The public debate on asylum and migration in Italy is drastically affected by an increasing attitude of demonizing
migrants, rescuers (i.e. NGOs and civil society at large) and even asylum-seekers and refugees. As a result, episodes
of xenophobia, racism and hate speech have flourished. The country is divided and defending the rights of refugees
became more complex than ever. The scenario is extremely sensitive and highly polarized and it became vital for
UNHCR to continue owning the refugee space and enhance its presence in an increasingly competitive, complex
and hostile environment.
In this tense scenario, UNHCR voice on refugee issues is critical in helping to shape the narrative and as an
advocacy tool. In particular, partnerships become fundamental not only to support refugee inclusion and selfreliance,
but they also represent a great opportunity for advocacy, with a lot of potential for the dissemination of
UNHCR’s messages. More than ever, the World Refugee Day represents, with its multiple events and considering
the constant media attention, an occasion for UNHCR to bring on awareness, empathy and solidarity for the
refugee cause in various areas of our common living.
As a result of this operational context, the quality of the communication work requires additional specific skills.
The Global Communication Strategy recommends to put UNHCR in the condition to lead the narrative on main
topics of concern. This imposes the necessity to strengthen the PI unit with staff holding solid communication
skills including direct experience in journalism, deep knowledge of reporting dynamics, analytical ability, in
addition to and excellent English writing skills which are considered essential as internationals make 40% of
The Senior Communication/PI Assistant will provide assistance to the immediate supervisor and /or Head of the
Office/Unit to ensure that high standards are maintained in drafting press releases, messaging, internal
communication and reporting, organization of press conferences and high level media initiatives.
The Senior Communication/PI Assistant normally has no direct supervisory functions though it rests upon the
supervisor of the post to make time specific arrangements subject to a given situation. The incumbent functions
under direct supervision of a Senior Communication/PI Associate, who is required to monitor the performance of
the incumbent and provide regular guidance.