Protection Officer (P3) Nouakchott, Mauritania

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International Organization for Migration

Position Title: Protection Officer

Duty Station: Nouakchott, Mauritania

Classification: Professional Staff, Grade P3

Type of Appointment: Special short-term graded, 6 months with possibility of extension

Estimated Start Date: As soon as possible

Closing Date: 07 July 2024

Established in 1951, IOM is a Related Organization of the United Nations, and as the leading UN agency in the field of migration, works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

IOM is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment. Read more about diversity and inclusion at IOM at

Applications are welcome from first- and second-tier candidates, particularly qualified female candidates as well as applications from the non-represented member countries of IOM. For all IOM vacancies, applications from qualified and eligible first-tier candidates are considered before those of qualified and eligible second-tier candidates in the selection process.

For the purpose of this vacancy, the following are considered first-tier candidates:

  1. Internal candidates
  2. Candidates from the following non-represented member states:

Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Botswana; Cabo Verde; Comoros; Congo (the); Cook Islands; Fiji; Guinea-Bissau; Holy See; Iceland; Kiribati; Lao People’s Democratic Republic (the); Madagascar; Marshall Islands; Micronesia (Federated States of); Namibia; Nauru; Palau; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Samoa; Sao Tome and Principe; Solomon Islands; Suriname; The Bahamas; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu

Second tier candidates include:

All external candidates, except candidates from non-represented member states.


Mauritania is a country of transit, destination and origin of migrants and refugees within the West Africa Region, to Europe and lately, to the United States of America. Irregular mixed migration along the Atlantic route has increased since 2019, reaching record numbers in 2023, with 39910 migrants reaching the Canary Island archipelago (Spain). The Atlantic Route is also one of the deathliest according to IOM and international NGOs, and an increasing number of migrants in need of immediate lifesaving assistance and protection are rescued along the Mauritanian coast. In addition, Mauritania is a destination country for migrant workers from neighbouring countries. The access to protection services, including consular protection, of these migrants is a challenge that IOM continuously supports the government of Mauritania to address. The migration influx in Mauritania includes an important number as well of unaccompanied or separated children and potential or identified Victims of Trafficking in need of special protection measures. IOM supports the Government of Mauritania to establish or strengthen the identification, referral and protection of children on the move, victims of trafficking and other protection profiles.

To meet these challenges, the European Union (EU) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have developed the Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Africa. As a follow up programme, IOM and the European Union developed the “Migrant Protection, Return and Reintegration Programme” (MPRR), aiming to protect the security, dignity and rights of migrants along the Mediterranean and Atlantique migration routes and to help improving the reintegration of returnees through innovative approaches. This will be achieved through different types of interventions, including protection and assistance to migrants in vulnerable situations while in transit, provision of direct assistance through search and rescue support, identification, referral and specialized direct assistance to the most vulnerable groups, voluntary return assistance, support with sustainable reintegration, and enhanced coordination among actors.

In addition, IOM supports the Mauritanian government in the provision of protection to children on the move and victims of trafficking through a project funded by the Regional Development and Protection Programme for North Africa (RDPP NA).

Under the direct supervision of the Chief of Mission, and in close coordination with the Head of Programmes, as well as the relevant Thematic Specialists in the Regional Office for West and Central Africa, the Protection Officer will be responsible for the overall management of the Protection Unit; the management of projects under the unit, including the planning, implementation and reporting of activities, as well as ensuring strategic inputs and support to protection-related actions and the mainstreaming of protection across the mission.

Core Functions / Responsibilities:

  1. Manage or oversee the management of the implementation of projects under the unit in a timely manner, overseeing its operational, administrative, and technical aspects, and backstopping its financial management, in line with IOM’s policies, standards and procedures, as well as donor requirements and in coordination with the different regional and country offices and coordination units related to the projects.
  2. Act as focal point for new project development in the thematic area of protection, as well as maintain and work to expand IOM’s current protection portfolio and to liaise, maintain and establish partnerships with identified national and international stakeholders and partners.
  3. Oversee the planning and implementation of activities relating to the assistance and there turn of stranded migrants from Mauritania to countries of origin, and the reintegration of Mauritanians returning from transit countries.
  4. Oversee the Counter trafficking and child-protection portfolio.
  5. Oversee the provision of specialized protection and assistance services to migrants invulnerable situations approaching or being referred to IOM, including unaccompanied or separated children, victims of trafficking, migrants object of smuggling and other vulnerable profiles.
  6. Keep updated with policies and strategies related to migrant protection key topics (AVRR, CT,UASC, etc.) and foster an integrated rights-based protection programming, promoting engagement with targeted communities, national government and other humanitarian and developments actors to define and pilot sustainable solutions for groups in a vulnerable situation and ensure that all procedures related to the management of child protection cases, including the Best Interest Determination Procedures, are respected and applied.
  7. Provide expert technical support to IOM staff and partners, and oversee the operations of IOM supported emergency assistance to migrants disembarked along the Mauritanian coast, undertaking related field travel as required.
  8. Provide technical advice, guidance and coordinate actions with the colleagues deployed at the Sub-office of IOM in Nouadhibou.
  9. Maintain positive relations and collaborate closely with national and local authorities, UN agencies and international organizations and civil society actors, to promote and develop advocacy initiatives and address protection problems facing vulnerable migrant populations as well as host communities, in line with international and national standards and fora (Sustainable Development Goals, Global Compact for Migration, National Strategy for Migration Governance, SOPs on disembarkation, etc.).
  10. Ensure that key protection principles are operationalized in IOM assistance to vulnerable migrants, including but not limited to migrants rescued at sea and protection interventions targeting migrants approaching IOM offices for assistance and advise.
  11. Ensure the timely establishment, review and renewal of agreements with relevant Government institutions, United Nations (UN) organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and actors in the private sector.
  12. Supervise and oversee the work of the protection unit, conduct staff performance appraisals using the IOM Performance Appraisal System (PAS), identify and respond to training needs of staff, and develop and deliver professional in-house trainings as required.
  13. Coordinate and prepare quality reports and material related to protection, and deliver trainings and awareness-raising sessions to governmental and non-governmental partners on international migration law and key topics such as identification of vulnerable groups, protection and referral. Contribute to the planning and implementation of capacity building activities targeting IOM partners in Mauritania in topics related to the protection portfolio.
  14. Liaise and coordinate internally with the other Units on relevant and cross-cutting issues and ensure efficient communication with relevant IOM offices, including the Regional Office and headquarters in all protection-related matters and any relevant priority dossiers of the Country Office.
  15. In close coordination with the Head of Programmes, provide inputs and support to strategic decisions and actions of the mission in relation to protection-related matters.
  16. Represent IOM at relevant seminars and meetings as well as other events, undertaking duty travel as required.
  17. Perform such other duties as may be assigned.

Required Qualifications and Experience:


  • Master’s degree in Law, Social Sciences, Politics, International Relations, or a related field from an accredited academic institution with five years of relevant professional experience; or,
  • University degree in the above fields with seven years of relevant professional experience.


  • Experience on project development and implementation and a solid and effective management experience, including project monitoring and reporting;
  • Experience on migrants’ protection, specifically on vulnerable migrants, CT, child protection, direct assistance, health and AVRR;
  • Experience with the management/supervision of medium to large teams;
  • Experience in designing and delivering advocacy and capacity building programs is an advantage; and,
  • Experience in developing and maintaining strong working relationships with governmental authorities, other national/international institutions and non-governmental organisation (NGOs) is an advantage.


  • Strong program/project implementation skills and familiarity with IOM’s administrative, financial and business rules and practices;
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain strong working relations with counterparts;
  • High degree of judgment and initiative, ability to work with a high degree of independence within assigned areas;
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills;
  • Excellent computer skills, especially in MS Office applications such as MS Word, MS Excel, MS Access, Internet Explorer; and, • Strong staff management skills.


IOM’s official languages are English, French, and Spanish. All staff members are required to be fluent in one of the three languages.

For this position, fluency in English and French is required (oral and written). Working knowledge of Arabic is an advantage.

Proficiency of language(s) required will be specifically evaluated during the selection process, which may include written and/or oral assessments.


Accredited Universities are the ones listed in the UNESCO World Higher Education Database (

Required Competencies:

Values – all IOM staff members must abide by and demonstrate these five values:

  • Inclusion and respect for diversity: Respects and promotes individual and cultural differences. Encourages diversity and inclusion.
  • Integrity and transparency: Maintains high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.
  • Professionalism: Demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.
  • Courage: Demonstrates willingness to take a stand on issues of importance.
  • Empathy: Shows compassion for others, makes people feel safe, respected and fairly treated.

Core Competencies – behavioural indicators level 2

  • Teamwork: Develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.
  • Delivering results: Produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner. Is action oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.
  • Managing and sharing knowledge: Continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.
  • Accountability: Takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own actions and delegated work.
  • Communication: Encourages and contributes to clear and open communication. Explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.

Managerial Competencies – behavioural indicators level 2

  • Leadership: Provides a clear sense of direction, leads by example and demonstrates the ability to carry out the Organization’s vision. Assists others to realize and develop their leadership and professional potential.
  • Empowering others: Creates an enabling environment where staff can contribute their best and develop their potential.
  • Building Trust: Promotes shared values and creates an atmosphere of trust and honesty.
  • Strategic thinking and vision: Works strategically to realize the Organization’s goals and communicates a clear strategic direction.
  • Humility: Leads with humility and shows openness to acknowledging own shortcomings.

IOM’s competency framework can be found at this link. df

Competencies will be assessed during a competency-based interview.


Internationally recruited professional staff are required to be mobile.

Any offer made to the candidate in relation to this vacancy notice is subject to funding confirmation.

This selection process may be used to staff similar positions in various duty stations. Recommended candidates will remain eligible to be appointed in a similar position for a period of 24 months.

The list of NMS countries above includes all IOM Member States which are non-represented in the Professional Category of staff members. For this staff category, candidates who are nationals of the duty station’s country cannot be considered eligible.

Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and background verification and security clearances. Subject to certain exemptions, vaccination against COVID-19 will in principle be required for individuals hired on or after 15 November 2021. This will be verified as part of the medical clearance process.

Vacancies close at 23:59 local time Geneva, Switzerland on the respective closing date. No late applications will be accepted.

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications HERE by 07 July 2024 at the latest, referring to this advertisement.

IOM only accepts duly completed applications submitted through the IOM e-Recruitment system. The online tool also allows candidates to track the status of their application.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

For further information please refer to:

Posting period:

From 24.06.2024 to 07.07.2024

No Fees:

IOM does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training or other fee). IOM does not request any information related to bank accounts.

Requisition: SVN 2024 157 Protection Officer (P3) Nouakchott, Mauritania (58955153) Released

Posting: Posting NC58955154 (58955154) Released

Posting Channel: Internal Candidates

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