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Specialist, International labour Standards and Labour Law


Grade: P4  

Vacancy no.: RAPS/2/2019/AF/02
Publication date: 25 July 2019
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 27 August 2019


Job ID: 1504 
Department: RO-Africa 
Organization Unit: DWT/CO-Dakar 
Location: Dakar   
Contract type: Fixed Term 


The following are eligible to apply:

  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates.


Staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are encouraged to apply and will be given special consideration at the screening and evaluation stage.


Applications from officials who have reached their age of retirement as defined in Article 11.3 of the Staff Regulations on or before 31 December 2017, or who have already separated from ILO service upon retirement or early retirement, will not be considered.


The ILO values diversity among its staff. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, including those with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to


Applications from qualified candidates from non- or under-represented member States, or from those member States which staffing forecasts indicate will become non- or under-represented in the near future, would be particularly welcome. A list of these countries can be found here:


Successful completion of the Assessment Centre is required for all external candidates.


The position is located in the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for West Africa, based in Dakar (DWT/CO-Dakar). The DWT/CO-Dakar is composed of various technical specialists who provide advisory services and assistance to ILO constituents. The countries covered are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. The incumbent will examine all the legal and practical aspects of international labour standards with a view to strengthening and improving the application and dissemination of these standards at all levels. He or she will ensure that the ILO’s normative considerations are fully integrated into the Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCPs) of the countries covered by the office. He or she will work closely with other technical specialists from the Decent Work Technical Support Team and from the region, including members of employers’ and workers’ organizations who are responsible for the legal and practical aspects of international labour standards. He or she will work with other United Nations agencies and with the relevant stakeholders from civil society to promote international labour standards. The incumbent will also act as a focal point for a cross-cutting issue or a priority topic.

The incumbent will report to the Director of the DWT/CO-Dakar and will receive technical guidance and advice from the International Labour Standards Department (NORMES) at headquarters. He or she will also be advised by the Governance and Tripartism Department (GOVERNANCE) at headquarters.

Specific Duties
  1. Ensure that governments fulfil their reporting obligations under article 22 of the Constitution in a timely manner and that they take appropriate action to follow up on the comments of the ILO supervisory bodies, such as the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, the Conference Committee on the Application of Standards and the Committee on Freedom of Association.
  2. Strengthen the capacities of the government and the social partners, as well as of the judiciary and parliamentarians, in respect of international labour standards and the supervisory system of the ILO.
  3. Formulate policies and provide advice on legal issues to ILO constituents regarding institutional strengthening and the application of ILO standards, including in respect of extending their application to the informal economy, and promote and undertake development cooperation activities.
  4. In collaboration with the International Labour Standards Department and the Governance and Tripartism Department, analyse the draft labour laws that governments submit to the ILO for comment, formulate and coordinate the comments and assist with the preparation of labour laws. Provide advice and assistance to workers’ and employers’ organizations on existing labour legislation and draft laws.
  5. Promote the establishment and proper functioning of tripartite consultation procedures in accordance with the Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144), and promote the ratification and application of international labour standards.
  6. Advise ILO constituents on the application of Conventions and Recommendations as an effective means of achieving the Organization’s decent work and social justice objectives.
  7. Examine and establish legal frameworks, institutional mechanisms and practices that could help the social partners to improve, implement and evaluate social dialogue. Conduct research and analysis in the field of international labour standards and labour law.
  8. Develop projects, review proposals, formulate, revise, evaluate and submit project proposals and negotiate funding, focusing in particular on international labour standards.
  9. Cooperate with other DWT/CO-Dakar specialists to ensure that international labour standards are fully taken into account in the design, implementation and evaluation of DWCPs.
  10. Disseminate information on action programmes through publications, manuals, guides, press releases, etc., and ensure representation at meetings with donor agencies, in international, regional and local forums, and in awareness-raising campaigns.
  11. Contribute to raising awareness of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, 2008, and the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, 2019, by organizing workshops and seminars. Prepare promotional material.
  12. Mainstream gender equality issues into all activities related to international labour standards and labour legislation.
  13. Perform other relevant duties as assigned.

These specific duties are aligned with the relevant ILO generic job description, which includes the following generic duties:

Generic Duties
  1. Examine reports by governments on ratified and unratified Conventions and Recommendations. Examine and analyse complaints. Prepare comparative analyses of the legislation and practice of the different member States. Draft comments for presentation to and discussion with high-level committees and/or groups of experts for discussion. Provide advice to colleagues on labour standards under the incumbent’s responsibility.
  2. Prepare legal opinions and interpretations on a variety of legal questions or in a specialized field.
  3. Prepare notes, reports and documents concerning questions of international law or labour standards, including requests for interpretations on complex legal questions, for consideration by governments, the Governing Body, the International Labour Conference and the Director-General. Develop strategies for follow-up to decisions made by policy bodies.
  4. Analyse draft labour legislation submitted by governments to the ILO for comments prior to adoption. 
  5. Undertake research and write studies on complex problems (i.e. judging compatibility between legislation and practice) relating to international labour standards, labour law and labour relations, as well as prepare general surveys, manuals and articles. Supervise the preparation of statements on questions of public international law relevant to the work of the ILO. Advise on the position to be taken by the Organization on these issues.
  6. Review and approve instruments of ratification. 
  7. Provide technical support to special tripartite committees established by the Governing Body or commissions of inquiry to examine alleged infringements of ratified Conventions.
  8. Represent the work unit at meetings, including Conference committees and industrial committees, to provide advice on legal questions or questions concerning international labour standards or labour relations. Act as adviser to Conference committees and assist in the drafting of international legal instruments and participate in pre-Conference work, including drafting committees. Represent the Office at meetings of other international organizations.
  9. Develop, plan and implement technical advisory and promotional activities, including tripartite seminars, workshops, lectures and discussion groups. Represent the Office on missions which may be of a sensitive or controversial nature and before judicial bodies. Represent the work unit on internal committees or at inter-agency meetings.
  10. Participate in the secretariat of various committees dealing with legal issues or labour standards, including preparation of background material and documents, drafting records of meetings, drafting reports, etc.
optional section (only if needed)
Required qualifications

Advanced degree in law.


Minimum of eight years of practical experience at the national level or at least six years at the international level. Practical experience and demonstrated ability to work in close cooperation with the social partners and government representatives. Demonstrated experience in and knowledge of ILO procedures in relation to the adoption of standards and supervision of their implementation. Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the fundamental standards and governance standards, including the practices of the ILO’s supervisory bodies with respect to their application.


Excellent command of French or English and a working knowledge of the other language. Knowledge of Portuguese would be an advantage.


In addition to the ILO core competencies, this position requires:

Technical competencies: Ability to design research studies and conduct comparative analyses involving the application of principles of law to the analysis of particularly complex administrative, procedural and substantive issues; ability to provide colleagues and constituents with authoritative advice on legal matters. Ability to perform tasks in accordance with the instructions and guidelines given; ability to use analytical tools and qualitative and quantitative techniques; ability to conceptualize, plan, coordinate and conduct research work. Ability to participate effectively in technical missions and team activities; ability to provide technical advice directly in the field of specialization; ability to guide and coordinate the work of external collaborators, General Service staff and young professionals; ability to prepare technically sound publications and reports, with conclusions that could be used as a basis for the development of an action plan and of programmes; and ability to contribute to the multidisciplinary research conducted by the team, to the formulation of projects and to their implementation. Ability to provide adequate advice, including on good practices, and to address broader issues outside the area of ​​expertise; ability to develop proposals for projects, policies and procedures and to present them at high-level meetings.

Behavioural competencies: Integrity and transparency, sensitivity to diversity, orientation to learning and knowledge sharing, client orientation, communication and orientation to change, takes responsibility for performance, quality orientation and collaboration. Diplomacy, tact and discretion in dealing with colleagues and constituents.

Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.



Conditions of employment

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to ILO Staff Regulations and other relevant internal rules. Any offer of employment with the ILO is conditional upon certification by the ILO Medical Adviser that the person concerned is medically fit to perform the specific inherent requirements of the position offered. In order to confirm an offer from the ILO the successful candidate will be required to undergo a medical examination.
  • The first contract will be issued for a twenty-four month period.
  • A successful external candidate will be on probation for the first two years of assignment.
  • Any extension of contract beyond the probation period is subject to satisfactory conduct and performance.

For more information on conditions of employment, please visit:


Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website at The system provides instructions for online application procedures.


Evaluation (which may include one or several written tests and a pre-interview competency-based assessment centre) and the interviews will tentatively take place during the 3 to 4 months following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.


Depending on the location and availability of candidates, assessors and interview panel members, the ILO may use communication technologies such as Skype, Video or teleconference, e-mail, etc for the assessment and evaluation of candidates at the different stages of the recruitment process, including assessment centres, technical tests or interviews.


Fraud warning

The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.