UN WOMEN: SENIOR RESEARCH CONSULTANT (MEASURING NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS HARMONIZATION)

Location : Home based (with one trip to NY)
Application Deadline :18-Oct-12
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :20-30 days
Expected Duration of Assignment :20-30 days

Background

Submitted to the Security Council in October 2010, the Secretary-General’s report S/2010/498[1] on women and peace and security presented a set of indicators for use at the global level to track implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). In its presidential statement (S/PRST/2010/22)[2] following the presentation of this report, the Security Council supported taking forward the set of indicators “for use as an initial framework to track implementation of its resolution 1325 in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict and other situations relevant to the implementation of resolution 1325, as appropriate, and taking into account the specificity of each country.” The report summarizes the next steps required to take forward the set of indicators, such as the definition of methods for data collection and collation, development of reporting templates, elaboration of guidance, definition of timelines, etc. (see paragraphs 119-124).

UN Women is leading an inter-agency process to ensure the coordinated implementation and reporting on these indicators in the annual report of the Secretary-General on women and peace and security. The indicators are organized in three sets by phases of implementation: (i) indicators monitoring progress on UN-level commitments to 1325 implementation; (ii) indicators that require a shift in UN activities to meet commitments; and (iii) indicators for voluntary reporting by Member States.

Among the indicators for voluntary reporting by Member States is 1325 indicator on the extent to which national laws to protect women’s and girls’ human rights are in line with international standards. This indicator will track the extent to which national legislation protects the rights of women and girls as upheld by international standards. As part of implementation of this indicator, identification of key legislative issues in the aftermath of conflict is needed, including issues in the areas of gender-equality, inheritance, citizenship marriage, and sexual- and gender-based violence.
 
A set of international human rights standards, treaties, legislation and frameworks exists to protect the rights of women and girls, including in countries affected by armed conflict. These include, inter alia, the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention of all forms of Discrimination Against Women and Girls (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment of Punishment; and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and the Beijing Platform for Women. The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as other human rights treaties mentioned above have been ratified by the majority of UN Member States
 
Critically relevant are also UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), Resolution 1820 (2008), Resolution 1888 (2009), Resolution 1889 (2009), and Resolution 1960 (2010). Each resolution addresses women’s role in peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, representing a critical framework for improving the situation of women in conflict-affected countries. Domestication of these standards into national legislation has been uneven, and where domestic legislation exists, implementation may be inconsistent.
 
As a tool to monitor the harmonization of standards, this indicator on national laws adherence to international standards on women’s and girls’ rights protection requires further technical development, building on existing agreed language and guidance provided by the UN system. Legislation to be tracked will include constitutions, penal and civil codes; specific laws relating to gender-equality; inheritance rights (including land, property); minimum age at marriage and forced marriage; citizenship rights; and criminalization of all forms of gender based violence and . Once a baseline is established, updates would be provided covering legislative changes as well as progress in aligning national legal frameworks with international standards.
 
In 2012, a series of consultations will be held to develop and refine the technical definitions, data collection mechanisms and reporting channels of the Member State indicators.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Peace and Security Section of UN Women and in consultation with Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Offeror will coordinate and conduct research and produce a report that a) reviews and identifies international standards to protect women’s and girls’ human rights and critical legislative issues in the aftermath of conflict; b) develops a methodological approach to assess the extent to which national laws to protect women’s and girls’ human rights are in line with international standards as identified and defined in a); and c) applies the methodological proposal to a set of relevant countries to illustrate the methodology.

Developing a methodology to report on harmonization of national laws with international standards to protect women’s and girls’ human rights
  • A review of critical legislative issues in the aftermath of conflict and in post-conflict and transition periods should identify 3-4 key relevant legislative and rights areas to focus assessment of national legal harmonization with international standards. These legislative areas should be broadly relevant to women’s situation in post-conflict and transition situations across geographic regions.
  • Based on an identified set of legislative issues broadly relevant to women in post-conflict and transition situations and taking as a starting point the findings and recommendations of human rights treaty bodies on the harmonization of national legislation with relevant international provisions, provide guidance on a methodology to report on progress
  • Develop a checklist of international standards for consideration.
Piloting methodology in select countries:
  • The proposed methodology should be tested in a set of relevant countries, agreed in consultation with UN Women and UN OHCHR, demonstrating potential feasibility and results of the approach.
  • Assessment of whether legislative advances in the selected countries are accompanied by efforts to build justice and security sector capacity to implement new laws should also be made.
Expected outputs/deliverables:
  • Annotated outline for the research study with key issues, questions and methodologies to be covered.
  • A 20 – 35 single-space page report, a) articulating critical legislative issues in the aftermath of conflict and a set of relevant international standards against which to assess adherence, b) development of methodology to assess harmonization of national laws with international standards to protect women’s and girls’ human rights in the identified legislative issue areas, and c) piloting of methodology, including noting of results, limitations and means to address them.
 The final report should also highlight key gaps and challenges and include a set of proposed strategies for regular collection of data through UN member state reporting systems.
  • Consultations with partner UN and civil society entities as needed, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  • Revisions, as needed, and finalization of report.
  • Participation, as required, in planning and running analytical or review/validation events, and in the presentation of findings and facilitation of discussion around the measurement of women’s and girls’ physical security.
Delivery Items & Delivery Times:
  • Annotated outline for the research – 7 business days from contracting
  • A report – 4 weeks from validation of the annotated outline by the procuring entity
  • 2 Rounds of Approval – 2 weeks following the submission of the report
  • Final Delivery of English version – 9 weeks from the contract date

Competencies

  • Excellent communication skills including English language writing skills;
  • High level of initiative and self-motivation;
  • Basic computer literacy.

Required Skills and Experience

 Education
  • Master’s degree (PhD an asset) in human rights, international law, public policy, and/or post-conflict rule of law processes.
Experience
  • Ten years’ experience in one of these fields: rule of law, human rights, gender and international law, gender and good governance.
  • Experience in the area of policy analysis in a post conflict setting.
Language Requirements
  • Excellent command of English, including analytical writing skills and presentation skills

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.