Senior Legal Protection Officer - New Delhi - The Ara Trust
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The Ara Trust (Ara) was set up in 2013 with the mission of facilitating access to asylum and expanding the protection space for refugees despite the legal vacuum in India. It is India’s first and only refugee law center. It was set up by former United Nations (UN) legal officers and is a women-led organization. Our clients are from countries either severely affected by conflict or with failed/oppressive states, like Afghanistan, Myanmar, Somalia, Syria, and Iraq. More than 80% of our clients are women and children from these countries, many of whom have faced severe sexual and gender-based violence. Our clients also include victims of war, victims of anti-government elements like the Taliban, LGBTI individuals, and survivors of torture. We currently run three initiatives that focus on legal aid, specialized assistance for women and children, and research and policy.
Ara has pioneered the concept of legal representation for refugees during the asylum process in India. Our services enable refugees to make effective claims and put them on the path to rebuilding their lives while in exile. Our assistance is critical since a wrongly-rejected refugee is likely to be deported and could then face persecution or even death in his/her country. The documentation we help refugees access regularizes their stay in India and gives them access to education, health and government documentation. Without this documentation, refugees are forced to go underground where they are vulnerable to exploitation, trafficking, abuse etc.
Ara’s activities primarily involve –
- Providing pro bono legal counselling and representation to refugees seeking asylum before UNHCR;
- Identifying the immediate protection risks of vulnerable refugees and seeking UNHCR’s intervention or referring them to support services where appropriate;
- Creating awareness through focused trainings and workshops for the refugee community, universities, government agencies etc.; and
- Undertaking research on issues of refugee protection and law.
In order to carry out the activities mentioned above, Ara recruits, trains, and supervises skilled candidates to assist in the organization’s work. The selected candidate will share responsibility for the overall management and implementation of programmes. His/her tasks shall include:
1. Taking day-to-day decisions and participating in annual planning.
2. Providing support in managerial, administrative, financial, and knowledge management tasks.
3. Reporting on the progress made in specific projects/programmes.
4. Assisting in providing pro bono legal aid to asylum-seekers claiming refugee status before the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This will involve:
a. Interviewing and counselling asylum-seekers,
b. Writing reports, memorandums, legal briefs, and related documents based on the same, along with extensive country of origin research;
c. Corresponding with UNHCR on specific cases, seeking intervention in emergency cases, and representing the issues faced by the refugee community
5. Training and supervising staff, volunteers, interns, and interpreters in their work.
6. Engaging in project-based research.
7. Assisting with fund-raising activities and interacting with donors as required.
8. Conducting workshops and trainings in universities, NGOs, UNHCR etc.
9. Maintaining office databases and drafting office correspondence.
10. Such other activities which are required to meet Ara’s goals.
1. Open to Indian citizens only.
2. Graduate of Law, International Relations, Development Studies or a related field. A post-graduate degree will be an advantage.
3. A minimum of five (5) years of relevant work experience. Prior experience working with refugees/migrants/IDPs or other vulnerable communities will be an advantage, as will prior experience in fund-raising activities.
4. Excellent command over written and spoken English.
5. Ability to work under supervision in a team.
6. Willingness to travel.
1. The contract will initially be for 6 months, till 31 December 2017, and will be extendable for 2018 subject to availability of funding and the candidate’s performance.
2. Salary will be INR 70,000 per month; TDS (10%) will be deducted before payment.
3. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
4. The successful candidate will be expected to start on 3 July 2017.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE & DEADLINE:
Please email a letter of interest, a writing sample, and an up-to-date CV to [email protected] , with the subject line “Application for the post of Senior Legal Protection Officer”.
The deadline for receiving applications is 9am (IST) on 15 May 2017.
Shortlisted candidates may be required to appear for a written test and/or an interview. Candidates based outside New Delhi may appear for the written test and/or interview remotely.
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