Duties and Qualifications
Office : UNHCR Regional Bureau for the Americas
Title of project : Country of Origin Researcher
Purpose of project : Prepare COI reports on Haiti and Cuba that will include the situation of human rights in these countries and identify the main profiles that are at risk in these countries to support case processing modalities in the countries of asylum.
Location : Home-based
Duration of the assignment : 2 months
Condition : Full-time (40 hours per week)
General Background of Project or Assignment :
In 2019, the Americas and the Caribbean received more asylum applications than any other region. The deteriorating situation in Venezuela and increased violence and insecurity in parts of Central America, as well as in Colombia, has led to a significant rise in the number of new claims.
Currently, the Americas hosts an estimated 2 million asylum-seekers. Several countries in the region are receiving high volumes of Haitians and Cubans since 2019 in addition to the region s emergencies.
States need up-to-date information of the human rights situation and the profiles of risk in these three countries to be able to manage and adjudicate their claims efficiently.
Civil and political unrest and a deteriorating economic situation have contributed to the forced displacement of Haitians.
Last year, over 65,000 Haitians lodged asylum claims. Also, in 2019 over 55,000 Cubans made refugee claims due to a mix of civil and political unrests as well as socio-economic factors.
The pandemic has worsened the situation of asylum-seekers and refugees resulting in access to territory and asylum process restrictions.
To counterattack these measures, UNHCR is helping States incorporate remote modalities into their asylum systems. UNHCR has also provided support to States to simplify or accelerate refugee status determination procedures, including group-based recognitions such as in Brazil, where 46,000 refugees were recognized on a prima facie basis.
In order to do this, States need updated information on the grounds for seeking asylum.
In order to help States to respond efficiently to high volumes of refugees in their countries, UNHCR prepared a regional COI project that will provide capacity to States to identify recurring profiles in their refugee caseloads, respond to COI queries and identify COI effectively in the development of differentiated case processing modalities.
The gap was identified by States in the region in various regional forums, such as Quality Assurance Initiative meetings and Quito Process technical meetings.
An important element of this regional COI project is the development of profiles that will support governments who have high volumes of recurring refugee caseloads.
Currently, several countries in the region are receiving high volumes of refugee claims from Cuba and Haiti. By identifying and preparing risk profiles from these countries, governments will be better equipped to establish differentiated case processing modalities to manage these caseloads efficiently and recognize refugees as soon as possible so they can gain access to essential services in the country of asylum.
Overall purpose and Scope of Assignment :
Given its mandate, UNHCR has a vested interest in ensuring the highest possible standards in decision-making on claims for international protection.
The quality of decision-making depends, inter alia, on the availability of timely, relevant and reliable information about conditions in countries of origin.
In consultation with operations, the Americas bureau identified these information needs and seeks to provide high-quality country information by developing these country risk profiles.
To ensure that these identified information needs are met in a timely manner, UNHCR requires the services of an expert who is capable of compiling information and preparing risk profiles from Cuba and Haiti, based on a methodology and format provided by UNHCR, for the development of differentiated case processing modalities.
The researcher will identify and prepare reports on the main profiles at risk from Cuba and Haiti. These countries are selected because their nationals are lodging asylum claims in many countries in the Americas and because updated country of origin information from these countries is not available.
The profiles will equip National Refugee Commissions to understand the type of refugee claims coming from these selected countries and develop a strategic RSD approach to manage these refugee caseloads.
The reports will be prepared in Spanish.
The reports will be finalized by 31 December, 2020. The Americas Bureau will engage with the consultant throughout the two months to clarify questions.
The consultant will provide an update of the report mid-way through the consultancy and receive comments from UNHCR. The consultant will undertake final editing and proofreading to prepare the product for publication.
Qualification and Experience of the Individual Consultant (degree required, years of experience, field of expertise, language required) :
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed and might be requested to sit for a test. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.
No late applications will be accepted.
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce.
Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing or training.)