Saint Andrew’s Refugee Services, Cairo
Vacancy Announcement: Refugee Status Determination Coordinator
Founded in 1979, StARS is a refugee service provider in central Cairo that works to enhance the quality of life for refugees and vulnerable migrants through five broad program areas: education, psychosocial, legal, community outreach and unaccompanied youth and children support services. We provide high-quality services meeting the unaddressed needs of refugees, and we provide a safe and inclusive space for displaced people to come together as a community. We work for refugees, with refugees, to make rights recognition a reality.
StARS’ Mission: Driven by a commitment to justice and fairness, StARS works as displaced people and for displaced people to respect human dignity and enhance quality of life.
StARS’ Vision: Displaced people lead in the creation and implementation of responses to different forms of migration to establish safe, just, welcoming, and inclusive communities globally.
We serve people from many places, including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
To learn more please visit our website: www.stars-egypt.org or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/standrewsrefugeeservices?fref=ts
Project Description: Refugee Legal Aid Program
The Refugee Legal Aid Program provides advice and representation to refugees seeking recognition by UNHCR through refugee status determination procedures in Egypt and assists refugees in accessing resettlement to safe third countries. The Refugee Legal Aid Program is seeking a Refugee Status Determination Coordinator to assist vulnerable refugees in their refugee status determination process.
Current Sudan Context
In light of the recent and ongoing civil war in Sudan, StARS is experiencing a high influx of persons forcibly displaced from Sudan. This includes Sudanese nationals and other nationalities previously displaced from their country of origin to Sudan. StARS remains flexible and reactive to changes in the local asylum-seeking environment as influenced by the Sudan conflict. Refugee Legal Aid Program is seeking to increase its capacity to provide adequate legal advice and representation in accordance with UNHCR procedures, to best assist those affected by this ongoing conflict.
Under the supervision of the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program, the Refugee Legal Aid Program Refugee Status Determination Coordinator is responsible for the management and the development of the Refugee Legal Aid Program’s Refugee Status Determination team. In consultation with the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program, the Refugee Status Determination Coordinator shall be responsible for supervising and determining the strategic direction of the Refugee Status Determination team. The Refugee Status Determination Coordinator will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Refugee Status Determination team, which consists of six Senior Legal Officers, six Legal Officers, and between seven and 10 Volunteer Legal Advisors**.**
All duties are carried out under the supervision of the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program. Effective communication with the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program and other StARS Program Coordinators is essential to the success of this role.
Legal and Technical
- To develop and supervise the screening and intake of and the provision of accurate advice and high quality assistance to potential clients for representation in Refugee Status Determination matters, including first instance, appeals, and reopening.
- To make final decisions on representation of clients requesting assistance in the Refugee Status Determination process.
- To train Refugee Status Determination staff and manage their Refugee Status Determination casework.
- To maintain a good working knowledge of UNHCR policies and procedures on Refugee Status Determination matters and country of origin information on common client populations.
- To oversee the preparation and filing of first instance, appeal, and reopening submissions to UNHCR’s Refugee Status Determination Unit.
- To develop and supervise the Refugee Legal Aid Program’s intervention capability in cases involving refugees in detention.
- To maintain accurate records of client representations, including client files in the Refugee Legal Aid Program’s case management database (Refugee and Migrant Communities Information System) and the Refugee Status Determination case dockets.
- To engage with refugee refugee-led organizations in providing trainings and follow-up support, as well as participating in open-floor meetings and information sessions.
- To assist the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program in setting and executing on policy and advocacy priorities.
- To adhere to the Nairobi Code of Ethics, the StARS Policies and Procedures Manual, the StARS Code of Conduct, and the StARS Safety and Security Policy.
- To assist the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program in development and implementation of team systems, policies, and procedures.
- To assist the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program in establishing written manuals and procedures for the different services provided by the Refugee Status Determination team.
- In coordination with the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program, to maintain and develop the Refugee Legal Aid Program’s relationship with UNHCR’s Refugee Status Determination, Registration, and Protection Units.
- To provide reporting data to the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program as requested for purposes of reporting work to senior management, funders, and others.
- To regularly attend StARS management meetings and other management functions to foster close coordination with other StARS programs.
- To build and maintain relationships with psychosocial and education staff and operational partners.
- To communicate with refugee communities, other service providers, and UNHCR to facilitate the provision of accurate information and advice leading to the fulfillment of refugee rights.
- In coordination with the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program, recruit, train, and supervise the entire Refugee Status Determination team, including paid staff and volunteers.
- To complete tasks for and monitor progress on StARS’ strategic plan.
- To engage proactively in promoting wellbeing among volunteers and staff.
- To ensure high-quality legal advice and representation and a refugee-rights-based approach.
Finance and Administration
- To undergo probation and regular performance appraisals.
- To meet weekly with the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program regarding the work of Refugee Status Determination team.
- To revise the strategy for the Refugee Legal Aid Program in response to changing situations and participate in annual work planning.
Communication and Reporting
- To communicate regularly with the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program, reporting on all major issues and developments in the field and within the Refugee Legal Aid Program.
- To become familiar with the Refugee Legal Aid Program’s database program (Refugee and Migrant Communities Information System) and accurately record and follow up on all relevant case management.
- To provide case reporting data to the Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program as requested in order to accurately report work to senior management, funders, and others.
- To promote information-sharing within the Refugee Legal Aid Program and StARS on all issues affecting the populations we serve.
- Other duties as assigned.
Qualifications and Experience
The ideal candidate will be energetic, articulate, and comfortable interacting with diverse segments of society. They will have demonstrated a firm commitment to human rights and refugee issues with particular emphasis on vulnerable populations.
- English being the official language of UNHCR in Egypt and StARS, the Refugee Status Determination Coordinator must be fluent in oral and written English.
- Master’s degree in a related field (international development, international law, development studies, Middle East Studies) OR a qualified lawyer in any jurisdiction (J.D., LLB or equivalent) OR a minimum of three years of experience in representing refugees in resettlement or Refugee Status Determination processes OR five years of experience providing direct representation to indigent people in any setting.
- Excellent legal research and drafting skills.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
- Knowledge of UNHCR guidelines and procedures, especially refugee status determination criteria.
- Proven experience drafting client affidavits and legal arguments, particularly to vulnerable clients.
- Significant experience reviewing the work product of others.
- Ability to exercise sound legal judgment, well organized, self-motivated, and reliable.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a team as well as individually.
- Knowledge of the general protection situation and vulnerabilities of refugees in Egypt.
- A positive attitude and sensitive manner when dealing with clients including a range of interviewing skills for dealing with challenging scenarios, particularly in advocating for survivors of violence, trafficking, torture, and SGBV.
- A demonstrated commitment to, sensitivity toward, and compassion for vulnerable or displaced people.
- Ability to live and work in a fluid security environment.
- Fluency in Arabic or a refugee language is an advantage but not required.
- Experience designing and conducting trainings for technical and non-technical audiences.
- Managerial experience or familiarity with volunteer oversight.
- Life and work experience in the Middle East and/or Egypt or with an urban refugee population
Working Hours: The Refugee Status Determination Coordinator is expected to be at work for 40 hours per week, between the hours of 9am and 5pm, from Sunday to Thursday. Longer hours, evening and weekend work are sometimes necessary. Work will be conducted both in StARS premises and also in refugee communities and centers.
Supervised by: Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program.
Salary: 19,950 EGP/month, rising to 22,150 EGP/month following successful completion of three-month probationary period. Plus 4,020 EGP/year Health Coverage and 100 EGP/month Saving Scheme Contribution upon completion of probationary period.
Additional official benefits as stipulated in StARS Staff Handbook Guidelines.
This position is subject to a three-month probationary period, at which time the employee’s performance will be reviewed and probation may be extended.
Closing date for applications: 9 November 2023
Anticipated Starting date: 3 December 2023
How to apply
To apply: Please send your Cover Letter, CV and brief legal writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line “Refugee Status Determination Coordinator”. All applications should provide contact information for two professional/academic reference (referees will only be contacted after interviews).
Note: Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for an interview.