UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a consultancy position within the Protection
Policy and Legal Advice Section (Asylum and Migration Unit) in the Division of International
Protection in our Geneva Headquarters in Switzerland.
UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a
better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year,
millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and
persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.
Title : Trafficking in Persons Research Specialist
Duty Station : Home-based
Duration : Five (5) months
Contract Type : Individual Consultant
Closing date : 17 November 2021
Start date : As soon as possible
There is large and growing body of literature which aims to contribute to understandings of
how, where and why trafficking in persons manifests, who it affects, and the actors involved.
While currently-available research highlights a range of exploitative practices people living in,
and fleeing from, crises and persecution may experience, despite the most recent efforts to
identify zones particularly at risk1, there is still insufficiently nuanced data to understand the
personal, situational and contextual risks and incidences of trafficking in persons as they affect asylum seekers, refugees and stateless people.
Asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons are broadly categorised as highly vulnerable groups to trafficking, though a further breakdown of specific vulnerabilities to what types of exploitation, at what stage of their flight, and perpetrated by who (i.e. organised crime networks vs TiP as a negative coping mechanism) should be further examined.
A notable gap in the current research is trafficking related risks and experiences of refugee populations in camps and elsewhere. Though the US Department of State report on anecdotal and media covered cases of trafficking within and from refugee camps in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report,2 few concerted efforts have been made to understand TiP trends and vulnerabilities affecting refugees.3
UNHCR, working in close collaboration with UNODC, intends to further explore the phenomenon in selected locations, with a view to assessing:
(1) the forms of trafficking and the profiles of trafficked people in selected refugee settings;
(2) the profiles of perpetrators;
(3) the risk factors that influence the vulnerability of refugees to trafficking;
(4) the protective factors that influence resilience to trafficking; and
(5) existing responses, including preventive actions, by institutions and other providers.
The role is aimed to improving the quality and availability of information about refugees’ vulnerabilities to and experiences of TiP, particularly those residing in camps, but also in out-of-camp situations, so that the full diversity of circumstances is understood and targeted interventions can be developed. In tandem, analysis will be provided by the incumbent on factors contributing to refugees’ resilience to trafficking, which may inform stronger trafficking prevention responses, and allow responders to predict where trafficking might develop. In a following phase of the research, information will be collected at field level on structural aspects
of the phenomenon, such as the role of community leaders as well of the diaspora, or how a transactional relationship between refugees and migrant smugglers may make refugees vulnerable to trafficking perpetrated by the smugglers or other actors. An understanding of existing responses and challenges practitioners face in responding to trafficking of persons in refugee situations is also required.
Duties and responsibilities
This consultancy is task-based. Under the direct supervision of the Legal Officer in UNHCR DIP/PPLA/A&M Unit the consultant will:
• Conduct preliminary desk research of existing relevant secondary sources with a view to defining baseline information and developing a preliminary list of resources supporting the study;
• In consultation with the relevant stakeholders, outline a clear methodology for use during the research. The methodology must include identification of interlocutors including UNHCR trafficking focal points in the field (at regional, country and camp level);
• In consultation with the UNHCR trafficking focal points in the field confirm key locations and timing for undertaking the research;
• In consultation with the UNHCR’s trafficking focal points in the operations develop the tools relating to the field research, as per the envisaged methodology: e.g. survey questions and questionnaires for interviews and focus group discussions.
Monitoring and Progress Controls
● Successful delivery of project outputs within expected timeframe
● Performance will be monitored through weekly updates and scheduled performance reviews.
Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required Education
University degree in law, international relations, humanities/other related degree, with possible specialization in international refugee law and/or transnational criminal law.
Minimum 6 years of experience working in the domain of anti-trafficking with previous experience and technical expertise in developing field research methodology.
Documented results related to the position’s responsibilities. COMPETENCIES
In depth knowledge of the international frameworks relevant to trafficking in human beings, as well as solid knowledge of key refugee protection issues in mixed movements.
Excellent analytical skills, including the capacity to collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data from various sources to produce meaningful analysis for strategic planning, programming, advocacy and other needs.
Demonstrated organizational skills: the ability to work independently and productively in a fast-paced environment.
Flexible work attitude: the ability to work productively, independently, and to handle requests or issues as they arise.
Excellent drafting skills.
Excellent computer skills
Excellent knowledge of English is required.
Good working knowledge of French or Arabic is desirable.
The successful candidate will be home-based. All proposed travel will be regulated by Institutional Guidance on Travel Restriction in the context of Covid-19.
This is a part-time contract, and the consultant will receive payment upon completion of tasks as agreed.
How to apply
Interested applicants should submit their letter of motivation, Personal History Form (PHF) and CV to HQDIPVAC@unhcr.org indicating VN 21/PLS/DIP/2021 Trafficking
in Persons Res earch Specialist in the subject of the email.
Personal History Forms are available at PHF Form / Supplementary Sheet. ANY APPLICATION RECEIVED WITHOUT A P 11 WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED
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, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Geneva 10 November 2021