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UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND Terms of Reference Undertaking Comprehensive Review of the Azerbaijani legislation from the perspective of Access to Justice for Children

 


1.         Program information:                            Azerbaijan Country Program 2011-2015         

Program (No. & Name)                          Access to responsive child friendly services

Project   (No. & Name)                          Access to Justice        

Activity Reference Nation-wide awareness campaign to sensitize policy makers and general public

 

 

2.         Background and Context: 

 

According to the UNICEF Azerbaijan Country Program for 2011-2015, which is based on the UNDAF (United Nations Development Assistance Framework) for Azerbaijan, access to justice for children in conflict and contact with law, a part of the child protection work, is one of the priority areas.

 

The Government of Azerbaijan has confirmed its interest in reforming justice sector and undertaking specific measures to enhance rights of children in justice sector through close cooperation with and technical assistance from UNICEF. At the same time the country requires continues assistance to ensure that their system of juvenile justice as well as mechanisms of protection of the rights of children victims and witnesses of crime and ill-treatment are in line with international standards enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN standards and norms and harmonised with European standards defined within Guidelines on child friendly justice and other documents.

 

Existing practices, particularly absence of the specialised system for children in prevention, reporting, referring and addressing main causes of juvenile delinquency, provision of meaningful access to child-friendly justice, including specialised and free legal aid, diversion, child sensitive procedures within police, prosecutor offices, courts and penitentiary institution with zero tolerance to torture and ill-treatment of children throughout the process as well as lack of protection mechanisms for children victims and witness of crimes are areas requiring urgent action and measures. Specialized juvenile police units have existed since Soviet times, but their task is essentially preventive and they neither investigate offences committed by juveniles, nor are they engaged in the work with child victims and witnesses of crimes.

 

Research conducted in 2012 by the Ombudsman’s Office in Azerbaijan in cooperation with UNICEF (supported by the EU) investigating torture and ill-treatment against juveniles in conflict with the law revealed that 40% of children experience violence and ill-treatment in pre and post-trial detention.

 

Following recent Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child made in 2012 it is recommended that Azerbaijan bring the system of juvenile justice fully in line with the Convention, in particular articles 37, 40 and 39, and with other United Nations standards in the field of Juvenile Justice including the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines), the United Nations Rules  for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty and the Vienna Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System; and the recommendations of the Committee made at its first day of general discussion on juvenile justice (CRC/C/46, para. 203-238). In this regard the Committee recommended to the State party to undertake a number of steps to reform the system, such as establishment of juvenile courts, ensuring that deprivation of liberty is applied as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, ensuring special conditions for detention of juveniles, strengthening international cooperation, etc. While the Committee notes with appreciation the adoption of many legislative and programmatic measures taken with a view to implementing the CRC, it is concerned that many legislative measures taken with a view to complying with the principles and provisions of the Convention are not provided with adequate mechanisms and/or financial support for their full implementation. It recommends that Azerbaijan continue the process of achieving compliance of its legislation with the principles and provisions of the Convention and provide all the means for an effective implementation of its legislation, including  appropriate budgetary resources and monitoring mechanisms.

 

Milli Mejlis (the National Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan initiated the development of the Law on Juvenile Justice in 2009 in close cooperation with relevant governmental, non-governmental and international organizations. The adoption of the law planned for 2014, which will require further work on filling gaps and eliminating of discrepancies between the new law and already existing laws and legal documents related to children in order to make the system of juvenile justice operational and equipped with adequate working institutional mechanisms.

 

In order to address these and other related issues, UNICEF, in cooperation with the European Commission is implementing a project with the goal of supporting the reforms in the juvenile justice system to improve access to justice for children. One of the main objectives of the project is to undertake comprehensive review of the Azerbaijani legislation from access to child friendly justice perspectives. This review will cover more than 50 legal documents like laws and bylaws regulation implementation of children’s rights when administrative, law-enforcement and judicial bodies involve in making decisions related to custody, placement in institutional or alternative care, violence, exploitation and abuse, delinquency, protection of children victims and witnesses of crimes, etc. The review will be more in-depth analyses of the legislation, including the desk review of previous analysis undertaken by UNICEF and other actors. The project will engage international and national consultants to complete the activity.

 

 

3.         Purpose of the assignment:

 

UNICEF invites individuals to submit applications for undertaking comprehensive review of the Azerbaijani national legislation from access to child friendly justice perspectives. The review of legislation will focus on the following:

· To make recommendations on how to bring national legislation of Azerbaijan in full conformity with the CRC,  and other United Nations standards in the field of Juvenile Justice, including the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines) and other international instruments;

· To have practical recommendations to establish effective linkages between legislation and institutional changes with a particular focus on juvenile justice system;

· To provide key recommendations on the implementation of the recommendations from the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child made in 2012.

 

Key intended users of this legal review are:

· UNICEF and international partners;

· Milli Meclis (National Parliament) and Cabinet of Ministers;

· Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Justice Academy, Police Academy;

· Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs;

· Ministry of Finance;

· Other interested parties.

 

Key stakeholders are:

· UNICEF and international partners;

· Milli Meclis (National Parliament) and Cabinet of Ministers;

· Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Justice Academy, Police Academy;

· Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs;

· Local Government Authorities;

· National and International Non-state Actors.

 

 

4.         Duty station:     Baku, Azerbaijan

 

 

5.        

 

6.         Major tasks to be accomplished:

 

The consultant will be responsible for:

 

  • Examining current national legislative acts, including draft law on Juvenile Justice, institutional development and relevant policies of Azerbaijan in relation to the juvenile justice and access to justice systems and their compliance with international treaties currently ratified by Azerbaijan and adopted and promoted by the UN in the field of Child’s Right to Access to Jusice;
  • Review particularly legislative acts with regards to children victims of and witnesses to crimes, issues of violence, abuse and neglect towards children and their compliance with the international rules and guidelines;

· Proposing entry points for law reform and institutional changes related to access to justice, including juvenile justice; 

· Recommendations on developing or revising existing by-laws and other legal documents in support to the implementation of the law on juvenile justice;

  • Conducting/facilitating relevant session with MPs and Inter-ministerial Task Force Group on Juvenile Justice;
  • Providing consultancy report including findings and recommendations to UNICEF.

 

 7.     Deliverables

 

By May 17, 2014, the consultant is expected to provide UNICEF Azerbaijan with a final survey report of 20 pages (excluding annexes, if any), which will highlight all the elements discussed above. All the above stated materials shall be submitted to UNICEF in English and Azerbaijani language, both in hard copy and electronic copy in WORD format.

 

By March 17, 2014: Contract signed

By March 17, 2014: Methodology and instruments developed and agreed with UNICEF   

By May 1, 2014: First draft report available

By May 15, 2014: Final report available

 

 

8. Time-Frame:

 

The selected consultant(s) will work for the period of March - May 2014 based on deliverables and the exact schedule of activities.

 

9. Qualifications or specialized knowledge/experience required:

 

· Proven sound experience in the area of legal policy (in child rights area) and conducting legal reviews – minimum 5 years;

· Qualified experts with advanced university degree and/or academic background in legal field;

· Proven excellent knowledge of domestic legislation, institutional structures and international treaties and rules guiding juvenile justice and access to justice;

· Very good knowledge of child rights in general and juvenile justice in particular and judicial as well as social and judicial reform processes in the country;

· Previous experience in conducting legal reviews; 

· Strong report writing skills

·  High analytical and conceptual skills and ability;

 

9.       

10.   10.       Estimated cost:

 

Consultancy fee is to be proposed by a potential individual or organization and agreed with UNICEF in line with UN rules and regulations. UNICEF does not provide or arrange health insurance coverage for consultants.

 

 

 

 

 

11. Application:

 

Interested individuals should send:

a) A Review Methodology;

b)    Individual resume;

c)     in case of an organization the resume of each of the proposed team members;

d)    reference of previous relevant work (if applicable);

in a sealed envelope/email to:

 

Human Resources

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Dalgha Plaza, III floor

24 Neftchilar Ave,

Baku AZ1095, Azerbaijan

or send the documents mentioned above electronically to baku@unicef.org

 

All applications will be treated with strict confidentiality. UNICEF is an equal opportunity employer.

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

 

Deadline: February 28, 2014, 15:00hrs GMT+4

 

 

 
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