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Operational Support Traineeship in the Armed and Security Forces Unit

Requisition ID:  15086
Region:  Europe (HQ)
Contract type:  Traineeship
Reports to (role)


The Operational Support Associate works within the ICRC's Armed and Security Forces Unit (FAS) based in the Headquarters in Geneva and reports to the Operational Support Team Coordinator. The FAS Unit sits in the ICRC's International Law and Policy Department, and consists of a Headquarters element of 8 FAS advisers, and around 70 FAS delegates in field delegations around the world. FAS advisers are almost exclusively former senior military or police officers.



The Operational Support Associate works closely with the FAS Operational Support Advisers at Headquarters, who act as strategic level focal points for FAS effort in the each of the 5 operational regions. The Advisors ensure strategic linkage with the field and global coherence, including strategic planning, analysis, coordination, resource management and expert advice. The role of the Operational Support Associate is to contribute to the FAS Unit's objectives by collaborating on research
and development, internal activities and support to the field.

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 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.


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 hundred countries. FAS field delegates support this dialogue, including through expert advice, networking, conduct of hostilities and use of force expertise, and operational analysis. At the Headquarters level in Geneva, the FAS Unit has prime responsibility for defining concepts, guidelines, policies, procedures and tools within the framework of this dialogue. The FAS Unit also has a key role in ensuring strategic linkage and regional coherence of FAS operational effort in each region, as well as providing strategic level analysis on regional and pan regional issues.

Accountabilities & Functional responsibilities


  • Provides timely information on arms carriers activity, emerging issues and conflict trends to the Operational Support advisors, including through environment scanning/analysis, and contributes to development of policy and prevention approaches
  • Supports the internal collection and promotion of operational good practices and lessons learned
  • Contributes to development by FAS of concepts, guidelines, policies, rules and procedures in relation to dialogue with arms carriers
  • Conducts specific research projects on request, linked to the activity of the FAS Operational Support team
  • Supports the design and conduct of FAS events, as well as post event analysis and reporting
  • Maintains and develops FAS operational reporting mechanisms, preparing analytical overviews of unit activity for senior management review
  • Promotes the operational activity of FAS, including through web based platforms


S/he is attached to the Unit for the Dialogue with Arms Carriers (FAS) and reports directly to the FAS Ops Support Coordinator within the FAS Unit.

Certifications / Education required


Master's degree in a relevant field (e.g. International Relations, International Law, Political Science, Conflict Studies or similar)

Professional Experience required


  • No more than two years (including internships) of relevant paid experience – i.e. with international organizations and/or NGOs 
  • Demonstrated 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 asset
  • Good understanding of the mission and mandate of the ICRC
Desired profile and skills


  • Strongly motivated by humanitarian work
  • Operational mindset, with the ability to manage multiple files simultaneously and delivering at pace in a challenging and sensitive environment
  • Strong oral and written communication skills (publications are considered as an asset)
  • Strong analytical and research skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Competent user of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point)
  • Comfortable dealing with former senior military and police officers, as well as senior management
  • Able to work under pressure


Fluency in English and French, knowledge of another language (Arabic, Russian, Spanish) would be considered an asset.

Additional information


  • Type of role: Associate 
  • Working rate: 100%
  • Starting date: 01/09/2020
  • Location: Geneva
  • Length of assignment: 12 months
  • Relocation: Not provided for traineeships
  • Visa/permit: Legitimacy card provided
  • Gross monthly salary: 3000 CHF
  • Application documents required: diplomas, work certificates, scan color of passport – please upload it on your profile
  • Application deadline: 12/06/2020



The ICRC values diversity and is committed to create an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.