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Specialist in Labour Migration


Grade: P4  

Vacancy no.: RAPS/1/2020/AM/03
Publication date: 14 May 2020
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 16 June 2020


Job ID: 2826 
Department: WORKQUALITY 
Organization Unit: MIGRANT 
Location: San Jose   
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 ILO Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates.


Staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are encouraged to apply.


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 and welcomes applications from qualified female candidates. We also encourage applicants with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to


The ILO welcomes applicants with experience in working within ILO constituents (governments, employers’ and business membership organizations, and workers’ organizations).


Applicants 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:


In addition to the interviews and tests that any candidate may be required to take, successful completion of the ILO Assessment Centre is required for all external candidates and any internal candidate applying to a higher category.


The position is located in the Decent Work Technical Support Team and Country Office for Central America (DWT/CO-San José) based in San José.  DWT/CO-San José covers Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama and provides technical services to the ILO Country Office for Mexico and Cuba (CO-Mexico).  DWT/CO-San José has the mandate to develop and implement, in partnership with governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, a programme of international development cooperation to assist countries in promoting decent work for all and in strengthening the capacity of ILO constituents to formulate policies and programmes that promote the full implementation of international labour standards, improve working conditions and enhance employment opportunities.

The Specialist on Labour Migration will provide policy and technical advisory services to ILO constituents in the area of international labour migration and the promotion of decent work for migrant workers, with particular attention to promoting coherence between labour migration and employment policies, working conditions and wages, gender equality and non-discrimination, labour market institutions, fair recruitment, occupational safety and health, recognition of skills and prior learning, social protection and portability of social security benefits and labour mobility, including refugees participation in labour markets in the countries covered by DWT/CO-San José and in the countries covered by the CO-Mexico.

The Specialist will provide support to national ILO constituents in the design, implementation and evaluation of related national policies, in accordance with the provisions of Conventions Nos. 97 and 143, Recommendations Nos. 86 and 151, and all other labour standards relevant to migrant workers, the International Labour Conference’s (ILC) 2017 Resolution and Conclusions on Fair and Effective Labour Migration Governance, the ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration, the ILO agenda on fair migration endorsed by the ILC in June 2014,  General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment and accompanying definitions, and Access of Refugees and Other Forcibly Displaced persons from the Labour Market, and the ILC 2004 Resolution and Conclusions on a Fair Deal for Migrant Workers in a Global Economy

The Specialist will report to the Director of DWT/CO-San José who will determine the workplan of the incumbent, in coordination with the Director of CO-Mexico and the Regional Labour Migration Specialist in the ILO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Lima. The Specialist will collaborate closely and receive technical guidance and advice from the Labour Migration Branch (MIGRANT) in the Department of Working Conditions and Quality (WORKQUALITY) at headquarters.  The Specialist will work in close collaboration with the Regional Labour Migration Specialist and migration counterparts in the assigned countries and with other technical specialists in the DWT/CO San José and other ILO offices in the region.

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Specific Duties

1.    Provide technical guidance and policy advice to ILO constituents, and other national and subregional institutions dealing with migration and migration-related issues. Ensure coherence between the design and implementation of labour migration policies with those of employment policies in close collaboration with the Employment Specialists in the region. 

2.    Support social dialogue on labour migration within regional economic communities or integration processes to encourage the adoption of free movement schemes and protocols so as to provide protection to migrant workers and promote ILO standards related to migration. Liaise with regional consultative processes such as the Puebla Process to support efforts towards strengthening ties between employment, migration and social dialogue. 

3.    Develop and coordinate the design and implementation of national and subregional gender-responsive strategies and policies on labour migration, in close consultation with ILO constituents.

4.    Develop and implement joint partnerships with other UN agencies, development partners and international NGOs, consistently with the ILO's Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration and the Fair Migration Agenda.

5.    Collaborate with the specialists of the concerned DWTs on the integration of labour migration priorities into their respective work programmes; on responding to the needs of the constituents, as expressed in the Decent Work Country Programmes, and on the development of the ILO's knowledge base on labour migration, including data collection, analysis and processing in the region.

6.    Design, supervise and conduct relevant analytical and policy oriented research on labour migration trends, flows, regimes, contributions of migrant workers to development, and barriers to achieving decent work at national and subregional levels, as a basis for the formulation of relevant labour migration policy strategies, initiatives for projects and work programmes. 

7.    Develop and maintain good relationships with governments, workers' and employers' organizations, UN organizations, research institutions and non-governmental organizations that are involved in the field of labour migration to develop joint action plans.  

8.    Design country level, bilateral or multilateral development cooperation projects. Liaise with donors and potential partners with a view to securing resources and expanding the Office's capacity to undertake various activities in the field of labour migration in the subregion.

9.    Perform other relevant duties as required.

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

Generic Duties
  1. Design and promote a wide range of special subject-matter-related programmes, This involves: re-analysis of complex or conflicting data, statistics and information or policy guidelines, in a manner requiring the advanced application of principles of a recognised technical specialisation. 
  2. Develop and review an institutional framework, in which social partners can best improve, implement and evaluate efficient and equitable ILO action programmes.
  3. Provide policy advice to ILO’s constituents on institutional strengthening, the application of ILO standards and the promotion of development cooperation activities.
  4. Formulate and submit project proposals and seek funding.
  5. Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the project activities.
  6. Undertake technical advisory missions independently or in collaboration with other specialists.
  7. Conduct seminars, workshops and technical meetings and training courses.
  8. Prepare draft recommendations and guidelines for discussion and adoption as ILO Recommendations or Conventions on related technical fields.
  9. Write manuals and/or training guides on related topics.
  10. Disseminate information on programmes through publications and, press releases, as well as ensuring representation at donors’ meetings, international, regional and national fora and advocacy campaigns.
  11. Monitor and coordinate research carried out by junior technical officers and external collaborators.
  12. Provide technical inputs to office documents (sectoral meetings, technical committees, regional meetings and conference reports).
  13. Participate in tripartite reviews on development cooperation activities and international meetings and conferences.
Required qualifications

Advanced university degree in social studies, law, development studies, demographics, or economics with demonstrated expertise in the technical field of specialization.


At least eight years of experience working on international labour migration policy issues and/or other related areas at the national level or five years at the international level.


Excellent command of Spanish and English is required. Working knowledge of French is an advantage.


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

Technical competencies
Demonstrated and recognized technical knowledge in carrying out the objectives and policies on labour migration governance.  Knowledge on addressing the complexities of mixed flows (including forced displacement and climate change related movements). Ability to synthesize research and reach empirically based conclusions on related subjects; sound research and writing skills and demonstrated critical analysis of migration issues and policies; provide seasoned advice on international labour standards and good practices to address broader issues outside the field of specialization; formulate new concepts, projects and methodologies; ability to deal with sensitive issues with tact and diplomacy; responsiveness to the needs and concerns of constituents and other relevant interlocutors; a good understanding of the gender dimensions of migration flows and patterns and implications for policy;  develop training materials, alternative courses of action, project proposals, policy, procedural matters and present them at high-level meetings; design and synthesize strategies for programme development in member States; prepare or contribute to reports (e.g. reports for global and regional meetings, including ILO meetings such as the International Labour Conference), technical publications, training manuals and draft resolutions; and evaluate and monitor development cooperation activities and projects; demonstrated ability on resource mobilization and implementation of development cooperation projects.

Behavioural competencies
Good communication, presentation and negotiating skills, and appreciation of the tripartite structure and procedures of the ILO. Strong diplomatic skills.  High standard of integrity, professionalism, personal discipline and impartiality.   Good interpersonal skills and a proven team player. Ability to work under time pressure and meet deadlines.  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:


Important Information

Any officials of the General Service category interested in applying to this position are hereby informed that, if selected, they will be offered the salary and allowances applicable to the grade of the position applied for, which may result in substantial changes in their take-home remuneration. In accordance with Article 3.4 of the Staff Regulations, the salary of an official, upon promotion, shall in no case be greater than the maximum salary of the grade to which he or she was promoted. For any questions or clarifications, please contact your HR partner at


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

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