Home-based Consultancy (107 working days; home-based in Italy): National Legal Researcher (migration) - Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECARO), Rome, Italy

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UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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IT Home-based; Rome (Italy)

Application deadline 2 months ago: Saturday 5 Nov 2022 at 22:55 UTC

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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, Protection


A UNICEF Migrant and Refugee Response is operational in Italy since 2016 through an Outposted UNICEF ECARO team, based on official agreements with National Authorities aimed at providing technical support for the protection and social inclusion of refugee and migrant children, families and women, including more recent Ukraine refugee population. UNICEF is also implementing the third phase of the EU Child Guarantee to counter child poverty and social exclusion of the most at-risk groups of children, including migrant and refugee children.

A two-pronged approach combines humanitarian service delivery with capacity building, policy reform and technical assistance in cooperation with governmental counterparts and civil society. Child Protection is one of the core pillar of the National Response and is focused on 1) promoting minimum child protection standards in border and transit areas, as well as across the reception system; 2) strengthen the system to provide quality mental health and psycho-social support to migrant and refugee children as well as caregivers; 3) promoting family and community-based solutions for unaccompanied and separated children; 4) strengthen the guardianship system for unaccompanied and separated children.

As of early June 2022, over 7 million people have fled Ukraine, most of them women and children. There are significant numbers of children without parental care, including unaccompanied, separated and evacuated from institutions children, including children who may have been trafficked and Roma and stateless children, as well as groups of children evacuated from institutional care settings. In Italy, as of August 2022, 30.7% of UASC hosted in the reception system are from Ukraine, of these 51% is made by girls.

In order to respond to the situation, in early May 2022, UNICEF ECARO, Eurochild and Child Circle collaborated on a discussion paper on guardianship, care arrangements and custodial responsibility for unaccompanied and separated children fleeing Ukraine and arriving in the European Union (EU). UNICEF and Eurochild also undertook a mapping exercise examining the law and policies at national level for children in alternative care and unaccompanied and separated children from Ukraine in 13 countries in Europe. The mapping and discussion papers have a particular focus on guardianship, care arrangements and custodial responsibility.

Both the mapping and the discussion paper illustrate the lack of consensus and clarity as to the applicability of the different legal instruments with regards to the international and national protection of unaccompanied and separated children from Ukraine (including groups of children evacuated from institutions) and point to potential conflicts of laws.

Consequently, as a follow up to the discussion paper and mapping, Child Circle, working in partnership with UNICEF, will undertake a regional study to examine in more depth the legal issues that arise and offer recommendations for addressing them at regional level and at national level in six countries, including Italy.

To contribute to this legal analysis, UNICEF Migrant and Refugee Response in Italy is looking for a national legal researcher to carry out national level research that will feed into the regional study. The findings of the national analysis will be aligned with the overall regional study and compared with the other Countries outcomes, through regular briefs and consultations with UNICEF ECARO and Child Circle.

The regional study aims to:

  • provide a comprehensive analysis of relevant international and regional laws and procedures concerning children without parental care, including unaccompanied, separated and children evacuated from institutions fleeing Ukraine, in order to clarify how laws and procedures should best be applied in practice to protect and care for children;
  • identify challenges, gaps and good practices of relevant laws and procedures in six countries as well as identify the multitude of different case scenarios that may arise concerning caregiving, guardianship and protection of children without parental care, including unaccompanied, separated and children evacuated from institutions fleeing Ukraine;
  • develop recommendations and national plan for promoting progress in dialogue between national authorities and stakeholders.

Scope of Work

UNICEF aims at recruiting a national legal researcher on migration and asylum, with experience in the main areas of research covering international family law and national immigration law mainly, to lead the research in Italy.

The consultant is tasked to conduct a legal analysis entirely focused on Italy concerning children without parental care, including unaccompanied, separated and children evacuated from institutions fleeing Ukraine, in order to clarify how laws and procedures should best be applied in practice to protect and care for children.

The study will have a particular focus on:

  1. Caregiving and custodial arrangements, including access to the national child protection and alternative care systems;
  2. Guardianship (including guardianship ad litem);
  3. Access to immediate protection under international, EU or national law, such as the Temporary Protection Directive, asylum procedures, where applicable, and national humanitarian procedures; and
  4. Best interests' procedures to identify comprehensive, durable solutions, including inter alia, potentially return to Ukraine, asylum, family reunification in another country or integration in a host country, including existing mechanisms and procedures for information gathering and dialogue between Italy and Ukraine
  5. Types of protection (e.g. Temporary Protection; Refugee status; Recognition as stateless; non-harmonised national protection status) available for children arriving from Ukraine

Consultations with relevant national authorities are foreseen, such as Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Justice, Department of Civil Protection and Ombudsperson for Childhood and Adolescence, when needed to fill information gaps. The study will provide evidence and inputs for an advocacy paper with recommendations for state authorities and areas of possible technical support from UNICEF.

The consultant will:

  • Conduct a preliminary mapping of relevant national legislation, including a legal desk review of the main issues concerning unaccompanied and separated children with reference to international, EU and national legal frameworks, in order to identify the legal issues that need to be further investigated in relation to the focus areas of the study;
  • Conduct ad-hoc consultations with key informants and stakeholders to fill the gaps in terms of information available and to acquire the main points of view of the different actors on how the law should be applied wit reference to Ukraine unaccompanied and separated children;
  • Deliver 1 final legal study, 1 advocacy report including stakeholder’s engagement plan, and 1 compendium, with the findings of the research and key recommendations for Italy to inform possible Law and policies reforms or changes in terms of practices to be more aligned with children’s rights;
  • Provide ad hoc legal advice to UNICEF office in Italy on issues pertaining to legal protection of unaccompanied and separated children to inform UNICEF positioning and clarify legal safeguarding that should be applied in specific circumstances and conditions.

Purpose of the Assignment

Supporting UNICEF in Italy in conducting an analysis of the main legal issues concerning Ukrainian unaccompanied and separated children, with a focus on those evacuated from Institutions, as part of a regional ECARO study, with the aim of advocating for their rights and supporting State Authorities in their efforts to ensure protection.

Work Assignment Overview

Tasks / Milestone******Deliverables / Outputs******Timeline / DeadlineConducting legal research, including consultations and analysisInception report3 working days;

Month 1

Country specific situation analysis including legal framework and stakeholder mapping13 working days;

Month 2

Research Protocol, including research questions identified through the initial desk review, tools, methodology and key informants to be consulted8 working days;

Month 2

Consultations with key informants and stakeholders5 working days;

Month 3

1 Legal study drafted, validated and finalized40 working days;

Months 3 & 6

Development of a national advocacy strategy and plan, including stakeholder’s engagement plan1 advocacy strategy drafted and validated including a stakeholder’s engagement plan10 working days;

Month 7

1 compendium with the key findings of the legal analysis and key advocacy recommendations3 working days;

Month 7

Coordination with ECARO Regional Office to ensure alignment of the legal study in Italy with the overall exerciseAt least 1 month coordination with UNICEF ECARO and Child Circle;

Participation in 1 Advocacy Strategy Development Workshop with UNICEF ECARO and Child Circle

10 working days;

Months 1 & 8

Ad-hoc Legal advice on legal issues related to protection of migrant and refugee children5 Legal Q&A reports15 working days;

Months 1 & 8

Estimated Duration of the Contract

107 working days (between November 2022 and July 2023)

Consultant's Work Place and Official Travel

The assignment will be home-based in Italy.

Estimated Cost of the Consultancy & Payment Schedule

Payment will be made on submission of an invoice and satisfactory completion of the above-mentioned deliverables. Please indicate a daily fee based on 107 working days to undertake this assignment.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required

  • Master’s degree in law with proven expertise in migration law;
  • Sound knowledge of family law and international protection;
  • Familiar with the Italian protection and reception system for migrants and refugees;
  • At least 5 years of work experience in the areas of guardianship, care and custodial arrangements, international protection and best interest procedure;
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills;
  • Strong communication skills - both oral and written;
  • Excellent drafting and editing skills in English - a sample of work in English has to be provided;
  • Fluency in English and Italian;
  • Good team player.


  • Ph.D. or specialization in Migration and Asylum Law;
  • Ideally a practicing lawyer with knowledge of relevant national procedures;
  • Familiarity with the transposition and application of relevant international laws such as the EU Temporary Protection Directive;
  • Previous experience with UNICEF or another UN agency;
  • Previous experience in Child Protection programming.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS), and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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.


Please include a full CV, sample of work in English (link or attachment), and Financial Proposal in your application. Additionally, indicate your availability and daily rate (in EUR) to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a daily rate will not be considered. 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.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

Added 3 months ago - Updated 2 months ago - Source: unicef.org