Individual Consultant (6 months)

Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 1 Oct 2021

Duties and Qualifications

Office: UNHCR Regional Bureau for the Americas – Regional Platform/VenSit
Title of the project: Impacts on housing tenure of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.
Purpose of the Project: Analyze the effects on housing tenure in refugees and migrants from Venezuela, through a community-based inventory of abandoned houses in the country of origin to identify needs and impacts to adjust/develop alternatives to effective access to adequate housing in the short, medium, and long term, considering existing policies and programs in host countries and reinforcing existing services provided by sector members.
Location: Home-based / Teleworking
Duration of the assignment: 6 months
Condition: Full-time (40 hours per week)

General Background of Project or Assignment:
The right to adequate housing is a human right included in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which emphasizes the conditions of habitability, access, legal security, housing, among others, and has been identified as one of the priority needs of the refugee and migrant population of Venezuela in the studies developed by the organizations of the Regional Protection Sector, academia and grassroots organizations. This obligation is at the head of the States where people are located, including refugees and migrants, and must be developed in public policies that contribute to access, improvement, and protection against forced evictions, according to Observations 4 and 7 of the Committee of the International Covenant on ESC.
It is emphasized that the realization of the right to adequate housing is a decisive element for the realization of other rights, such as the right to education, health, drinking water, among others, while generating favorable conditions for future processes of return to the country of origin.

Also, the Pinheiro Principles or UN Principles on the Restitution of Housing and Property of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, state that “everyone has the right to adequate housing”(and that ¿States must take positive measures to improve the situation of refugees and displaced persons who do not have adequate housing”.
In addition to the right to adequate housing in host countries, where refugees and migrants have been arbitrarily or illegally deprived of their homes in the country of origin, they have the right to housing protection. The application of the Pinheiros Principles or UN Principles on the Restitution of Housing and Heritage of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, identify the protection of property over homes as a key to overcoming humanitarian crises, massive human rights violations and armed conflicts and necessary response in contexts of violence.
Within the framework of the realization of the different contents related to the right to adequate housing, the Regional Protection Sector presented, in February 2021, the results of the regional eviction survey that included 1021 households in 7 countries of the region, that showed that 39.8% percent of the households surveyed were at risk of eviction and that 38% percent had already been evicted; likewise, the survey showed the relationship between the risk of eviction and the absence of lease contracts/agreements due to the absence of documentation (50% of the evicted households were in an irregular situation and 73% had verbal lease agreements).

Taking into consideration the risks identified through the survey, the intentionality of staying in the country of origin, and the importance of identifying the effects related to the loss of housing, the Regional Protection Sector proposes, in coordination with other relevant sectors, such as Housing, to develop an inventory of community origin of the homes that the refugee and migrant population of Venezuela had in the country of origin in order to establish, among other variables: i) the magnitude of abandonment, ii) characteristics, iii) qualities/types of housing tenure, iv) current status of said properties, v) differential impacts on tenure; as well as other dimensions of access to adequate housing such as economic value, type of housing, habitability, location, etc.
The data obtained from this first approach could serve, in the future, to guide subsequent return processes avoiding new cycles of violence, correlate the right to adequate housing with the right to protection of abandoned homes in the country of origin; identify possible criteria for prioritization/access to existing housing policies-programs in the region, guide States in the analysis of absorption capacity and articulate efforts of international cooperation for mitigation and mobilization of resources.

The approach of this axis is part of the strategic priority defined by the Sector in the RMRP 2021 in relation to: promoting the inclusion of refugees and migrants from Venezuela in national protection systems, mechanisms, public policies, legal and institutional frameworks, assistance, and protection services, a current priority for the 2022 planning process.
Overall Purpose and Scope of Assignment:
A concise and detailed description of activities, including measurable outputs and delivery dates, impact indicators (what qualitative and quantitative results would be achieved upon completion of individual contract), performance indicators (timelines, value of the service rendered in relation to the cost, timeliness) and work plan:
Analyze the effects on tenure in refugees and migrants from Venezuela through an inventory of abandoned homes that allows identifying needs and impacts and drawing alternatives for access to durable solutions.

Required level, qualifications, and work experience:

Qualification and experience required (degree required, years of work experience, field of expertise, language required):

(i) Degree required: The consultant must have a bachelor’s degree in Law and postgraduate studies (master’s) in social sciences/ international affairs/law.

(ii) Years of experience: A minimum of 10 years of work experience with national and/or international organizations, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) related to the subject. The persons must have research and training experience in the field of land, house and property, mixed migration, human rights, and international law.

(iii)Field of expertise: land, house and property, human rights, and international law.
(iv) Language: Spanish (proficient).
(v) Key Competencies: Work with a high degree of autonomy. Work under pressure and with tied deadlines. Demonstrate initiative, flexibility, and commitment in the tasks and work guidelines assigned by supervisors. Coordinate with the designated focal points for the request and verification of information.

Additional Information

Please note that this position is offered under an Individual Consultancy contract.
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed and might be requested to sit for a test. Only short-listed candidates will be notified. No late applications will be accepted.

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.
UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, traveling, processing, or training.)

Closing Date

The closing date for submission of applications is 1 October 2021 (Midnight Geneva time).

How to apply:

Interested applicants are kindly asked to visit the page to submit an application. We only accept applications submitted through the UNHCR Career site for this job opening.

Job Opening # 29857
Location: Panama (RB), Panama