International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - Traineeship in the detention unit

November 23, 2019

Opportunity begins:

Jan 13, 2020

Opportunity ends:

Jan 13, 2021

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International Organizations

Location (s):

  • Switzerland


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law.


We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.


The Associate will contribute to the work of the 10-person Detention Unit in the Protection Division and Central Tracing Agency, alongside one other Associate with whom some tasks will be shared. The Unit aims to define the ICRC’s policy on detention and to provide support to staff members working in the field and at Headquarters on behalf of people deprived of their liberty. The Associates have opportunities to develop their knowledge of detention and to apply and expand their existing skills, gaining work experience that will be useful for their careers.

Accountabilities & Functional responsibilities

1. Complete a mapping of detention access and acceptance of ICRC modalities in places of detention (20%): The associate will be responsible for completing and maintaining the Detention Dashboards, in coordination with the Detention Unit adviser following Evidence-based protection.

  • Consult with field delegations to collect data on access and modalities for 2018-2019 reporting period.
  • Complete and maintain the Detention Dashboards (Tableau & Excel) which compile data on visiting agreements, strategies, and access modalities.
  • Through an examination of the archives and internal documentation available, followed with some discussions with Detention Coordinators, finalise the mapping of detention access and level of modalities using Tableau.

2. Research project on access constraints, quality of dialogue and protection impact in detention (50%):

  • Support the design and implementation of the research project, under the supervision of the Operational Research adviser. Specifically, qualitative case studies to explore why access is constrained (in comparison to contexts with access and fully respected modalities and in association with ongoing research on quality of dialogue) and associated challenges in achieving and evaluating protection impact in detention.
  • Develop a selection criterion for qualitative analysis in case studies.
  • Identify source material to be analysed, including the development of a questionnaire guide and criteria for the identification of key informants to interview in the selected cases.
  • Support in conducting semi-structured interviews with key informants, transcription, and coding of interview data (including development of a coding methodology and framework).
  • Support in the analysis of the data on trends in detention access and modalities, qualitative challenges and opportunities, and challenges and approaches to achieving and evaluating impact in detention.
  • Assist in production, validation, and dissemination of a final report (internal and, if relevant and achievable, external) and operationalisation of the findings.

3. Support the Operational Researcher on ongoing research on quality of dialogue with detaining authorities as one aspect of challenges to attaining and maintaining access (15%):

  • Support development and trial of means to improve the quality of dialogue with detaining authorities, determining whether an improved dialogue leads to improved access and respect of working modalities in detention.

4. Event, training and ad hoc support to the unit (15%): The detention unit is responsible for courses or modules relating to persons deprived of their liberty. It is also involved in seminars and conferences on the subject. In support of this, the associate will:

  • Participate in the preparation for and running of meetings and training courses, including definition of agendas, identification of speakers, conducting follow-up action, drafting; minutes.
  • Conduct administrative tasks concerning the meetings and training courses.
  • Ad hoc administrative and logistical support to the Unit.
  • Support the final stages of publications, including production, checking translations and planning dissemination.

5. Additional tasks: The associate may be asked to contribute to other areas of the Unit’s work, as and when required.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Education and Experience

  • University degree (Master) in Social sciences (preferred), Political sciences, History, International relations.
  • Good working knowledge of French and English including writing and editing.
  • Strong interest in detention (eg through study, internship, first professional experience, volunteering, etc).
  • Demonstrated experience with independent research design, qualitative analyse, and synthesis of information.
  • Strong organisational skills and the ability to work autonomously.
  • Team player able to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Good general computer skills.
  • Facility with SharePoint an asset.

Important: Only individuals enrolled in higher education or who have recently completed their studies are eligible to be trainees/associates. For candidates to be eligible they must have a maximum of one year's professional experience after graduation (relating to the post) or two years if they have been in previous traineeships.

Desired profile and skills

  • Working proficiency in Spanish, Arabic or Russian
  • Experience in the non-profit world an asset
  • Interest in working on detention issues and field work in the future
  • Experience of organising events or meetings and writing reports



Deadline: November 23, 2019

Program Starts: January 13, 2020

Program Ends: January 13, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

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