Kenya: Assistant Protection Officer (Statelessness)

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Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 17 Jul 2018

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR*)*

Internal / External Vacancy Announcement

Vacancy Notice No.: IVN/EVN/KEN/NBI/18/011

Title of Post

Assistant Protection Officer (Statelessness)

Operational Context (role of the position within the team, describing its leadership role, it’s external/internal work relationships or contacts, the contextual environment in which it operates and the scope of supervision received, and where applicable, exercise by the incumbent)

Kenya has an estimated 18,500 stateless persons, descendants of migrants who generally arrived in Kenya during the colonial era. Upon independence they did not acquire Kenyan citizenship, and were not recognized as nationals of the countries of their forefathers, leaving them stateless. Many others may be at risk of statelessness through biased application of legal identity documentation procedures such as vetting conducted among certain ethnic groups during the birth registration procedure.

Kenya’s legislation protects persons with an undetermined nationality and or at risk of statelessness. The Constitution of Kenya, 2010, contains a progressive Bill of Rights and a revised chapter on citizenship. The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act 2011 defines stateless persons and sets out the requirements for the registration of such persons and their descendants as citizens of Kenya. Similar provisions apply to some categories of migrants who do not possess identification documents. However, the operational definition in the aforementioned Act limits eligibility for registration to persons who were in the country by 1963. There is need to broaden the legislation to include persons who entered the country after 1963 and their descendants. Furthermore, Kenya has not acceded to the Conventions on statelessness. Stateless persons continue to face challenges such as arbitrary arrests and exposure to all forms of discrimination in their daily lives. During participatory assessments conducted in 2016, persons of concern explicitly stated that they could not access birth certificates due to discrimination. Formal employment opportunities, access to financial services and freedom of movement were out of reach owing to lack of identity cards.

The Assistant Protection Officer (Statelessness) will work in the Protection Unit and will report to Senior Protection Officer.

The incumbent will have the primary responsibility for the development of legal and operational strategies to resolve and prevent statelessness situations in Kenya. The incumbent will also provide technical and operational advice and support to partners and other relevant stakeholders on statelessness issues. Support activities will include capacity building of the UNHCR and relevant partner staff in Kenya on statelessness, analysis and technical advice on nationality legislation and its implementation, coordination and harmonization of national interventions.

S/he will also provide functional guidance to programme staff. The incumbent assists in monitoring performance of implementing partners. S/he interacts on a very regulate basis with the IP staff and provides overall guidance as per the planes activities and budget.

The Assistant Protection Officer (Statelessness) is expected to coordinate the planning and delivery of all statelessness activities for the Operation. S/he contributes to designing a comprehensive statelessness strategy and represents the organization externally on statelessness issues and policy, as guided by the supervisor.

S/he also ensures that stateless persons are consulted and involved with the Office in making decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying appropriate solutions to their problems. To achieve this, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, local authorities and all relevant stakeholders.

Accountability (key results that will be achieved)

  • Statelessness is prevented and addressed through the application of International and National Law and existing practices.

  • Activities are guided by the statelessness strategy and respect the policy of UNHCR on age, gender and diversity (AGD).

  • The participation of persons of concern is assured through assessment and surveys using participatory, rights and community based approaches.

Responsibility (process and functions undertaken to achieve results)

  • Stay abreast of political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the environment that affects stateless persons.

  • Contribute to the country-level statelessness prevention and reductions strategy.

  • Consistently apply International and National Law, standards and codes of conduct.

  • Assist in providing comments/suggesting amendments on existing legislation related to persons of concern.

  • Provide legal and technical advice and guidance on protection issues to persons of concern;

  • Oversee and support the documentation issuance process carried out by the competent authorities

  • Provide inputs for the development of the regional statelessness strategy, policies and standard

  • Manage individual cases when applicable

  • Contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.

  • Contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of related AGD based programming with implementing and operational partners.

  • Contribute to and facilitate a programme of results-based advocacy with partners.

  • Contribute to and facilitate effective information management through the provision of disaggregated data

  • Contribute to capacity-building initiatives for communities and individuals to assert their rights.

  • Participate in initiatives to capacitate authorities, relevant institutions and NGOs to strengthen national protection related legislation and procedures.

Authority (decisions made in executing responsibilities and to achieve results)

  • Intervene with authorities on relevant statelessness issues.

  • As Chair of the statelessness working groups, provide directions to the stakeholders as guided by the Supervisor

  • Enforce compliance of staff and implementing partners with global policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of protection services.

  • Recommend and prepare payments to partners/vendors

Essential Minimum Qualifications and Experience

  • Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in Law, International Law, political Sciences or related field plus minimum 1 year of relevant professional experience.

  • Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of another UN language.

Desirable Qualifications & Competencies

  • Diverse field experience desirable.

  • Good IT skills including database management skills.

  • Completion of the Protection Learning Programme.

  • Completion of a relevant statelessness course.



  • Integrity

  • Professionalism

  • Respect For Diversity Core Competencies

Core Competencies

  • Accountability

  • Team Work & Collaboration

  • Communication

  • Commitment to Continuous Learning

  • Client & Results Orientation

  • Organizational Awareness

Candidates may also be tested on relevant managerial and cross function competencies. Examples are listed below:-

Managerial Competencies

  • Empowering & Building Trust

  • Managing Performance

  • Judgement & Decision Making

  • Strategic Planning & Vision

Cross – Functional Competencies

  • Analytical Thinking

  • Innovation & Creativity

  • Planning & Organizing

  • Policy Research & Development

Refugees – who cares? We Do

How to apply:

Submission of Applications

This vacancy is open for qualified Kenyans ONLY. Female candidates are encouraged to apply.


Candidates who wish to be considered for this position should send their motivation letter and Personal History Form (available at the following link: to:

The Secretary,

Regional Assignments Committee (RAC),

Human Resources Section,

P.O. Box 43801, 00100

Nairobi, Kenya

or hand delivered to UNHCR Branch Office for Kenya, Lynwood House, Waiyaki Way (opposite Lions Place). Please quote Reference: IVN/EVN/KEN/NBI/18/011

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