Human Rights Project Officer

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Erbil, IRAQ
Application Deadline :12-Mar-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :UNV
Post Level :UNV
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :One Year
Expected Duration of Assignment :Immediate


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers. In most cultures volunteerism is deeply embedded in long-established, ancient traditions of sharing and support within the communities. In this context, UN Volunteers take part in various forms of volunteerism and play a role in development and peace together with co-workers, host agencies and local communities. In all assignments, UN Volunteers promote volunteerism through their action and conduct. Engaging in volunteer activity can effectively and positively enrich their understanding of local and social realities, as well as create a bridge between themselves and the people in their host community. This will make the time they spend as UN Volunteers even more rewarding and productive.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the project manager, and with the overall guidance of the “Youth Opportunities” Programme Manager in Erbil, the UN Youth Volunteer will undertake the following tasks:

  • Work to help address the needs of the Independent Board of Human Rights in areas related to the promotion of human rights in Iraq;
  • Support the team and work closely with government officials to understand and assess their capacity-building needs and appropriate programme;
  • Work closely with national and international civil society organizations/NGOs and report on their activities and provide data to update the Human Rights Information;
  • Support to provide Research on Human Rights Violations;
  • Perform logistics duties in connection with the organization of meetings, events, workshops and conferences;
  • Contribute to the preparation of the weekly, monthly and final reports of the project;
  • Attend meetings, take minutes and translate as and when requested;
  • Participate in the preparation and facilitation of workshops/training activities organized by the office and prepare reports on activities;
  • Prepare technical specifications, terms of reference for contractors and consultants, and recruitment requests;
  • Develop and implement, in coordination with the host agency and the UNV programme at least one community-based project, involving community members;
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Furthermore, the UN Youth Volunteer is encouraged to:

  • Strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and taking active part in UNV events;
  • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the country;
  • Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities;
  • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service.


  • Integrity and professionalism: demonstrated expertise in area of specialty and ability to apply good judgment; high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; willingness to accept wide responsibilities and the ability to work independently under established procedures in a politically sensitive environment, while exercising discretion, impartiality and neutrality; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially, responsive and client-oriented;
  • Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast with new developments in areas of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment;
  • Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities;
  • Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi- cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender;
  • Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills including the ability to prepare concise and clear reports; ability to conduct presentations, and to articulate positions and options concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), volunteers, counterparts, local interlocutors; refugees and asylum seekers coming from various diverse backgrounds; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups;
  • Flexibility, adaptability and ability as well as willingness to operate independently in potentially hazardous environments and including possible extensive travel within the area of operations; willingness to transfer to other duty stations within the area of operation as and when necessary;
  • Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; as well as commitment towards the UN core values.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic degree in law, political science, international relations, social sciences or any other discipline related to development and/or human rights; advanced university degree preferred;

  • Knowledge of or some experience in development, human rights, logistics management and workshop facilitation;
  • Ability to engage and form effective working relationships with counterparts and beneficiaries;
  • Good writing and analytical skills;
  • Previous experience in voluntary service;
  • Experience in working with volunteers or civil society organizations an asset, as well as experience of another culture (i.e. studies, volunteer work, internship);
  • Experienced user of MS Office applications;
  • Fluency in spoken and written Kurdish and English is required, and knowledge of Arabic is an asset;
  • Good interpersonal, networking and communication skills;
  • Willingness to contribute and work as part of a team;
  • Flexible and open to learning and new experiences;
  • Respect for diversity and adaptability to other cultures, environments and living conditions;
  • Motivated to contribute towards peace and development and to serve others;
  • Have affinity with or interest in humanitarian relief, post-conflict situations, volunteerism as a mechanism for durable development, and the UN system.


  • UN Youth Volunteers must be between 22 and 29 years for the whole duration of their assignment;
  • When preparing your CV, cover letter and eligibility questionnaire, please make sure to follow the instructions indicated in the “How to Apply” Guide;
  • This position will be subject to approval by the Erbil Governor/Deputy Governor (counterpart/head of steering committee) and Minister of Planning (funder of the project);
  • United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme which welcomes applications from qualified professionals and is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender and culture;
  • Only candidates who are short-listed will be contacted for the language test;
  • Conditions of service: A 12-month contract. Monthly volunteer living allowance (VLA) intended to cover housing, basic needs and utilities, equivalent to US$ 784 per month (VLA rates are periodically reviewed). Life, health, and permanent disability insurance; resettlement allowance for satisfactory service. In addition to specialized trainings for all the UN Youth Volunteers in this programme, the incumbent will have access to US$ 1,500 per year to undertake additional trainings.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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