CAI- IICA2- IUNOPS - Family Reunification Expert Internal-External Vacancy Announcement

UNHCR , Cairo, Egypt
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Job Summary

Job Description


The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to provide protection (including assistance) and seek durable solutions for refugees. UNHCR has also been involved in various IDP operations at the request of the country concerned or the UNGA/ SG. Since 2005, with the humanitarian reform exercise, it also is the Global Lead for the Protection, Shelter/NFIs and Camp Coordination and Camp Management in cases of forced displacement in complex emergencies. As a result, in most countries with a Humanitarian Coordinator and a complex IDP situation, UNHCR is leading the Protection Cluster. In addition, it has a specific mandate for the prevention and addressing situations of statelessness.

Globally, UNHCR has also been strengthening its work on complementary pathways, including family reunification. Many refugees leave behind family or get separated from their family in the course of flight. This often causes emotional and psychological hardship due to prolonged family separation. Refugees often have a difficult time accessing FR procedures, particularly children who are trying to reunite with parents, siblings or other relatives. More capacity to assist families is needed to increase access to this safe and legal durable solution. The enhancement of family reunification for refugees is also in line with the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) which promotes the expansion of third-country solutions, including FR, through innovative solutions and partnerships.

In line with UNHCR Global Framework for the Protection of Children and UNHCR Egypt strategy for child protection, the protection of unaccompanied and separated children (UASC), including the identification of durable solutions, is a priority for the Office. Many UASC registered with the UNHCR Egypt Office have been separated from family as they fled their home country or during flight. As these refugee children often face challenges in accessing family reunification, additional specialized support is required to help these children and their families navigate the application process and assist with the challenges and obstacles that arise through these procedures. **


Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The Family Reunification (FR) Expert will conduct screening/intake of cases, support with connecting them to legal assistance to access FR procedures, and provide the necessary coordination with relevant counterparts, including embassies. In addition, the FR Expert will work on overall systems strengthening of FR support in the operation.

In more detail, the FR Expert will:

1) Screen, identify & refer cases of children and youth at-risk with FR needs to the legal assistance partner (cases falling within the defined eligibility criteria for this component) and provide other FR-related support. The FR Expert will be expected to screen and identify cases of children, youth and families at-risk with family ties to identify cases for the project based on pre-defined criteria (i.e. protection risks, and specific needs, status of the family member. The FR Expert will conduct BIPs, including BIAs or BIDs to recommend the long-term solution in the best interest of the child, and according to the immigration rules of the respective countries of destination. The FR Expert will support each case with any documentation needed and any other information needed to support the application. The FR Expert will work closely with the Durable Solutions Unit in order to recommend the best solution for specific cases. Depending on the needs of the case, the FR Expert will:

  • will follow-up with the necessary assistance, including advocating with Embassies, liaising with UNHCR internal units, facilitating logistics, etc.
  • Facilitate the provision of documents for the purpose of FR;
  • Provide in-person counselling to cases in the FR process, including referral of family members abroad to service providers, in collaboration with the relevant UNHCR Country Offices (COs);
  • Organize and execute logistics for the purpose of FR, including but not limited to:
  • Facilitate Embassy interviews;
  • Advocate for cases in the final stages of FR to be fast-tracked by the relevant Embassies;
  • Assist to obtain necessary travel documents (ICRC TDs, CTDs, etc.) and facilitate the travel.


While conducting Best Interest Procedures (both BIAs and BIDs), if the FR Expert detects specific protection risks and needs, with the collaboration of the CP team, she/he will liaise with the responsible UNHCR partners providing case management services in the CoA to ensure they have access to all the services available in the CoA.

The above-mentioned case support will be thoroughly documented through ProGres events.

2) Overall systems strengthening of FR in the targeted operation

Working closely with his or her supervisor, the FR Expert will identify areas in the operation where coordination, training, and relationship-building can be improved to enhance access to Family Reunification, including by:

  • Broadening the identification base for cases of children at risk with FR needs in cooperation with partners and communities
  • Convening and/or participating in regular meetings with Embassies, IOM, and other relevant FR partners to establish relationships, strengthen advocacy, and discuss issues of common concern
  • Overall management of the mailbox created at the beginning of the project for FRU related issues
  • Enhancing operation-specific FR SOPs;
  • Providing inputs for protection counseling guidelines for refugees who could qualify for FR, according to the tools developed since the beginning of the project; and
  • Organizing and facilitating trainings for Embassies and partners to further strengthen and streamline the referral pathway.

3) Harmonization of ProGres Data

The FR Expert will coordinate with the Data Management and Registration Units in order to work on proposed interventions for the migration to ProGres V4 in order to standardize ProGres SOPs taking into consideration all the events that should be recorded in V4.

Monitoring and Progress Controls


  • The FR Expert will complete a report every two months with an overview of the work completed and include information on any challenges in case processing, documentation or any additional support needed.
  • The FR Expert will report to the Protection Officer (CP/GBV) and the Senior Protection Officer on a weekly basis regarding the work done, trends, challenges, statistics, and way forward.
  • The FR Expert will complete an annual update of the FR SOPs, in close cooperation with all relevant units, including Durable Solutions, Registration, etc.
  • Depending on needs, the overall case processing target will be 150 individuals assisted with FR procedures.





  • University degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in Law, Political Science, International Relations or another related field.

Work experience


  • Minimum 3 years of previous work experience relevant to the function (Undergraduate)
  • Minimum 2 years of previous work experience relevant to the function (Graduate or Maser's degree)
  • (Relevant work experience includes: assisting refugees in a registration, RSD or resettlement context, child protection including BIA/BID, case advocacy, legal aid provider to asylum seekers; refugee protection and durable solutions, community-based protection, case advocacy and management, communication with affected populations, etc.
  • Past experience working with and interviewing children of various ages and/or conducting BIA/BID; experience with alternative care and/or comprehensive case management for children at-risk.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of Refugee law, Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles;
  • Knowledge of Family Reunification programs in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and/or a strong interest to work closely with these programs;


Key Competencies


  • Fluency in English required
  • Ability to assess and to identify protection risks of individuals and groups, and family reunification needs, as demonstrated in past assignments;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively in teams;
  • Strong research (in particular in relation to country of origin information) and analytical skills;


  • Experience in delivering training and capacity-building on refugee protection;
  • Experience in liaison and building relationships with governmental and non-governmental partner organizations, including liaising with Embassy officials and representatives
  • Excellent knowledge of MS Word, Excel, and ProGres.

Functional Skills

  • PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicator
  • LE-International Refugee Law
  • PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)
  • PR-Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Coordination
  • MG-Projects management
  • PR-PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards
  • PR-International Humanitarian Law
  • PR-Protection and mixed-movements
  • PR-Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Operations & IDPs Status/Rights/Obligation
  • PR-Climate change and disaster related displacement
  • PR-Community-based Protection
  • MS-Drafting, Documentation, Data Presentation