Detention Adviser

ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross

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Reports to (role)

Head of Persons Deprived of Liberty (Detention)


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has the ambition to be a leading and trusted humanitarian actor in detention in conflict situations and other situations of violence, and to be an influencing institution beyond. It seeks to ensure humane treatment for persons deprived of liberty and to preserve their dignity and their physical and psychological integrity.

The Persons Deprived of Liberty division embeds various disciplines whose work is focused on the protection and provision of essential services to persons deprived of liberty. This interdisciplinary division develops and supports the implementation of integrated strategic guidance and tools for field teams and provides operational support to ensure coherence of ICRCs detention actions to achieve inter-disciplinary protection outcomes on behalf of persons deprived of liberty.


The Detention Adviser supports the ICRC’s ability to analyse and understand emerging protection trends in detention and provides analytical, conceptual and methodological means to carry out strategic decision making and programmes on behalf of people deprived of their liberty. S/he supports the implementation of the ICRC strategic engagement and operational response by Delegations to achieve protection outcomes for people deprived of liberty.


• Internally, works closely with all members of the Persons Deprived of Liberty division as well as other divisions/ units to provide advice and support to Regions and delegations. • Externally, interacts with stakeholders active in the field of detention (Global and Regional) according to a well-defined stakeholder engagement plan.

General Duties

• Understands and adheres to the seven Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement • Understands and adheres to the ICRC Code of Conduct • Understands the roles of the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement • Respects and observes staff regulations and security rules at all times • Represents the ICRC in a professional manner at all times • Develops and maintains a pleasant and conducive working environment with colleagues and line managers • Performs all duties with the highest level of confidentiality in the interest of the employees and the ICRC • May be asked to perform tasks not covered in this job description and to provide support to other departments when necessary

Accountabilities & Functional responsibilities

• Review, update and when necessary, design protection methodology for detention teams to support the work done on behalf of persons deprived of liberty. • Lead research and development of technical and institutional guidelines and tools for a variety of files including but not limited to Detention by Non-States Armed Groups. • Advise detention teams in the field on the implementation of protection methodology and approaches pertaining to achieving protection outcomes for persons deprived of liberty. • Collaborate with team members within the division to produce interdisciplinary guidance and support on a variety of transversal detention related matters. • Contribute to the review and monitoring the use of the Planning and Monitoring for Results (PFR) which support a result-based management of field operations in detention related matters. • Act as the focal point on behalf of the division with Protection Data Unit and the Analysis and Evidence department to strengthen our analytical capability in relation to protection issues in detention and improve analytical tools when needed. • Actively support and contribute to the dissemination of knowledge through the design and delivery of training to staff working in detention in the field. • Actively support the organization of global and regional seminars when required.


Education: • Graduate degree in (but not limited to) international law, economics, international relations, anthropology, criminology, penology.

Professional Experience: • A minimum of seven (7) years of relevant work experience with at least five years in a role as Deputy protection coordinator in charge of detention / Protection coordinator or equivalent external to ICRC. • Extensive experience in the collection, documentation, research and analysis on detention related matters. • Experience in developing and disseminating protection methodologies in relation to the protection of persons deprived of liberty in relation to conflict and other situations of violence. • Experience in international organisations and/or NGO in the humanitarian / detention related field is an asset.

Skills and Knowledge: • Strong knowledge of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), International Human Rights Law and other relevant standards and evidence-based research related to the protection of persons deprived of liberty. • Strong analytical skills and strategic thinking, ability to apply professional and ethical standards to data collection and analysis processes. • Proven ability in the provision of technical advice and support to field programs in relation to detention. • Ability to design and conduct training sessions for various types of audiences on detention related matters. • Ability to work independently and as a team player – supporting other departments is essential. • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Fluency in a second language (Spanish, Arabic or Russian) is an asset. • Track record of / proven experience in writing or contributing to publications / substantial reports.

Additional information

• Location: Geneva • Type of contract: Basic open-ended • Type of assignment: 4-year assignment (Rotation Required) • Activity rate: 100% • Grade: C1 • Target starting date: 1 August 2024 • Application deadline: 30 June 2024

Our Values

  • At the ICRC, we value impact, collaboration, respect, and compassion. We seek candidates who demonstrate behaviors based on these shared values. For more information on the ICRC values, please visit this page.
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