International consultant to guide and facilitate the integration of the child protection component in the process related to transitional justice in The Gambia
UNICEF Gambia Office is looking for an International consultant to guide and facilitate the integration of the child protection component in the process related to transitional justice in The Gambia.
Background information on Children
The Gambia, was ranked 172 out of 187 countries in the 2014 UN Human Development Index. With an annual growth rate of 3.3 per cent, the projected population stands at 1.9 million (National Census, 2013). The Gambia is among the few countries in sub-Saharan Africa that have registered substantial progress towards the attainment of the MDGs especially in education, health and gender, some of which have already been achieved. Trends in Infant and under-five mortality rates (IMR, U5MR) have been on the decrease as reported by the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) 2013 when compared to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2010. The data showed that between 2010 and 2013, infant mortality declined from 81 to 34 deaths per 1,000 live births. During the same period, under-five mortality declined from 109 to 54 deaths per 1,000 live births (MICS 2010 and DHS 2013).
Poverty rates in The Gambia fell from 58 percent in 2003 to 48.4 percent in 2010 (ibid). However, extreme poverty remains widespread, with nearly 40 percent of the population existing on less than US$1 per person per day (GBoS, 2010).
After 22 years of autocratic rule The Gambia is determined to build from scratch a new democratic society compliant with the rule of law and human rights. No significant peacebuilding activities have started yet. The Government was advised to set up as a first step a task force tasked with preparing the setting up of transitional justice mechanisms and the constitutional and institutional reforms.
Context and justification
During the past 22 years, scores of political figures, journalists, civil society activists and students were allegedly harassed, detained, tortured, murdered, made to disappear or forced into exile. The freedom of expression, association and assembly were severely restricted and several critical media houses were closed down. Justice institutions were systematically manipulated to preserve the oppressive regime in power. There was constant interference and arbitrary removal of independent-minded judges by the executive. Consequently, there is limited public confidence in the judiciary, as former President Jammeh dispensed crude justice by throwing opponents in prison, and often determining publicly their sentences. Justice delivery has been slow, and there has been a marked deficit in access to justice. The perception of a compliant judiciary was exacerbated by the role played by the judiciary in trying to extend the President’s tenure after he rejected the election result.
The coercive regime created break down of families and long-term fear and trauma especially for children whose families were directly affected either by long-term imprisonment, disappearance and summary execution. The long term effect on children’s overall development as adults would indeed be costly if urgent actions at not taken to reform the social sectors also to ensure children greater protection for children.
Because of the political repressions many children directly or indirectly suffered from abuse, violence, neglect and discrimination. Many children have been placed in the adult prison with limited protection and no facilities for girls making them more vulnerable to further violence, abuse and exploitation. Therefore, it is very important to provide necessary support for those victim children in the transitional justice process making sure their cases handled by qualified experts.
According to the Guidance Note of the Secretary-General on UN Approach to Justice, Children’s concerns need to be included in the discussions related to transitional justice processes and mechanisms from the outset. Provisions are to be made for their full-fledge participation and protection. Procedures need to be in line with the UN Guidelines on Justice in matter involving Child Victims and Witnesses of Crime and children’s participation must be guided by the principles of their best interests.
In the framework of the UN intervention, UNICEF is planning to help the Government to put in place the building blocks for establishing a comprehensive transitional justice process including specialized one for children, and the establishment of an independent national human rights institution. It supports catalytic initiatives for conflict prevention; and building trust and confidence between and among national stakeholders through collaborative leadership and dialogic processes. The intervention is fully in line with the Sustaining peace initiative of the UN Secretary General, which fosters prevention rather than maintaining, or keeping the peace and promotes the building of strong institutions.
According to the UN approach to transitional justice, children have the right to express their views in matters and proceedings affecting them, in accordance with their evolving capacities, and that child-friendly policies and procedures must be put in place to protect the rights of child victims and witnesses of crime involved. This project will enable the Government of the Gambia to strengthen justice for children system that will provide child friendly services to children victims of human right violation in view of rehabilitating them and repairing the damage caused to them by the violation.
The main objective of this assignment is to assist UNICEF Gambia Country Office in developing a transitional justice programme that address children issues in all steps, including truth telling, prosecution, reparation and institutional reform. This technical expertise will allow UNICEF Gambia and its partners to have a common broader and complete vision of the role of child protection in transitional justice. The consultancy will also provide a set of feasible options that will address the needs of children victims of the autocratic regime to deal with the aftermath of human rights violation. Finally, the consultancy will provide strategic and operational orientations that will guide political decision on child sensitive transitional justice priorities and programmes.
- Present a clear diagnosis of the transitional justice efforts in the country, including an analysis of the role of justice for children counterparts.
- Improve capacity development of justice and social welfare professionals on transitional justice.
- Define all the elements of a child sensitive transitional justice in the country.
- Define the main strategic areas of a child sensitive transitional justice policy, taking into account other relevant policies in the country.
- Define the accomplishments/achievements for the implementation of a child sensitive transitional justice policy in Gambia (resource mobilization, follow-up measures and capacity building).
Define monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for the implementation of a child sensitive transitional justice policy.
- Please see attached document for full details on this consultancy.
- Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
- Location: Bangui
- Grade: International Consultant
- Legal - International Law
- Closing Date: 2017-05-14