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Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion

UNHCR’s Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity and Gender Equity

UNHCR values inclusiveness, diversity and gender equity and will continue to strive to achieve full adherence to these principles in its policies and organizational culture.

Diversity is critical to protecting our people of concern and to finding innovative solutions in response to humanitarian crises.

UNHCR is committed to achieving and maintaining gender parity at all grades and to have a workforce that is diverse, inclusive and representative of all regions.

Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on the grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. We work with skilled professionals who are committed to put people first, make a real difference to people’s lives and are willing to go anywhere we are needed to get the job done.

Our values

  1. Our core values are integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity.
  2. We put people first – the needs of people forced to flee are at the heart of everything we do.
  3. We go wherever we are needed and get the job done – our staff work in more than 135 countries, often in extremely difficult conditions.
  4. We support resilience – we work with those in need, affording them dignity and respect.
  5. We protect people’s rights – we work to safeguard the rights of those who have been forced to flee their homes or are deprived of a nationality.
  6. We deliver the best possible outcome – we are focused on protecting refugees and displaced communities forced to flee, and developing solutions to support people in their quest to restart their lives and build a better future.

Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has a zero tolerance policy against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA). SEA is unacceptable behaviour and prohibited conduct for UNHCR personnel. It constitutes acts of serious misconduct and is therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including dismissal. Any concerns or suspicions about a possible case of SEA should be reported immediately to the Inspector General’s Office (IGO).

Gender Equality

In September 2017, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, launched the UN System strategy on gender parity. At the heart of the strategy is the need to increase the recruitment and advancement of women - in particular in middle to senior management levels, where the gaps are the greatest. Therefore, UNHCR has put measures in place to support gender parity, especially with a focus on attracting, recruiting and retaining women in leadership and technical roles. When reviewing candidates, managers must include at minimum two-thirds female candidates among those shortlisted to the extent possible. When two or more candidates fully meet the requirements of a position and are substantially equally qualified, preference in recommendations will be given to female candidates until gender parity is achieved at the respective grade levels.

Furthermore, to better support and balance personal, family and professional commitments, UNHCR staff members are entitled to:

  • Maternity Leave with full pay, normally commencing from six up to two weeks prior to the anticipated date of delivery and extending for a total period of 16 weeks
  • Adoption and Surrogacy Leave increased to 10 weeks
  • Request eigh weeks special leave with full pay to complement Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Surrogacy Leave.
  • Returning from Maternity Leave, a staff member may be authorised to work on 75 per cent basis whilst receiving full salary during that period so as to provide adequate child support during his or her first year of life, extended to Adoption and Surrogacy Leave.
  • Workplace accommodation: authorization to travel out of the duty station from 32nd week of pregnancy.