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Field Witness Officer

Job opportunity

Field Witness Officer

Job ID : #568588

Location : Kinshasa

Closing date : May 09th, 2013



I.              Context


Under the direct supervision of the Head of Operations of Victims and Witnesses Unit (VWU), in the Division of Court Services, the Field Witness Officer is in charge of international and local VWU personnel in the field. S/he co-ordinates all VWU actions (Support, Protection and Operations) in the field; provides training in the field on VWU security and witness protection and confidentiality issues upon request.

Under the guidance of the Head of Operations the Field Witness Officer ensures witness appearance in conditions that take appropriately into account their safety, physical and psychological well-being, dignity and privacy paying particular attention to vulnerable witnesses; establishes and maintains necessary procedures, arrangements and contacts with local, international and commercial entities to ensure that victims and witnesses are able to move for the purposes of Court without difficulties when required.

Implements timely support and logistical preparations in the field, in close coordination with the Associate Support Officer (ASO), to ensure that witnesses travel with adequate support and appropriate assistance. Conducts Post Testimony risk Assessments (PTAs) of non-protected ( non-ICCPP) witnesses and ensures that the post-testimony protocol is adhered to, incl. ensuring appropriate measures are implemented during cooling-down period and post-return monitoring. Liaises with parties and participants in the field and in cooperation with the Associate Protection Officer (APO), provides training to legal representatives and intermediaries on good practices upon request. Supervises and ensures the timely collection, assessment and reporting of any information relevant to the safety and security of witnesses and VWU staff in the areas of operation; monitors, analyses the security situation in his areas of operation and develops security information network through liaison with local authorities, embassies, UN agencies and international NGOs. Develops and maintains the country specific risk and threat assessment identifying possible threats and risks to victims, witnesses and others at risk and to the operations of the VWU. Provides comprehensive reports to senior management on the overall security situation of his area operation on regular basis. Under the guidance of the Head of Operations and in coordination with the APO, develops, maintains and tests the Initial Response System (IRS) in the Court's areas of operations to serve Prosecution/Defence/Chambers witnesses and victims. Consults and briefs the APO regularly on the status of the IRS; ensures coverage for the IRS during absence from the mission area; tests the IRS when instructed or required, but at least two times a year. Represents the VWU in the Field Office and establishes and maintains good working relationships with the Field Office Manager (FOM) and the Field Security Officer (FSO) and ensures that cooperation and coordination with the FOM is done in accordance with agreed procedures. Coordinates VWU missions/staff movements with the Security Officer and participates in field security coordination meetings; maintains good, professional and functional working relationship with all the personnel working in the Field Office. Performs duties as required.

Initial appointment is in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo with a possibility of rotation to other mission areas.

II.             Qualifications

-       A relevant University degree or graduate of police academy equivalent to a university degree ;

-       A minimum of seven years (five with an advanced university degree) of relevant experience in the assessment of threat and implementing protection measures; relevant experience in field operations and witness logistics ;

-       Familiarity with international witness relocations ;

-       Proven ability to create and maintain contact and cooperation with external interlocutors, and to work under pressure and without close supervision ;

-       Experience working in post-conflict environments is preferred ;

-       Excellent management, organizational and communication skills including drafting ability and knowledge of relevant computer software ;

-       Willingness to work flexible hours ;

-       Ability to deal effectively with witnesses in stressful situations, particularly those who have suffered trauma ;

-       Ability to work and operate in a multicultural environment ;

-       Absolute tact, sensitivity, loyalty, discretion and good judgement, including particular sensitivity to the needs of victims of sexual and gender based violence, children, the elderly and the disabled.

III.            Knowledge of languages

English and French are both working languages of the Court, however for this position fluency in French is required and working knowledge of English is desirable. Knowledge of another official language of the Court (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish) would be considered an asset.

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