Description of assignment title: Human Rights Officer
Assignment country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Expected start date: 12/15/2022
Sustainable Development Goal: 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
Volunteer category: International UN Volunteer Specialist
DoA reserved for persons with disabilities: No
Host entity: MONUSCO
Duration: 7 months (with possibility of extension)
Number of assignments: 1
Duty stations: Kananga
Mission and objectives
MONUSCO/MONUC was established in 1999 under the auspices of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). SCR 2277 (2016) requests MONUSCO to support efforts of the Government of DRC towards the protection of civilians, through a comprehensive approach involving all components of MONUSCO, including through reduction of the threat posed by Congolese and foreign armed groups and of violence against civilians, including sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children to a level that can be effectively managed by the Congolese justice and security institutions; and to support Stabilization through the establishment of functional, professional, and accountable state institutions, including security and judicial institutions. The project aims at a better understanding of the most serious violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law in DRC and supports the leadership of the Mission through informed policy and decision making on future vetting of security forces through risk assessment and mitigation, joint planning for MONUSCO operations, as well as advocacy efforts.
Assignment is non-family (KANANGA)
Under the overall supervision of the Director of the UNJHRO and the direct supervision of the JHRO Field Coordinator where s/he will be deployed, the Volunteer will undertake the following tasks:
- Facilitate the implementation of human rights mandate in the designated area of responsibility (AOR);
- Gather information, analyse and report on the human rights situation in the designated AOR, including through close cooperation with other United Nations actors and the community;
- Follow up on individual cases and issues with authorities with the aim of stopping or preventing human rights violations or seeking remedial action by the authorities to prevent similar violations occurring in the future;
- Establish and maintain contacts with government representatives, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations, UN agencies and other partners operating in the AOR;
- Assist in conducting human rights capacity-building activities and in developing and implementing human rights training programmes;
- Contribute to and/or draft various reports, communications, briefing notes, statements or other products;
- Conduct fact-finding missions and investigations into abuses/violations of human rights or humanitarian law;
- Ensure, coordinate and supervise the timely entry of accurate and verified human rights cases into an established database; conduct quality control and deliver statistics and trend reports as required;
- Ensure human rights mainstreaming within UN planning and programming;
- Ensure the integration of gender perspectives, with specific attention to issues related to women and girls, including conflict-related sexual violence, within all assigned human rights activities;
- Represent the UN human rights office at working level meetings, as relevant;
- When working with (including supervising) national staff or (non-)governmental counterparts, set aside dedicated time for capacity development through coaching, mentoring and formal and on-the-job training; and
- Perform other related duties as required.
Age: 27 – 80
Candidate must be a national of a country other than the country of assignment.
3 years of experience in Human Rights
Area(s) of expertise
English, Level: Working knowledge, Required French, Level: Fluent, Required
Required education level
Bachelor degree or equivalent in Human Rights
Competencies and values
Professionalism, Respect for diversity and gender, Teamwork, Communication, Integrity
Living conditions and remarks
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the second largest country in Africa, and as a result is quite diverse. Living conditions therefore vary between MONUSCO duty stations, with all usual amenities present in the capital Kinshasa, but only very basic conditions in remote duty stations in the provinces, where, for instance, there may be no guarantee of public power supply nor running water. The ability to live and work in difficult and harsh conditions of developing countries is essential. Accommodation is very expensive in both Kinshasa and Lubumbashi. Supermarkets exist in the large towns (e.g. Bukavu, Kisangani), but consumer items are generally very expensive (as everything is imported). For food, local markets offer a much cheaper alternative. All MONUSCO duty stations are considered non-family duty stations, except for Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Entebbe which are now considered family duty stations, and most are currently under UN Security Phase III (“relocation phase”: internationally-recruited staff are temporarily concentrated or relocated to specified sites/locations). In addition to insecurity related to the relatively volatile political situation as well as various conflict situations, certain places are subject to increasing street and residential crime, including in Kinshasa and Goma. Some degree of medical service is provided in all MONUSCO duty stations. Certain vaccinations are mandatory for MONUSCO personnel to enter the DRC, while others are compulsory for all other incoming persons. It is possible for incoming MONUSCO personnel, including UN Volunteers, to be asked to provide proof of some or all vaccinations, though this is unlikely. All UN Volunteers must ensure that they are up-to-date with all appropriate vaccinations, which should be clearly and properly endorsed in the International Certificate of Vaccination (“carte jaune”). Malaria is present virtually throughout the DRC, and it is therefore recommended to take prophylaxis. The unit of currency is the Congolese Franc. The US dollar is the other preferred currency. It may be impossible to exchange traveller’s checks away from the capital city. Credit cards are usually accepted in major hotels only in Kinshasa. In larger towns and cities (e.g. Kinshasa, Goma, Bukavu, Kisangani), UN Volunteers are recommended to open US Dollar bank accounts, while in other places, banks may be absent (including ATMs) and VLA payments will be processed in cash. UN Volunteers have the possibility to send part of their allowances to a bank account abroad. In addition to French, there are four major spoken languages in DRC, namely Lingala, Kikongo, Tshiluba and Swahili.
United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements
Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy