Sr. ROL & Human Rights Officer
Freetown (Sierra Leone)
The project seeks to strengthen rule of law, access to justice and security delivery in Sierra Leone in compliance with international human rights standards. It builds on the lessons learnt from UNDP’s Access to Justice (A2J) and Security Sector Reform (SSR) projects and years of UN and development partners’ support to justice and security delivery. The new project takes a holistic approach bringing together justice and security sector interventions under one framework which will enhance synergies and coordination. The project establishes shared priorities with an aim of contributing to the maintenance of peace and stability and to strengthen the rule of law, access to justice, accountability, transparency and respect for human rights. The key objective of the project is to ensure equal access to justice for all, focusing on the most marginalised, those vulnerable in the justice sector especially women and children. The project also seeks to address gaps in the justice sector chain and correctional services and to build on achievements under the two thematic projects “Promoting Transparency in Sierra Leone’s Judiciary” and “From Prisons to Corrections” that are supporting the achievement of legislative and institutional reforms.
Overall, the project seeks to address continued challenges around access to justice and security for the poorest and to build trust of the population in justice and security sector institutions. The failure to provide effective rule of law contributed greatly to the civil war highlighting the need to ensure justice and security institutions are supported to become a pillar of good governance in the country. Justice, security and oversight institutions are significantly underfunded by the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) which constitutes a real challenge and it is critical therefore that project interventions are sustainable.
Although Sierra Leone has made progress with its ratification of international and regional human rights instruments, law reform and justice services have been too slow in delivering improvements. Human rights violations including gender-based violence (GBV), property and inheritance deprivation among many other right abuses affecting women and girls continue to be perennial hurdles to rights enjoyment. The project therefore has a strong focus on protection and promotion of human rights including gender justice and integrates a human right-based approach (HRBA) throughout its intervention logic. The aim is to ensure that right holders are empowered to claim their rights and increasingly hold the government, as duty bearers, accountable to respect, protect and fulfil their duties. More focus was placed on raising public trust in the GoSL’s justice and security institutions through learning, M&E and strengthening dialogue between government and civil society, including beneficiaries. The project is also targeting support to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes at the community level including enhancing informal justice systems, and supporting mechanisms, such as community-based paralegals and Local Police Partnership Boards (LPPB’s). Together with the support to implementation of the new bail and sentencing regulations these interventions will seek to reduce case backlogs and prison overcrowding and enhance equal access to justice and security in compliance with international and regional human rights standards and hence target empowering those most vulnerable in the justice chain especially women and girls.
Throughout the project, UNDP will work closely with the GoSL, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the Ministry of Interior (MIA), the Justice Sector Coordination Office (JSCO, Law Officers’ Department (LOD), the Judiciary, the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRC-SL), the Legal Aid Board (LAB), Sierra Leone Corrections Services (SLCS) the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) , the Independent Police Complaints Board (IPCB) and civil society organisations (CSOs).
The project will strengthen justice and security sector coordination through supporting the JSCO in a sector-wide approach. Coordination within the institutions and between institutions (duty bearers) and right holders represented by CSOs will be enhanced to strengthen transparency, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency. The project will ensure coherence and synergies with other support provided by UNDP and UN agencies as well as development partners, such as DfID, ISAT, US Embassy, US/INL, Irish Aid, the EU, the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank.
The project is aligned with SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) ‘leaving no one behind’ and with UNDP’s global programme for justice, security and human rights (Strengthening the Rule of Law and Human Rights for Sustaining Peace and Fostering Development - a UNDP Global Programme for Justice, Security and Human Rights (1 July 2016 – 30 June 2020). In addition, the project has a strong focus on SDG 5 (gender equality and empowerment of women and girls), as it aims to enhance access to justice for women, to reduce violence against women (VaW) and gender-based violence (GBV) and to address cultural and social gender barriers in justice and security sector reform. In furtherance, the interventions are aligned with the Agenda for Prosperity (AfP) 2013-2018, the Justice Sector Reform Strategy and Investment Plan III (JSRSIP III) 2015-2018 and the strategic implementation plans around Security Sector Reform (Second Security Sector Review for Sierra Leone (2012-2022)) and the implementing partners’ (IPs) own strategic plans.
The project has three outputs:
1. Justice and security sector coordination and data management enhanced for inclusive, accountable and evidence-based policy and law making;
2. Improved access to justice for rights holders especially for women and vulnerable groups;
Strengthened justice and security sector institutions to deliver effective justice and security services closer to the people and in compliance with human rights standards.
The ROL project is in its last year of implementation in 2019. While the project has not received any mid-term evaluation due to its short lifespan, UNDP intends to organize a comprehensive end-term evaluation to ensure that lessons learnt will contribute to the formulation of a new project which will also align with the priorities of Government as articulated in the new National Development Plan (NDP).
The ROL project seeks to recruit a Senior Rule of Law & Human Rights Officer to provide support for the implementation of the project in its last phase as well as contribute to ensuring that lessons learned through the project are well documented for the formulation of a new one with focus on strengthening and deepening human right-based approaches to the next ROL programming phase. The ROL and HR Officer will contribute to the mainstreaming of the SGDs especially goals 5 and 16 within the ROL programme cycle and support efforts toward building partnership with government and the donor community around the implementation of the SDGs Agenda 2030. In addition, the ROL and HR Officer will provide support for the development of policies and contribute to the mainstreaming of human rights across the project focus areas.
Duties and Responsibilities
Summary of Key Functions:
• Policy advice and development on Human Rights Mainstreaming.
• Support to the implementation of the SDGs Agenda 2030.
• Human Rights Knowledge building and strengthening of oversight institutions.
• Support the identification and development of new programs with SDGs and human right focus.
Policy Advice on human rights development & mainstreaming
• Provide policy advice on human rights development and mainstreaming with focus on supporting justice institutions enhance human right culture across project implementation;
• Work closely with the Human Rights Commission to provide technical assistance to support the consolidation human rights across Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs);
• Support the HRC in efforts in reviewing and enacting an improved legislation to enable enhanced human rights protection and fulfilment;
• Support the establishment of stronger working relations between human rights institutions and justice sector institutions and civil society organisations working within the sector to ensure greater coordination and cooperation across the sector;
• Analyzing information in order to identify rule of law and human rights trends and propose actions;
• In close coordination with the Rule of Law Programme Specialist ensure regular monitoring and evaluation of UNDP’s support to the HRC and other oversight institutions.
Support to the implementation of the SDGs Agenda 2030
• Establish and maintain dialogue with government officials, both local and national, NGOs, partners, donors and communities on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda 2030 with focus on enhanced coordination across the board;
• Support Government’s efforts and other partners’ efforts toward the CSOs’ efforts toward their participation to the Volunteer National Review (VNR) of the SDG 16;
• Develop concept notes to position UNDP’s contribution to the SDGs Agenda 2030;
• Identify areas of cooperation and coordination with UN agencies, other development partners and NGOs for the implementation of joint activities related to the SDGs Agenda 2030;
• Identify opportunities for the implementation of the SDGs with specific recommendations on actions needed for improved collaboration and coordination.
Human Rights Knowledge building and strengthening of oversight institutions
• Contribute to the development of knowledge products as they relate to the enhancement of human rights-based approaches to ROL, access to justice and security;
• Enhance capacities of ROL and oversight institutions to mainstream human right approaches to oversight functions with focus on the delivery of services pro-poor oriented;
• Lead initiatives on human rights capacity development for justice and security sector partners with emphasis on strengthening the supply side of justice in compliance with human rights principles.
Support the identification and development of new programs with SDGs and human right focus
• Support the project to identify, design and formulate new access to justice and security initiatives focusing on linkage between support to CSO for improvement on the demand side and government institutions on the supply side of justice and security services with a human right lens;
• Develop concept notes and project documents in the areas of strengthening human rights and improving access to justice and security for rural communities.
• Enhance the project’s staff knowledge on the SDGs through the development and delivery of presentations with focus on the SDGs Agenda 2030 and linkages with rule of law, access to justice and human rights.
• Perform any other related functions as may be assigned from time to time by the Rule of Law Programme Specialist.
Impact of Key Results
The results of the work of the Senior Rule of Law & Human Rights Officer will help strengthen UNDP’s delivery of effective support across the Rule of Law project to national policies and capacity development, in part through the establishment and/or strengthening of strategic partnerships as well as facilitation of reporting requirements with a key emphasis on contributing to sustain the mainstreaming of human rights-based approaches to programming within the project.
The incumbent will increase the visibility and contribution of UNDP in the subject area especially as pertains to working with national counterparts on the SDGs Agenda 2030 and supporting Rule of Law and Human Rights institutions. He/she will be responsible for technical advisory support on human rights to national counterparts from the institutions as above mentioned and will provide the Rule of Law project with contextual recommendations on human rights when necessary.
• Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN values and ethical standards
• Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP
• Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
• Treats all people fairly without favoritism
• Sound knowledge of the Sierra Leone legal/justice system, including the political environment and legal statutes as they pertain to human rights
• Ability to work under pressure and to remain calm
• Sound political judgment, impartiality, diplomacy and discretion
• Proven ability to establish priorities and to plan, organize, coordinate and monitor won work plan and provide advice and guidance to others; in-depth understanding of divisions’ strategic direction; resourcefulness; sound judgment and decision-making skills.
• Demonstrated sound judgment in resolving issues/problems; ability to proactively seek and recommend sound policy initiatives
• Ability to actively seek to improve programmes/services, offer new and different options to solve problems/meet client needs.
• Excellent and effective communication (verbal and written) skills, including the ability to prepare reports and conduct presentations by clearly formulating positions on issues, articulating options concisely conveying maximum necessary information, making and defending recommendations, diplomacy and tact; ability to convey difficult issues and positions to senior officials.
• Excellent inter-personal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
Effective negotiating skills and ability to work with others to reach mutually benefitting and lasting understandings
Required Skills and Experience
• Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in law, International Human Rights, Criminology, Police Studies or in any other related field of study.
• At least 5 years’ work experience in a post-conflict setting, with substantial direct experience on human rights strengthening, advocacy and justice and security sector reforms and/or strengthening of the rule of law and security sectors;
• Detailed knowledge and familiarity with issues and key actors in the justice and security sectors with emphasis on leading coordination and human right capacity development initiatives;
• Experience in development work, community relations and partnerships building and resource mobilization;
• Prior experience within the United Nations, in particular UNDP is desirable but not a requirement.
• Fluency in written and spoken English
The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply care when submitting personal information on the web.
FEMALE CANDIDATES ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.
THIS POSITION IS STRICLY FOR SIERRA LEONE NATIONALS AND ONLY APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED ONLINE WILL BE CONSIDERED