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Principal Human Rights Officer MINUSMA, D-1
DATE OF ISSUANCE:   15 Jun 2013
ORGANIZATIONAL UNIT:   Department of Field Support

Depending on professional background, experience and family situation, a competitive compensation and benefits package is offered.
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United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Under the overall authority of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and with the substantive support and general policy guidance of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Principal Human Rights Officer will be the Chief of the Human Rights component and be responsible for the following main functions: ADVISORY AND REPRESENTATIVE ROLES - Act as the Principal Adviser to the Head of MINUSMA and report on issues related to human rights and activities related to the work of the Human Rights component; Participate in MINUSMA's internal policy and decision making processes and advise on policy, strategic and operational decisions that may have human rights implications; Participate in Senior Management Team meetings, provide its participants with information on the activities of the human rights component and recommend measures necessary or desirable for other sections of the UN Office to better protect and promote human rights in the mission area, including advising the Force Commander on the potential human rights implications of the planning and execution of military operations; Advise Malian authorities on a range of human rights issues, in line with agreed priorities, that would strengthen the rule of law, improve respect for human rights and facilitate national reconciliation; Act as the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mali, and report to the High Commissioner (HC) in Geneva in his/her capacity as Representative of the High Commissioner; Represent the Human Rights component and OHCHR at interagency meetings at country level and advise United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), as appropriate, to ensure human rights and a human rights-based approach are fully integrated into political, humanitarian and development efforts, including with respect to the United Nations Development Assistance, Integrated Strategic Frameworks (UNDAF, ISF) and other inter-agency processes; Represent the MINUSMA and OHCHR on human rights matters during contacts with national and international organisations working in the field of human rights, diplomatic missions, donors, and other international actors; Contribute to UN Strategic Assessments and participate in UN planning processes determining engagement of the UN in the country and advising accordingly OHCHR and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) as per the human rights situation; Advise the mission in the development of a comprehensive strategy for the protection of civilians and closely cooperate with the Force Commander and other mission components to anticipate, plan and prepare mission-wide plans for possible crises, escalation of violence and upsurges of human rights violations; Advise the mission on the implementation of the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy on support provided by the UN to non-UN forces (HRDDP) and ensure that risk assessments are undertaken, advice is given to senior management on support, follow-up and monitoring, and that appropriate information is provided to headquarters' review group on the implementation of the Policy; SUBSTANTIVE COORDINATION - Ensure regular and timely public reporting in consultation with the Head of MINUSMA and the High Commissioner for Human Rights and her Office; Ensure quality standards with regards to human rights monitoring, investigation, verification and reporting are met as well as compliance with established monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements as relevant; Ensure the monitoring and analysis of the human rights situation, including with respect to conflict-related sexual violence and children in armed conflict, and that quality standards are met with regards to the collected data; Maintain liaison with authorities and provide them with regular updates on human rights issues; Ensure the provision of technical assistance to the Malian Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission and further advise on transitional justice mechanisms that end impunity and bring to justice those perpetrators of violations of human rights and humanitarian law; Assist the transitional authorities in the implementation of the transitional road map in compliance with human rights standards; Assist in reinforcing civil society capacity for the protection of human rights defenders, victims and witnesses, in close coordination with other components of the UN mission, United Nations agencies and relevant regional organizations to which the country is a member, with a view to raise awareness of and the ability to address human rights and humanitarian law violations; Establish coordination mechanisms for the implementation of the missions' protection of civilians strategy and response; Collaborate with the Government, UN, and other stakeholders in the planning and implementation of justice and security sector reforms and provide strategic advice to improve the compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law with a view to combat impunity and consolidate peace; Ensure adequate human rights and humanitarian law training, including its operational applicability, is provided to Malian security forces, in coordination with the Malian Defence and other international actors on the ground; Maintain close liaison with UN counterparts in neighbouring countries with regard to developments that can affect the observance of human rights in the mission area; Ensure contribution to the commitment of the United Nations to integrating gender and minority perspectives and specific women, girl's and minority rights considerations in all UN activities; Oversee the provision of technical assistance for development and implementation of the human rights due diligence policy on UN support to non-UN forces and provide advice to Malian authorities on the vetting tools of military actors; Ensure substantive support to the UN human rights mechanisms, including Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies, and assist the Government with implementation of recommendations emanating from these mechanisms; Maintain close liaison with OHCHR-HQ, including with geographical desk officers, and ensure timely communications on the human rights situation; Ensure strategic and programmatic discussions with international actors on the ground, including regional organizations, to ensure a collaborative approach and the adoption of work methodologies that permit the best use of resources and priorities for the protection and promotion of human rights. MANAGERIAL RESPONSIBILITIES - Responsible for the overall management of the Human Rights component and the provision of substantive leadership, through, inter-alia, formulating the substantive work program of the office, allocating resources, preparation and reporting on budget/programme performance; evaluating staff performance and ensuring correct staffing of the component; Provide advice on the strategic and operational engagement of OHCHR in Mali and identifies programmatic priorities; Ensure the Human Rights component collects, consolidates and analyses information received from staff/offices from across the mission area, including through coordinating the effective set-up and functioning of a human rights case database, the set-up of quality control mechanisms and the timely and quality entry of data in that system; Responsible for the management and implementation of OHCHR funded projects in Mali; Perform any other duties as required by the Head of MINUSMA and the HC.

PROFESSIONALISM - Excellent knowledge of and exposure to a range of human rights and justice issues, gender issues, the rules governing their protection and the mechanisms available in case of their violation; Knowledge of transitional justice and of national reconciliation processes; Proven negotiating and managerial skills; strong ability to take initiative and to demonstrate autonomy, excellent leadership skills and ability to motivate a multicultural and mixed men/women team; Ability to work and act under pressure in a politically and psychologically difficult environment, with a minimum of comfort and in hardship security conditions; Sound political judgment, impartiality, diplomacy and discretion; Ability to relate human rights issues and perspectives, including gender issues, to political, social, economic and humanitarian programmes in affected countries and areas; Good understanding of the context of the Sahel and of the particular human rights situation in Mali; Excellent interpersonal skills; Ability to plan and organize the work of large Units or Offices and to develop sound and effective monitoring strategies for remote field locations; Ability to translate a human rights mandate into strategic operational goals. 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. 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. MANAGERIAL COMPTENCIES: MANAGING PERFORMANCE - Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly. 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.


An advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in law, political science, social sciences or international relations, preferably with specialization in human rights. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience and professional training may be considered in lieu of the advanced degree.

Work Experience
A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience at national and international levels in the fields of human rights, justice and rule of law, and humanitarian affairs, including in the cause and resolution of human rights conflicts in accordance with international standards is required. Such experience must include at least three years serving in a managerial capacity and supervising large teams. A proven record of advisory experience to senior governmental representatives in the human rights area is required. Previous experience in human rights monitoring, investigation of human rights violations, as well as in the building of national institutional capacities to promote and protect human rights and the rule of law, is required. Experience in transitional justice process is required. Experience working in a United Nations common system field operation (inclusive of peacekeeping, political missions and UN agencies, funds, and programmes) -- or similar international organization or non-governmental organization -- in a conflict or post-conflict setting is required. Experience in a UN peace mission and/or UN human rights field operation is desirable. Previous experience in the Sahel is desirable. Previous experience in setting up a field operation is desirable.

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in oral and written English, with a good working knowledge of French, is required; fluency in French is desirable. Knowledge of a local language would be an advantage.

Other Skills

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8).   English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.  The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.



How to apply

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement. Because applications submitted by United Nations (UN) staff members are considered first, provided the eligibility requirements set out in ST/AI/2006/3 are met and the application is submitted in a timely fashion, staff members should apply within 15-day or 30-day mark.

Online applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please go to “My UN” page and check the status of your application by clicking on “View Application History”, and resubmit the application, if necessary.
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  4. UN staff members must submit scanned copies of their two latest Performance Appraisal System (PAS) reports at the time of application to the appropriate Human Resources Office (HRO)/Personnel Office (PO) to the email address below, clearly indicating the vacancy announcement number. In case you have no access to the digitizing equipment, please submit hard copies of the two latest PAS reports to the relevant HRO/PO via fax.


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