Refugee Status Determination Volunteer Legal Advisor

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Recruiting Organization: StARS (St. Andrew's Refugee Services)

Saint Andrew’s Refugee Services, Cairo

Vacancy Announcement: Refugee Status Determination Volunteer Legal Advisor

Founded in 1979, StARS is a refugee service provider in central Cairo that works to enhance the quality of life for refugees and vulnerable migrants through five broad program areas: education, psychosocial, legal, community outreach and unaccompanied youth and children support services. We provide high-quality services meeting the unaddressed needs of refugees, and we provide a safe and inclusive space for displaced people to come together as a community. We work for refugees, with refugees, to make rights recognition a reality.

StARS’ Mission: Driven by a commitment to justice and fairness, StARS works as displaced people and for displaced people to respect human dignity and enhance quality of life.

StARS’ Vision: Displaced people lead in the creation and implementation of responses to different forms of migration to establish safe, just, welcoming, and inclusive communities globally.

We serve people from many places, including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

To learn more please visit our website: or our Facebook page

Project Description: Refugee Legal Aid Program

The Refugee Legal Aid Program provides advice and representation to refugees seeking recognition by UNHCR through refugee status determination procedures in Egypt and assists refugees in accessing resettlement to safe third countries. The Refugee Legal Aid Program is seeking Volunteer Legal Advisors to assist vulnerable refugees in their refugee status determination process.

Current Sudan Context

In light of the recent and ongoing civil war in Sudan, StARS is experiencing a high influx of persons forcibly displaced from Sudan. This includes Sudanese nationals and other nationalities previously displaced from their country of origin to Sudan. StARS remains flexible and reactive to changes in the local asylum-seeking environment as influenced by the Sudan conflict. The Refugee Legal Aid Program is seeking to increase its capacity to provide legal advice and representation in accordance with UNHCR procedures, to best assist those affected by this ongoing conflict.


Each year, the Refugee Legal Aid Program offers several unpaid internships for qualified candidates who can join us for six months. Under the supervision of the Refugee Status Determination Coordinator and Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officers, the Refugee Status Determination Volunteer Legal Advisors are responsible for the provision of legal advice and representation to urban refugees in matters related to their Refugee Status Determination procedures with UNHCR Egypt.

Among other responsibilities, Refugee Status Determination Volunteer Legal Advisors conduct Refugee Status Determination workshops to educate refugees about the process in Egypt; accompany clients to refugee status determination interviews at UNHCR; conduct screening interviews with clients seeking assistance appealing the rejection of their refugee status determination claims or seeking to reopen their UNHCR files; represent clients in various refugee status determination procedures, including refugee status determination appeals; and serve as on-call legal advisors, providing information and assistance to clients on a walk-in basis.

Refugee Status Determination Volunteer Legal Advisors are responsible for their own caseloads and get extensive direct experience representing refugees. Following the completion of their six-month commitment, volunteers have gone on to work with UNHCR, IOM, and other international non-governmental organizations.

The Refugee Status Determination Volunteer Legal Advisors are part of RLAP’s team of approximately 20 legal staff and volunteers.


All duties are carried out under the supervision of the Refugee Status Determination Coordinator and Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officers.

Legal and Technical

· Responsible for managing own caseload spanning the spectrum of the Refugee Status Determination team’s work.

· To conduct workshops with groups and individual clients regarding the refugee status determination procedures at UNHCR in Egypt.

· To conduct screening and intake interviews with potential clients seeking representation in refugee status determination matters.

· To serve as on-call resources for clients seeking legal advice on a walk-in basis, providing counseling to clients regarding registration, protection, and refugee status determination procedures at UNHCR.

· To maintain good working knowledge of UNHCR policies and procedures in refugee status determination matters.

· To maintain good working knowledge of the current political and social situations in the countries of origin of StARS’ clients.

· To assess extra-legal client needs and recommend referrals to other StARS teams or external organizations as appropriate.

· To undertake comprehensive case management practices including maintaining and updating electronic databases and records for each client, and keep detailed notes of all casework activities.

· To adhere to the Nairobi Code of Ethics, the StARS Staff Handbook, and the StARS Code of Conduct.


· To attend and contribute to Refugee Status Determination team meetings.

· To build and maintain relationships with StARS psychosocial and education staff.

· To attend an initial intensive two-week training program.

Communication and Reporting

· To communicate regularly with the Refugee Status Determination Coordinator and Refugee Status Determination Senior Legal Officers, reporting on all major issues and developments in the field and within the Refugee Legal Aid Program.

· To submit activity reports as requested.

· To promote information sharing within the Refugee Legal Aid Program and StARS on all issues affecting the populations we serve.

· Other duties as assigned

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will be energetic, articulate, and comfortable interacting with diverse segments of society. She or he will have demonstrated a firm commitment to human rights and refugee issues.

Essential qualifications

· English being the official language of UNHCR Cairo and StARS, Refugee Status Determination Volunteer Legal Advisors must be fluent in oral and written English.

· Excellent writing skills.

· Well organized, self-motivated, and reliable.

· Willingness to commit to a minimum service period of six months.

· Commitment to and sensitivity toward vulnerable or displaced people.

· Ability to live and work in a fluid security environment.

· Ability to work in a team as well as individually.

· A positive attitude and sensitive manner in advocating for clients who are survivors of violence, trafficking, torture, and SGBV.

Desirable Characteristics

· Fluency or working knowledge of Arabic or a refugee language is an advantage.

· Knowledge of UNHCR guidelines and procedures.

· Knowledge of the general protection situation and vulnerabilities of refugees in Egypt.

· Knowledge of the general situation of the countries from which StARS clients originate.

· Life and work experience in Africa, the Middle East or Egypt.

Working Hours: The Refugee Status Determination Volunteer Legal Advisor is expected to be at work for 40 hours per week, between the hours of 9am and 5pm, from Sunday to Thursday. Longer hours, evening and weekend work are sometimes necessary. Work will be conducted both in StARS premises and also in refugee communities and centers.

Supervised by: Refugee Status Determination Coordinator

Contract Term: Six months, renewable by agreement of both parties.

Compensation: N/A

Closing date for applications: 30 May 2024

Anticipated starting date: 28 July 2024

To apply: Please send your Cover Letter and CV and brief legal writing sample to using the subject line "Refugee Status Determination Volunteer Legal Advisor". All applications should provide contact information for two professional/academic reference (referees will only be contacted after interviews).

Note: Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for an interview.

Stipend ProvidedFalse

Training ProvidedFalse

Housing AvailableFalse

Language/Cultral Support AvailableFalse

Wheelchair AccessibleFalse

Fee RequiredFalse

Fee Amount: None

This opportunity is recurring

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