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Thematic Traineeship in the Armed and Security Forces Unit

Requisition ID:  15094
Region:  Europe (HQ)
Contract type:  Traineeship
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 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.

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.



Based in Geneva, the FAS Thematic Associate contribute to the work of the unit in charge of the dialogue with weapon bearers. Up to 50% of the job will be allocated to researches amongst one of the following not exhaustive list of files:

  • Future trends in military or police operations
  • Operational dialogue with non-state armed actors
  • Urban warfare
  • Partnered military operations
  • New technologies in operations and Cyber Warfare
  • Roots of behaviour/restraint of fighters
  • Protection of the medical mission during civil unrest

In addition, the Associate provides thematic support to the FAS advisers in the team and assist them in designing of training tools and the organization of events, round tables, and workshop.

Accountabilities & Functional responsibilities


Works together with the Thematic team on specific issues, including by supporting the development of guidance papers for HQ or field delegations:

  • Briefs delegates on ICRC’s operational approach to thematic s/he is involved in;
  • Assists advisers during 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 best practices, guidance documents and 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 meeting, reference documents and tools as mentioned above for the Unit;
  • Supports the revision of e-learning modules;
  • Assists the members of the Unit to organize the management of information;
  • Promotes the unit’s work, through web-based platforms, ensuring relevance and visibility of its products and services.
  • Undertakes any other tasks as required by the FAS Unit.


S/he is attached to the Unit for relations with arms carriers, and reports directly to the FAS Thematic coordinator, within the FAS unit.

Certifications / Education required


Master’s Degree (ideally in social sciences, international law, humanitarian action, and related areas)

Professional Experience required


  • No more than two years (including internships) of relevant paid experience after the last graduation  – 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 strong asset
  • Good understanding of the mission and mandate of the ICRC
Desired profile and skills


  • Strongly motivated by humanitarian work
  • Ability to research, analyse, and synthesize information, with the ability to manage 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 managing work
  • Competent user of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point)
  • Comfortable dealing with former senior military and police officers, as well as senior management


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

Additional information


  • Type of role: Traineeship
  • Length of assignment : 12 months
  • Working rate: 100%
  • Starting date: 01/09/2020
  • 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.