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Thematic Associate within the ICRC's Armed and Security Forces Unit (FAS)

Requisition ID:  19831
Region:  Europe (HQ)
Contract type:  Traineeship

What we do

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We act 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 their International Federation 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 advise and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.


In support of its mandate, the ICRC has a unique dialogue with arms carriers (armed forces, police and security forces, non-state armed groups, and private military/security companies) in over 100 countries. FAS field delegates support this dialogue through expert advice, networking, the conduct of hostilities and use of force expertise, and operational analysis. At the Headquarters level in Geneva, the FAS Unit is responsible for defining concepts, guidelines, policies, procedures, and tools within the framework of this dialogue. The FAS Unit also has a crucial role in ensuring strategic linkage and regional coherence of FAS operational effort in each region and providing strategic level analysis on regional and pan-regional issues.

Purpose of the position


Based in Geneva, the FAS Thematic Associate contributes to the Unit's work in charge of the dialogue with weapon bearers. Up to 50% of the job will be allocated to research amongst the following not comprehensive list of files:


  • The armed violence in urban settings;
  • Urban warfare;
  • Cyber warfare and IHL;
  • Targeting processes;
  • Less than lethal weapons;
  • Adult learning, pedagogical techniques, and behavior change;
  • IHL education and training;
  • Large-scale International Armed Conflict;
  • Tabletop exercise construction and conduct;
  • Collecting data for the organization of events, round tables, and workshops;
  • Preparation for the annual Senior Workshop on International Rules Governing Military Operations (SWIRMO/SWIRPO) and the FAS Induction Course;
  • Preparation for the biannual Senior Workshop on International Rules Governing Police Operations (SWIRPO).

Reports to (role)


The Thematic Associate works within the ICRC's Armed and Security Forces Unit (FAS) based in the Headquarters in Geneva and reports to the Thematic Team Coordinator. The FAS Unit sits in the ICRC’s Department of Protection and Essential Services. It consists of a Headquarters element of 8 FAS advisers and around 70 FAS delegates in field delegations worldwide. FAS advisers are almost exclusively former senior military or police officers.

Accountabilities & Functional responsibilities


Works together with the Thematic advisers in supporting field delegates on specific issues, including by:


  • Producing internal mentorship papers;
  • Briefs delegates on ICRC's operational approach to thematic they is involved in;
  • Along with other Advisers, represents the ICRC in international fora, when requested;
  • Supports the Unit's other thematic areas of focus and related objectives;
  • Undertakes background research into policy and practice of the ICRC and other relevant organizations
  • Developing similar activities as required by members of the Unit. This research will be used in preparing
  • Collection of standard methodologies, mentorship documents, working tools, articles, and other publications;
  • Supports the preparation of internal training courses/seminars/events related to Unit themes;
  • Drafts and/or edits documents such as briefing notes, minutes of the meeting, reference documents, and tools as mentioned above for the Unit;
  • Supports the revision of e-learning modules;
  • Assists the members of the Unit in coordinating the management of information;
  • Promotes the Unit's work through web-based platforms, ensuring relevance and transparency of its products and services;
  • Undertakes any other tasks as required by the FAS Unit.

Certifications / Education required


Master's Degree (ideally in Social Sciences, International Law, International Relations, Political Science, Humanitarian action and related areas).

Professional Experience required


  • No more than two years (including internships) of relevant paid Experience — i.e., with international organizations and/or NGOs (mainly working on issues related to the protection of the civilian population);
  • Proven Experience in at least one of the Unit's work streams (state armed forces, police and gendarmerie, non-state armed groups);
  • Knowledge of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights is a vital asset;
  • Good understanding of the mission and mandate of the ICRC.

Desired profile and skills


  • Strongly motivated by humanitarian work;
  • Ability to research, analyze, and synthesize information, with the ability to prioritize multiple files simultaneously;
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely (written and oral);
  • Comfortable working in a team, good interpersonal skills;
  • Good level of autonomy/independence in leading work;
  • Proficient user of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint);
  • Comfortable dealing with former senior military and police officers, as well as senior management;
  • Proficiency in English and French is required, and knowledge of another language (Arabic, Russian, Spanish) would be considered an asset.

Additional information


  • Location: Geneva
  • Type of contract: Traineeship
  • Length of assignment: 12 months
  • Working rate: 100%
  • Relocation: Not provided for traineeships
  • Visa/permit: legitimacy card provided
  • Gross monthly salary: 3723,2 CHF
  • Starting date: 02 January 2022
  • Application deadline: 15 October 2022
  • Application documents required: diplomas, work certificates, scan color of passport - please upload it on your profile.

The ICRC values diversity and is committed to build an inclusive working environment. We encourage application from all qualified candidates.