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Junior Professional Officer Programme

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© UNHCR / R. Arnold

The Junior Professional Officer, or JPO programme, is an opportunity for young university graduates and young qualified professionals to obtain exposure to UNHCR's humanitarian work in the field or at headquarters in Geneva. Annually, some 80 JPOs are sponsored by 15 governments under the JPO programme. Some governments also sponsor JPOs from other countries under a Developing Country Scheme. Most JPO assignments last from two to four years.

In UNHCR, JPOs gain working experience in the fields of protection, humanitarian assistance in emergencies and other areas such as technical support services and external relations.

The areas of expertise which UNHCR looks for in candidates are law, public administration and social sciences. JPOs are expected to have an excellent knowledge of English and/or French, with fluency in other UN languages an advantage. The JPO age range is from 25-32 years, although in some cases, depending on the donor country, this limit may be waived.

Applicants to the programme must have a Bachelor's or Master's degree in a field relevant to the functions in the job description, and at least two to four years of relevant work experience. The exact criteria can vary from one donor to another.

The JPO programme gives successful candidates an introduction to international humanitarian aid work, and helps put him/her on an international career track.