Job Opening

Posting Title: Senior Human Rights Officer [Filled from Roster]
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 23 September 2016 - 07 October 2016
Job Opening Number: 16-Human Rights Affairs-OHCHR-67394-R-Geneva (G)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

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.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move(s) requirements, or geographical to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical move(s) in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Front Office of the Executive Office of the High Commissioner (FO), Executive Direction and Management (EDM) of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva. The incumbent reports to the High Commissioner and the Deputy High Commissioner.


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

• Ensuring the smooth and effective operation of the Office of the High Commissioner, including the organization, coordination and supervision of activities and tasks requiring the attention of the HC and DHC, the communication of instructions and decisions of the HC and DHC to those concerned at all levels;

• Ensuring the substantive management of the incoming and outgoing correspondence of the HC and DHC; delegating, allocating to other staff in OHCHR the task of responding to or advising for follow-up and ensuring the quality and timeliness of all required follow-up;

• Ensuring that the HC and DHC are kept abreast of all major issues and developments particularly while they are traveling;

• Assigning and supervise responsibilities within the FO so that all activities are directed to the completion of the workplan, supervise the workflow of the office to ensure that all required inputs are received and outputs produced in a timely fashion; reviewing outputs to ensure that they are of the highest quality;

• Coordinating and integrating the work of the FO with the rest of OHCHR, ensuring proper and effective engagement with all Divisions;

• Setting performance objectives for staff of the FO , undertaking regular reviews of performance, recognizing good performance and taking appropriate actions to address inadequate performance;

• Interviewing and evaluating candidates for vacancies within the FO;

• Fostering teamwork and communications among staff of the FO Office; and training, coaching and mentoring staff of the FO.

The incumbent will advise the HC and DHC on complex and sensitive policy issues by :

• Reviewing and analyzing policy directives and plan of action for immediate and long range solutions to human rights problems in general and in specific geographical areas, providing authoritative advice on these issues to the HC and DHC;

• Acting as the focal point for the FO’s active liaison with all Directors and Chiefs of Branches to ensure coordinated Office-wide action on complex policy and operational matters, identifying and addressing possible problems, overlaps or disconnects;

• Keeping an active overview of the work of all the Divisions to ensure effective and coordinated support to the HC and DHC; •coordinating the development of policies, procedures, and strategies relating to complex issues for the OHCHR;

• Liaising with external partners and governments to exchange information, co-ordinate and seek support for the activities of the office.

The incumbent will assist the HC and DHC in the overall direction of OHCHR, and implementation of her/his objectives and programme of work by :

• supporting the HC and DHC in ensuring that OHCHR functions as a cohesive whole, both internally and in its relations with outside entities;

• providing substantive support to the HC and DHC in the formulation of strategies for OHCHR, from which the medium and longer-term objectives of OHCHR organizational units and operational activities should be derived;

• Performs other related duties as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge and exposure to issues related to human rights, including human rights law, and international affairs. 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.

COMMUNICATION : Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

PLANNING AND 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 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.

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 that 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 degree) in human rights, business administration, law, political science, international relations or other related fields. 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 ten years of progressively responsible experience in human rights, political affairs, international relations, law or related field is required. Experience in the field of law, government, diplomatic, international civil service or related field is required. Experience in human rights issues, inter-agency work, external outreach, and planning and organizing is required. A minimum of five years management experience is required. Field experience is desirable.


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


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

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, 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 or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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.

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 the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and 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, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 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


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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