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National Consultants to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Justice of Montenegro for conducting advanced training for professionals who obtained a licence to work as a Support Persons to the Child (2 positions)

Podgorica (Montenegro)

UNICEF is seeking for two National Consultants to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Justice of Montenegro for conducting advanced training for professionals who obtained a licence to work as a Support Persons to the Child (in Family Law related proceedings)

Job title: National Consultants to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Justice of Montenegro for conducting advanced training for professionals who obtained a licence to work as a Support Persons to the Child (in Family Law related proceedings)
 
Post type: National, two positions 
 

1. Background and Context: In previous years considerable progress has been made and strong political commitment was achieved in the reform of the country’s judicial system and juvenile justice as an integral component. The initiative proved to be fully aligned with Government`s priorities within the EU accession process, and defined as one of the priority areas in the Montenegro`s Action plan for the Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights). The Justice for Children Reform also proved to be of significant importance for Montenegro`s follow up actions in fulfilling the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to Montenegro.
Despite obvious and tangible progress achieved in the area of juvenile justice, the Government of Montenegro has recognized that the reform focus should be expanded towards broader children’s access to justice issues. This will ensure full protection of the rights of all children who participate in overall, mainstream criminal, civil and administrative justice processes. Throughout the implementation of the extensive juvenile justice system reform it became apparent that work with families at risk of breakdown and in particular the rights of children participating in civil proceedings are the two areas that have not received sufficient attention. Therefore, the Government of Montenegro noted the need for further harmonization of the Montenegro`s family legislation and related practice with international instruments and has set it as one of the priority areas in Montenegro`s EU accession process.
In that sense, the Government of Montenegro and UNICEF are looking forward to expand the reform focus towards protection of the rights of all children who participate in civil, criminal or administrative proceedings, the areas that have not received sufficient attention up to date. This implies introduction of child-friendly procedures in overall justice system (criminal, civil and administrative proceedings) and empowerment of the most vulnerable children and families to effectively access justice and meaningfully participate in the judicial and administrative proceedings.
 
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sets out the best interests of the child and child participation as two out of four pivotal principles of the Convention. The General Comment No 12 on children's right to be heard provides ample guidance on the implementation of child friendly justice principles before, during and after legal proceedings and the General Comment no 14 says that State parties must respect and implement the right of a child to have his or her best interests assessed and taken as a primary consideration and is under the obligation to take all necessary, deliberate and concreate measures for the full implementation of this right. In the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, article 24 on the rights of the child sets forth the child’s right to protection and care, and to express her/his views and participate in proceedings, and the obligation by public authorities and private institutions to consider the child’s best interests as a primary consideration in all actions concerning a child.
 
Another important instrument for children’s access to justice in Europe is the European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights, which has been ratified by Montenegro. 72 Article 1(2) sets out its objectives: “in the best interests of children, to promote their rights, to grant them procedural rights and to facilitate the exercise of these rights by ensuring that children are, themselves or through other persons or bodies, informed and allowed to participate in proceedings affecting them before a judicial authority”
In the process of further harmonization of the Montenegro`s family legislation and related practice with international instruments and standards the Parliament of Montenegro adopted the Amendments to the Family Law of Montenegro in July 2016. The process of amending the Family law legislation was led by the Ministry of Justice with UNICEF technical assistance. As a result, Montenegro`s legislator provided the child with full standing capacity in all proceedings affecting the child, introduced the institute of Support Person to the child, provided better guarantees for children’s voices to be heard and opinions considered throughout the entire court proceeding, introduced provisions to facilitate child rights  professionals in the process of the best interest determination, and generally provided better substantial and procedural guaranties for the rights of the child to be adequately addressed and protected throughout the entire court proceeding and more opportunities for addressing child rights violations.
 
An important novelty of the new Family law is also reflected in the fact that there is duty of everyone, including parents, when deciding on matters concerning the child's opinion they must give due consideration to the child, in accordance with the age and maturity of the child, taking into account the level of their physical, emotional, intellectual and social development. There is no age limits, bearing in mind that the child, as research shows, is able to form an opinion from the earliest times, even when it is not able to verbally express his or her opinion.
 
The new Institute of Support Person introduced in the Family Law proceedings , is supposed to care for the rights, obligations and personality of the child with due attention and thoroughness and to convey to court the child’s opinion. Due to envisaged criteria for education, recruitment and licencing of support persons to a child, 17 professionals have been licenced for the Support person to the Child in Family Law related proceedings.
 
In order to provide further support to build capacities and knowledge of professionals engaged as Support Person to a child and to give them a chance to exchange opinions of their work with children so far, possible ambiguity in their work, and to further strengthen their role, UNICEF will engage a team of 2 individual national consultants from social work science/ psychologist/pedagogue/special pedagogue field to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Justice of Montenegro for provision of advanced training for professionals who are licenced as a Support Persons to the Child (in Family Law related proceedings).
 
 
2. Purpose and Objective: The purpose of this assignment is to improve the status and rights of children participating in the family law related proceedings. The objective of this activity is to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Justice of Montenegro for conducting advanced training for professionals who obtained a licence to work as a Support Persons to the Child (in Family Law related proceedings). The focus of the training will be on the international standards with the special consideration on the CRC General comment no 12 i.e. the right of the child to be heard as one of the four general principles of the Convention and elaborate and discuss the right of every child to freely express her views, in all matters affecting her or him, and the subsequent right for those views to be given due weight, according to the child’s age and maturity. It will be, in addition, discussed about cases in practice so far where the Support Person was engaged to support a child during court proceedings and the reflection of it: obstacles, challenges and next steps for improvement.
 
 
3. Methodology and Technical Approach: The methodology will include desk review, written inputs, and consultations with the Ministry of Justice and other respective institutions, development of training methodology and delivery of the training.  

The two (2) national consultants are expected to work in a Team and will work both in the field and from home. Each Consultant will work from home in preparing the agenda and material for the training and is expected to conduct one time 2 days training for all 17 licenced Support Person to a Child.
 
 
4. Activities and Tasks: Under the guidance and supervision of UNICEF Child Protection Officer, and in close cooperation with the relevant representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the team of Consultants will be responsible for following:
  • To familiarize with, within the preparatory phase, the new Amendments to the Family Law of Montenegro (2016), Bylaw on the education of the Support Persons to the Child in Family Law related proceedings (Official Gazette, No. 046/17 from 18/07/2017), Law on Free Legal Aid; Strategy for Judiciary Reform (2014-2018);
  • To make reference to the following documents: Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); General Comments No.12 on children's right to be heard; General Comment no 14 on the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration; European Convention on the Exercise of Child Rights; Council of Europe`s Guidelines on Child Friendly Justice, UNICEF CEECIS Study: Children’s Equitable Access to Justice, etc.;
  • To communicate with respective officials from the relevant institutions and UNICEF in order to receive in-depth guidance in order to develop a training materials;
  • To determine agenda and develop training content and methodology in accordance with the requirements and needs on the basic inputs received by stakeholders, licenced Support persons to a child and UNICEF;
  • Based on developed training material to conduct 2 days training;
  • To submit detailed report identifying key challenges and limitations in developing the training of professionals, including recommendations for way-forwards.

 

5. Key Deliverables and Timeframe: This assignment is expected to commence on 10th September 2018 and end on 15th October 2018. The consultants are expected to spend a total of 14 working days on this assignment i.e. 7 days per Consultant. Each Consultant is expected to produce the following key deliverables:

 

Key Deliverables

Number of days

Timeframe

 

Desk review (of legal texts, international documents)

2 days x 2 Consultants (4 in total)

By 20th September 2018

Development of training agenda and material for the training

 

2 days x 2 Consultants (4 in total)

By end of September 2018

Two days training for licensed Support Persons to a child

2 days x 2 Consultants (4 in total)

By 15 October 2018

Detailed Report with recommendations

1 day x 2 Consultants (2 in total )

By 15 October 2018

Total number of days

  1. days
 
 
6. Management and Organization: 
 
Management: The both Consultants will be supervised by the UNICEF Child Protection Officer. The relevant national stakeholders will be consulted on a regular basis for the feedback regarding the consultant’s work performance. 
 
Organization: Two National Consultants will be required for this consultancy. The selected Consultants will be obliged to complete mandatory training courses no later than 20 days after the start of Contract, and provide copies of the completion certificate(s).
Schedule: This assignment will commence on 10th September 2018, and last until 15th October 2018.
 
 
7. Qualifications/specialized knowledge/experience required to complete the task:
 
Each Consultant is expected to have the following qualifications/specialized knowledge/experience required to complete the task:
 
Education:
  • University degree in any of the following sciences: social work science/child psychology/pedagogy or special pedagogy;
Experience:
  • Ten (10) or more years of experience and expertise in the area of working within child rights context;
  • Previous work experience with UNICEF or other international organizations will be considered as an advantage;
  • Experience in conducting trainings in relevant fields;
Language:
  • Excellent command of Montenegrin, whilst knowledge of English language will be considered as an advantage;
Other:
  • Knowledge of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant international standards in the area of child protection and access to justice specifically;
  • Familiarity with the local context in Montenegro in particular with respect to the justice, access to justice, social protection would be considered as an asset;
  • Strong communication and writing skills.
 

7. Application procedure:
 
  • To apply for a vacant position, please submit P-11 form along with your motivation letter through “apply” button;
  • The candidates are requested to submit lump sum financial offer as a separate document consisting of fee for the services to be provided, travel and subsistence costs, as/ if applicable.
The consultant’s fee may be reduced if the assignments/deliverables are not fulfilled to the required standard. In a case of serious dissatisfaction with the consultant’s performance the contract may be terminated in line with UNICEF procedure in such matters and as spelled out in the contract.
 
 
8. Remarks: 
 
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply.
 

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

 
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Podgorica (Montenegro)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Legal - Broad
    • Peace and Development
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Legal - International Law
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-22

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