IMPORTANT NOTE: This position is advertised to internal and external applicants. Candidates must be legally present in Mexico at the time of application, recruitment and hire. Only candidates holding a valid work permit in Mexico will be considered eligible.
Duties and Qualifications
1. General Background
(Brief description of the national, sector-specific or other relevant context in which the individual contractor will operate)
The current drivers of forced displacement in North of Central America (NCA) are worsening in 2019. Figures of asylum seekers for the first quarter duplicates the numbers in the same period of 2018. An increasing number of Central Americans are crossing Mexico's southern border in significant numbers to seek protection. Due to a lack of information, detention policies, the limited number of locations with COMAR presence as well as inadequate reception arrangements, many people with international protection needs still attempt to make the dangerous journey north to the United States without making an asylum claim in Mexico. Progress has been achieved in building the asylum system and in improving reception arrangements, as well as in the provision of local integration opportunities, but increased numbers of asylum-seekers keep putting additional strain on the existing reception conditions.
With the recent statements from the Mexican government to increase the presence of the national guard along the southern border as well as increasing the detention of migrants who try to move towards the northern parts of Mexico, UNHCR is concerned that persons in need of international protection will suffer detention in greater number than what has previously been the case. Even before the last change in the policy, a drastic increase has been observed in the number of persons seeking asylum and UNHCR now projects that these will be more than 80,000 claimants in 2019, up from 30,000 in 2018.
Interpreters are essential to UNHCR in fulfilling its core mandate functions, including registration, refugee status determination, resettlement, and counselling, which, in many cases, also involves sensitive issues related to gender-based violence (GBV). Thus, interpreters perform a key role in many UNHCR offices. The role of the Intepreter is to assist in this process by providing a channel for communication. It is an important role that must be accomplished with a high degree of professionalism.
2. Purpose and Scope of Assignment
(Concise and detailed description of activities, tasks and responsibilities to be undertaken, including expected travel, if applicable)
The interpreter will undertake Creole-Spanish translation and will be working under the overall supervision of the Protection Officer and the Protection Team. He/She may be required to work at UNHCR premises, in Tapachula, Monterrey, Tijuana, Mexico City, or other relevant offices or perform the services remotely through phone or video conference in order to assist UNHCR staff in interpreting interviews, whenever necessary. Support may also be required to provide translation services for UNHCR partners.
These are some of the tasks in which UNHCR officials meet with persons of concern to UNHCR and might need the help of an interpreter:
-Registration procedures: when the personal information of refugees, internally displaced persons or returnees are recorded.
-Refugee status determination: when an interview is conducted with an asylum-seeker to determine whether she/he meets the criteria of the refugee definition.
-Protection interviews: when an interview is conducted with an asylum-seeker or refugee in order to determine whether they have a particular protection risk and require specific assistance.
-Monitoring: when UNHCR collects information relating to the protection, rights and well-being of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons through interviews.
-Participatory Assessments: when a structured dialogue is conducted with women, girls, boys and men of concern to UNHCR, in order to gather accurate information on the specific protection risks they face and underlying causes, to understand their capacities, and to hear their proposed solutions.
-Counselling sessions and/or medical interviews: when informed and professional advice on private and/or illness-related matters is made available to refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR.
-Screening survivors of violence or torture: when more information on psychological and/or physical consequences of torture is sought.
3. Monitoring and Progress Controls
(Clear description of measurable outputs, milestones, key performance indicators and/or reporting requirements which will enable performance monitoring)
-UNHCR Staff working with the interpreter will evaluate his/her performance on regular basis; in particular, his/her job performance and adherence to professional standards. Staff members will fill out the evaluation report form, which will be used for consideration of contract extensions in the future.
-Commitment to continuous learning: Following the recruitment, interpreters shall be provided with an induction training which should include, among other things, basic information on UNHCR specialized terminology (see the UNHCR Thesaurus), content of their work, clarification of their role, content of the UNHCR Code of Conduct, PSEA standards according to ST/SGB/2003/13 and the Undertaking of Confidentiality and Impartiality, security briefing, and interpretation training. For the latter the UNHCR Training module ¿Interpreting in a Refugee Context¿ should be utilized.
-Definition of the Final Product (i.e., survey completed, data collected, workshop conducted, research documents produced, etc.):
Oral interpretation and translation of documents as required
4. Qualifications and Experience
(List the required education, work experience, expertise and competencies of the individual contractor. The listed education and experience should correspond with the level at which the contract is offered.)
a. Education (Level and area of required and/or preferred education)
-Social Sciences, Politics, Economics, Human Rights, Languages, or any other related field. Education in a distinct field but coupled with an interpretation certification may be accepted. A high-school education grade coupled with an interpretation certification may be accepted.
-Certification of interpretation/translator skills in an asset.
-A perfect command of the Creole and Spanish language is necessary
b. Work Experience
(List number of years and area of required work experience. Clearly distinguish between required experience and experience which could be an asset.)
-1 year of relevant experience, ideally on interpretation functions.
-Excellent communication skills
-Ability to work well under pressure and deliver quality output in a most time-efficient manner.
-Professionalism: ability to demonstrate a high level of concertation; split-second accuracy; ability to deliver clear interpretation on a broad range of subjects; ability to work in a sensitive environment interpreting/translating refugee specific terminology.
-Strictly complies with the UNHCR Code of Conduct.
Proficiency in English and Spanish is essential.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. No late applications will be accepted.
Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for a technical assessment or written test and later on, invited for an oral interview.
UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing or any other fees).
The closing date for submission of applications is October 24th, 2021 (midnight Geneva time).