Witness Support Officer, Geneva, Switzerland At Office of the IIIM-SYRIA

Closing date: Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Posting Title: Witness Support Officer, P3

Job Code Title: Witness Protection and Support Officer

Department/Office: Office of the IIIM-SYRIA

Duty Station: GENEVA

Posting Period: 02 May 2023 – 31 May 2023

Job Opening Number: 23-Jurists-IIIM-SYRIA-205158-R-Geneva (R)

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Organisational Setting and ReportingThis position is within the Operational Support Section (OSS) of the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 (IIIM), located in Geneva, Switzerland. The Witness Support Officer reports to the Senior Legal Officer (OSS).


Under the direct supervision of the Senior Legal Officer (OSS), the Witness Support Officer will perform the following functions: – In collaboration with the Witness Protection Officer, participates in investigative missions and engages with witnesses as needed before, during and after they engage with IIIM-Syria investigative teams; assists with preparations for witnesses and victims travelling for the purpose of interviews. – In coordination with the supervisor, formulates short- and long-term support strategies for witnesses and victims; establishes, maintains and monitors the quality of referral pathways involving competent international organizations, national authorities, NGOs and other entities relevant for the provision of medical and psycho-social support and care to witnesses and victims who engage with the IIIM-Syria. – Conducts psychological assessments of witnesses and victims, before or during their interaction with the IIIM-Syria and, where required, provides culturally sensitive counseling, psychological support interventions and other support to witnesses and victims, in particular to witnesses with PTSD and anxiety disorders. – Assists investigators with psychological techniques to address circumstances that give rise to specific vulnerability, taking into account cultural elements of the interaction, and facilitates support for individuals affected by specific traumatism. – Assists in debriefing sessions with IIIM-Syria staff after sensitive interactions with witnesses and victims and provides individual counselling and other internal or external work-related psycho-social support, including with respect to secondary trauma. – Provides expert advice, guidance and training to IIIM-Syria staff interacting with witnesses and victims on issues affecting the physical and mental health of witnesses and victims, paying particular attention to trauma survivors, including victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and children. – Monitors and advises on the need for medical, psychological and psychiatric assistance or other professional intervention from relevant specialist bodies if required. – Participates in the development and implementation of protocols and standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure the well-being of witnesses and victims who engage with the IIIM-Syria in accordance with its mandate and international law standards and best practices. – Performs other duties as required.

CompetenciesPROFESSIONALISM: In-depth knowledge of referral pathways for the provision of medical and psycho-social support and care; Knowledge of best practices in ensuring the well-being of witnesses and victims who engage with accountability mechanisms; Ability to develop and implement support strategies for witnesses and victims. Shows pride in work and achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professionalism rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work. COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed. TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

EducationAn adavanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in Psychology, preferably in the field of Clinical/Forensic Psychology is required. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree) in Psychology, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Job – Specific QualificationPost graduate studies on psychological trauma, preferably on victims of terrorism, and/or serious crime and/or war crimes, and/or multiple victim incidents is desirable. (Please confirm and attach a copy of your certification to this application) Certification or country-specific license authorizing the incumbent to deliver mental health services is desirable. (Please confirm and attach a copy of your certification to this application)

Work ExperienceA minimum of five years of relevant professional experience in psychological counselling of vulnerable groups, such as victims of terrorism or other serious crimes is required. Experience in administration, implementation and management of support programmes is required. Experience in criminal court proceedings is desirable. Field experience is desirable. Experience providing counselling related to Middle Eastern context is desirable. Experience in related fields, such as alcohol/substance abuse, stress management, critical incident stress and/or cross-cultural communication is desirable. Experience developing protocols and standard operating procedures on witness support is desirable. Experience working with international organizations or NGOs is desirable.

LanguagesEnglish and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is desirable. Knowledge of French is desirable.

AssessmentEvaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special NoticeExtension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of funds. Fulfillment of the responsibilities of this position may necessitate engagement with material and/or information that may be distressing. An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential. The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application. Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.

United Nations ConsiderationsAccording to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment. Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment. Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process. The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General. Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage. The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application. Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.


June 2024