International Consultant to conduct desk review on Child Labour and Child Labourers Affected by Disability in South Asia - UNICEF South Asia
The purpose of this assignment is to conduct a regional desk review which explores the links between the economic exploitation of children/child labour and child labourers affected by disabilities, including an assessment of interventions and support that is available to these children.
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South Asia, home to approximately half a billion children, has the largest number of children engaged in child labour and other forms of exploitation, among all world regions. With approximately 17 million children in child labour according to conservative estimates, the prevalence of child labour varies significantly across the countries in the region. However, child labour statistics are not often released in South Asia and therefore having a comprehensive understanding of child labour and how it affects different groups of children is not well understood. The renewed global commitment to end child labour as detailed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG Target 8.7, and the political commitment at the regional level to end child labour can be seen as the scaffolding that is needed to strengthen the evidence base, fill in the knowledge gaps and thereby increase our understanding of child labour.
Child labour statistics are not easily captured through regular surveys and/or administrative data. Moreover, the knowledge gaps are more significant in relation to child labourers affected by disabilities. With global estimates of children with disabilities varying up to 13 percent, it is expected that some child labourers are children with disabilities and/or affected by disabilities. Some children may also be expected to enter the workforce and contribute more to domestic tasks, to support their caregiver or other family member who has an impairment, affecting the children’s education and health. Importantly, structural violence operates against people with disability given their higher need for resources and goods but unequal access to such resources. It is therefore likely child labourers affected by disability are more vulnerable to various forms of violence but there is a knowledge gap with regard to these vulnerabilities, the support that is available to them and appropriate interventions.
In this context, the UNICEF Regional Office of South Asia intends to build an evidence base on child labour and child labourers affected by disability, to inform policy and programming, which addresses the economic exploitation of children. While the study will draw on global evidence there will be a geographic focus on South Asia (i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). The planned study is part of this endeavour and will support achieve the results of the DfID funded ‘Child Labour: Exploitation of Children in South Asia’ Programme.
 ILO: Measuring Children’s Work in South Asia (2015).
 WHO: “World report on disability.” 2011.
 WHO: “World report on disability.” 2011.
 UNICEF. Structural Violence against Children in South Asia. UNICEF, 2018.
The purpose of this assignment is to conduct a regional desk review which explores the links between the economic exploitation of children/child labour and child labourers affected by disabilities, including an assessment of interventions and support that is available to these children. The deliverable of this assignment will inform future policy and programming efforts of UNICEF to prevent and respond to the economic exploitation of children and identify research gaps.
3. Key Assignments/Tasks:
- A literature review, focusing on South Asia, which covers:
(1) economic exploitation of children/child labour. This review will be a general overview of what is known about child labour generally and specifically for countries in South Asia;
(2) the nature of child labourers affected by disability. This would include a discussion on the three ‘groupings’ of affected children working or engaged in child labour – children with disability or acquired a disability for work, those who are work disabled and may or may not still be working/labouring, those who are working or engaged in labour to support family or caregivers who are disabled. It will draw on global evidence as well as specifically about countries in South Asia;
(3) the South Asia laws, policies and frameworks which focus on children affected by disability and child labour narrowing in on the relationship between the two; and
(4) the types of support available to child labourers affected by disability. This includes education services, social protection (e.g. pension, workers compensation, carer’s allowance, veteran’s benefits), health care, and child protection services. While this may mention services available generally the focus is on those that target and are accessible to child labourers affected by disability. As available the report should include any administrative data and/or indicate potential administrative data sources.
- Suggestions on potential research questions or research approaches that may address the evidence gaps found during the review.
- A knowledge product of publishable quality which can be used by UNICEF and Partners to inform policy and programming efforts to prevent and respond to the economic exploitation of children affected by disability.
4. Key deliverables:
- Inception report detailing the methodology that will be used to conduct the desk review, with a focus on the above areas.
- Draft report of the desk review with key findings and evidence gaps.
- Final report of publishable quality and ppt presentation and webinar on the key findings.
Duration: 28 days between 15 April to 31 July 2020.
Note: This consultancy is home-based. The consultant will be expected to have their own computer and be able to communicate via Skype and/or Zoom with the regional and country offices as well as other relevant actors. While some documents will be provided by UNICEF the consultant is expected to be able to source their own materials, and to have the capacity to do so (e.g. journal access, access to law databases).
Note: The consultant will be paid upon satisfactory completion of assigned tasks and receipt of key deliverables and as certified by the Supervisor/Manager.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Education: A Master’s degree in anthropology, sociology, labour studies, human geography and/or other related social science field.
- Work Experience:
- A minimum of 8 years of proven experience in conducting research, including desk reviews, on child protection, the economic exploitation of children/child labour and/or children affected by disabilities.
- At least 10 years of experience working on or supporting programmes preventing and responding to the economic exploitation of children/child labour and/or children with disabilities.
- Strong track record of peer reviewed publications desirable.
- Knowledge of and/or experience researching and working in South Asia preferable.
C. Language Proficiency: The consultant must be fluent in written and spoken in English. Knowledge of any South Asian languages would be desirable.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The functional competencies required for this post are
- Strong analytical skills
- Technical expertise in the above areas
- Exceptional research skills to access both published and grey materials
- Excellent writing skills
- Fluency in using Microsoft Office
View our competency framework at
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.