundaries between the licit and illicit activities related to waste can be thin, and the activities, actors and modus operandi involved often overlap and fuel each other.

Illegal waste flows are often hidden behind controlled or legal transboundary movements; the large-scale transport of illicit hazardous waste is often enabled by intermingling illicit and legitimate materials. Illicit waste may be packed in cylinders or containers with false labels and smuggled with false declarations. Furthermore, hazardous waste is often custom-code classified as second-hand products, allowing the materials to avoid customs regulations and relevant international conventions.

Recognizing the risks inherent in global waste trafficking, UNODC has been implementing a regional project in Southeast Asia to better map the flows of waste, identify the modus operandi of waste trafficking networks, and strengthen national, regional and inter-regional cooperation to tackle these crimes. Further, UNODC has developed a legislative guide to support States in drafting or strengthening national legislation to prevent and curb this illicit activity. UNODC also has global programmes that target waste trafficking in the containerized supply chain and support law enforcement and criminal justice personnel both on land and at sea to develop capacity to address these crimes.

Given the many actors involved in the global waste sector, including other UN entities, government agencies, civil society and the private sector, and the increasing number of international agreements such as the legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, UNODC is taking steps towards developing its own global strategy on addressing waste trafficking, that will support the alignment and optimal coordination between its various in-house programmes as well as with external actors operating in this space.

This strategy will be the foundation to help situate UNODC as a key delivery partner in deterring waste trafficking and will support the development of future targeted programming and prioritization of support to be made available to Member States. UNODC is seeking an expert consultant to help draft this strategy.

Under the supervision of Unwaste project coordinator, and in coordination with other UNODC staff and personnel working on waste trafficking, the consultant will:

a) Develop a framework of the key elements of a global strategy against waste trafficking for UNODC, including:

- Identifying the situation, including current global and regional initiatives related to waste trafficking, as well as a mapping of organizations and other actors in this space
- Mapping of existing and emerging threats in this area;
- Identification of cross-cutting issues with other crimes that affect the environment and other forms of transnational organized crime;
- UNODC’s comparative advantage and contributions;
- Areas for prioritization (topical and geographic), innovative and impactful actions to be taken;
- Opportunities for fundraising opportunities or partnerships;
- Ways in which waste crime data can be improved (i.e., improve member state engagement with ICCS).
- Key strategic elements such as PESTLE, SWOT analysis and recommendations

b) Draft the key elements of the strategy identified in the framework

c) Propose an agenda and invitees to an expert group meeting to help inform the strategy

d) Co-facilitate the expert group meeting

e) Integrate comments and feedback from the expert group meeting into the draft strategy

f) Produce a final draft strategy for UNODC’s consideration.

Qualifications/special skills

An advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in the fields of law, criminology, public administration, political science, international relations, or related fields of criminal justice, crime prevention and/or law enforcement, or environmental science, is required. A first level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of 10 years of relevant progressively responsible professional experience in the field of environmental science, environmental crime, or international trade is required.
Experience in the area of waste trade and/or illegal trade flows is desirable.
Prior experience working with the UN or similar international organizations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language, is an advantage.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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