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Consultant for “Child Victim and the Media” Training

Serbia

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: Serbia
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date:

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Training Toolkit and Curriculum for the “Child Victim and the Media” Training

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries, the IRC aims to restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC has been operational in Serbia since October 2015 supporting programs in response to the mass influx of refugees. The IRC works with a group of national non-governmental organizations as well as relevant institutions delivering a comprehensive protection program and continues to design new strategies to further address the needs of the refugees and victims of human trafficking, especially children.

The RS has made significant progress over the past years to reform its legislation related to the rights of the child. The RS has also made efforts to improve its anti-trafficking mechanism by aligning it to the CoE Convention on Action against Human Trafficking and by creating a Centre for Human Trafficking Victims Protection. This body has a mandate to provide trafficking victims, including children, with adequate assistance and support.[1]

However, its impact has been limited so far, due to a lack of cooperation between relevant institutions and organizations specialized in victims’ assistance.[2] Further, the identification of victims remains a challenge, particularly among asylum-seeking and refugee children.[3] The number of refugees, unaccompanied children (UAC) and migrant children has significantly increased in RS since 2014. Given that UAC/migrant children are often separated from effective support systems, anecdotal evidence shows that UAC and migrant children face increased likelihood to come into contact with the law due to higher engagement in employment (formal/informal), exposure to the street – including drugs and criminal activity, and other sources of violence and harm.

General Goal of the Project

The overall objective of the Child Rights in Serbia (CRIS) project is to improve outcomes for children involved with the Serbian justice system through systematic application of the rights of the child and evidence-based supports in legal proceedings.

Context of the Assignment

The often abrupt, sensationalist and, above all, insensitive way of reporting by the media about the event in which a child was the victim or the witness, and especially the public disclosure of the child's identity, is a direct secondary victimization that leaves unforeseeable consequences for the child.

Such prevalence of irresponsible media coverage, which leads to a complete loss of privacy, public exposure, and social pressure, fixes dominant problems, and blocks the victim's recovery and further development.

Children victims or witnesses, exposed to these multiple traumatic situations, suffer permanent and irreparable consequences due to the interruption of further development.

The obligation of the State and the body conducting the criminal proceedings is to prevent violations and such consequences, prevent negative media treatment of children (direct secondary victimization according to the Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe R (85) 11 on the position of victims in the legal system and procedure of 1985) and provide adequate help and support to a child in order to repair the consequences of the crime and continue its full development and proper development.

Purpose of the Assignment in relation to the project

During the development of the Training toolkit and a Curriculum on Child Friendly Justice, for the judiciary and law enforcement professionals, lawyers, victims’ service providers and the NGO sector, the role of the media in violating the basic rights of children victims and witnesses of crime proved to be very conspicuous. Media representatives and judiciary professionals did not have the opportunity neither to gather for a joint training, nor to address their mutual communication patterns and learn how to continuously nurture and improve their cooperation for the benefit of Children in Contact with the Law (CiCL).

This activity could strongly contribute to the Specific Objective 1 of the CRIS Project – to motivate stakeholders and engage in strengthening the systems and promoting the multidisciplinary collaboration needed to deliver child friendly justice CFJ, and to the Specific Objective 2 – to improve capacity to provide CFJ and uphold the rights and needs of children in accordance with national legal requirements and international best practice.

Specific objectives of the assignment

1.To assess the current state of affairs in Serbian media space in regard to media treatment of child victims;

2.To develop Training Curriculum and accompanied training materials;

3.To develop recommendations for selection of trainers and training participants.

Expected results

1.Assessed the current state of play in Serbian media space in regard to media treatment of child victims from the perspective of relevant international standards;

2.Training Curriculum and accompanied training materials developed;

3.Recommendations in terms of the selection of trainers and training participants.

Major tasks to be accomplished by the Consultant

1.To identify and analyze the international standards and the normative framework of Serbiaguaranteeing the right to dignity of the child victims;

2.To identify and analyze the international standards and the normative framework of Serbia guaranteeing the right to privacy of child victims;

3.To analyze the normative and institutional framework in terms of the self-regulatory activities of media through the role of the Press Council of the Republic of Serbia and the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM);

4.To analyze the Press Council Practice in terms of violation of the rights of the child in media, through quantitative methods, but also using the studies to illustrate the selected cases

oMedia representation of children victims

oMedia stereotyping and discrimination

oViolation of children’s rights

oSecondary victimization through media

oViolation of the Republic of Serbia Code of journalists

oResults of the work of the Press Council

oAdditional protection of children through media

5.Based on findings from the bullets 1-4, to develop a Training Curriculum for practitioners, including judiciary, law enforcement, media and social care professionals;

6.To support the selection of trainers and training participants.

Timeframe

Deliverable title

Timeframe

1

To identify and analyze the international standards and the normative framework of Serbiaguaranteeing the right to dignity and the right to privacy of child victims.

8 Oct 2021

2

To analyze the normative and institutional framework in terms of the self-regulatory activities of media through the role of the Press Council of the Republic of Serbia and the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM);

15 Oct 2021

3

To analyze the Press Council Practice in terms of the violation of the rights of the child in media, through the quantitative methods, but also using the studies to illustrate selected cases

oMedia representation of child victims

oMedia stereotyping and discrimination

oViolation of children’s rights

oSecondary victimization through the media

oViolation of the RS Code of journalists

oResults of the work of the Press Council

oAdditional protection of children through the media

22 Oct 2021

4

To develop a Training Curriculum for practitioners, including judiciary, law enforcement, media and social care professionals.

29 Oct 2021

5

To support with the selection of trainers and participants.

5 Nov 2021

[1] Second and third periodic report submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child by the Republic of Serbia, 30 July 2015 (pages 34-39).

[2]Recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child – How can we achieve them from the perspective of the Coalition for Monitoring Child Rights in the Republic of Serbia. Policy Paper. 2017 (page 21)

[3]The IRC in partnership with the Association for Combatting Human Trafficking and all forms of Gender-based violence (Atina) is implementing a project aiming to improve the protection of victims of trafficking in Serbia. The project uses a two-pronged approach to protect and support both conventional and refugee Victims of Trafficking (VoT) to recover from the consequences of violence and exploitation. The project works in close collaboration with the Government of Serbia, local authorities, NGOs, and particularly with the Centre for Human Trafficking Victims Protection. The project is being implemented since February 2018 through July 2020.


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