International Consultant to engage in additional consultations and provide support to working group of the Parliament of Montenegro towards elimination of child marriages in Montenegro`s leg

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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, a fair chance.

The United Nations in Montenegro implements the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for the period 2017-2021, with an extension to 2022. It is committed to working together with the Government of Montenegro and with the people of Montenegro, to make a lasting contribution to national human rights and development priorities, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families. The Government of Montenegro and the UN System pursue the achievement of national development priorities, the Sustainable Development Goals framed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as commitments of the Government of Montenegro in line with UN global summits, international human rights obligations and the reform agenda linked to the EU accession process.

One of the major challenges for Montenegro is the fact that the country has not yet acted on recommendations of UN monitoring bodies to raise the minimum age for marriage in its legislation to prevent child marriages. Namely, the practice of arranged child marriages in Roma and Egyptian communities remains a concern. The prevalence is significant since child marriages are seen as a traditional practice rather than a violation of children’s rights. More than one third (32.5 per cent) of girls aged 15–19 and more than one in six boys (15.8 per cent) are currently married or in union. . A 2018 study found that drivers of child marriages include the low level of girls’ education, poverty, lack of opportunities, social norms and customs, marginalization of the Roma community, legislative gap allowing the marriage at the age of 16, implementation gaps in the execution of the laws, absence of a clear definition of child marriage, lack of statistical data and weak protection, rehabilitation and reintegration systems for victims. In addition, children from Roma and Egyptian communities are heavily engaged in child begging, even though the exact data on the phenomenon does not exist.

Elimination of child, early and forced marriages is an integral part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, nationalized by Montenegro through strategic goals: Goal 5, "Achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls", result 5.3. "Eradicate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation), which places this issue among those given international and national priority, both in other countries and in Montenegro. By ratifying international treaties such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention), the state has committed to eradicate all forms of violence and exploitation against women and children, including child marriage.

Recognizing child, early and forced marriage as a serious violation of human rights, the Council of Europe adopted Resolution 1468 (2005) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on forced and child marriages and expressed deep concern over serious and repeated violations of human and children's rights by forced and child marriages. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has called national parliaments of the member states of the Council of Europe to raise to 18 years of age minimum legal age for marriage for women and man and carry out the obligatory registration and entry of each concluded marriage by the competent body in the official register, among other issues.

The Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, ie., the CEDAW, expressed concern about both of Montenegro's periodic reports, noting that the practice of arranged and forced child marriage is still widespread within Roma and Egyptian communities. It further stated that the high prevalence of child and forced marriages in these communities often leads to early pregnancy. It has been noted with concern that a significant number of girls who are victims of child and /or forced marriage or cohabitation with an adult male are also victims of sexual exploitation. The Committee expressed concern that the State party has not made greater efforts to identify child victims and to adequately prosecute and sanction perpetrators of such crimes. The CEDAW Committee in its Concluding Observation from 2017, recommended that the Member State accelerate efforts to raise awareness among the Roma and Egyptian communities about the prohibition of forced and child marriage, as well as the detrimental effects on girls' mental and reproductive health; to identify, rescue and protect victims of forced coexistence or child and /or forced marriage, as well as those exposed to sexual exploitation after marriage; strictly enforces the prohibition of forced coexistence or child and / or forced marriage, especially in cases of further sexual exploitation of the victim, as well as to adequately prosecute and sanction perpetrators of such acts; and to raise the age limit for marriage to 18 years.

In its combined Second and Third periodic Report for Montenegro (2018), the Committee on the Rights of the child (CRC), welcomed the steps taken by the State party to include in its national legislation the definition of the child in accordance with the Convention, as explicitly stated in the Family Law of Montenegro and the Law on child and Social and Child Protection of Montenegro. Nevertheless, the Committee expressed concern at the fact that national legislation includes exceptions that allow for marriages of 16 years. Accordingly, the Committee recommended that the State party amend its legislation and remove all exceptions that allow marriage to persons under the age of 18.

Given all the above, UNICEF Montenegro engaged an international consultant to support the Government of Montenegro and the Parliament of Montenegro (Women`s Club) to act upon recommendations of international treaties for Montenegro and to:

1. Define child marriages in Montenegro`s legislation. 2. Raise to 18 the minimum legal age for marriage for both women and men, without exception. 3. Prescribe mandatory registration and entry of each concluded marriage by the competent body in the official registry.

The Consultant prepared the Report with the proposal for amendments of Montenegros legislation, Still, the Womens Club of the Parliament, based on the request of parliamentary legal departments, requested additional support and consultations, i.e., direct support/work of international expert with parliamentary working group (composed of parliamentarians and government officials), as well as presentation of the recommendations in the relevant parliamentary committees/sessions. The proposed Action aims to support national authorities to ensure child marriages are prohibited by national legislation in line with country`s international commitments.

How can you make a difference?

Under the direct supervision of UNICEF Child Rights Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist (CRMES), the consultant is expected to undertake the following tasks:

1. Engage in direct work with Parliamentary working group, so that parliamentarians and governmental officials reach common understanding on the proposed amendments so that:

  • Child marriages are defined in Montenegro`s legislation;
  • The minimum legal age for marriage for both women and men is raised to 18 years of age, without exception;
  • Mandatory registration and entry of each concluded marriage in the official registry, by the competent body is legally prescribed;
  • Criminal act of Extramarital relationship with juvenile, Art 216 of the Criminal Code is properly regulated (to consider all children below 18 years of age).

2. Present amendments to the Family Law of Montenegro, Law on Out-of-Court Procedure and Criminal Code of Montenegro to Parliamentary working group, composed of parliamentarians, government officials, NGOs and Ombudsperson`s Office.

Having in mind above, the consultant will be responsible for delivering the follow tasks:

Work Assignment Overview

Tasks/Milestone:

Deliverables/Outputs:

Timeline

Amendments to the Family Law of Montenegro and Law on Out-of-Court Procedure presented to parliamentary working group and cleared with parliamentary working group, so that:

  1. Child marriages are defined in Montenegro`s legislation.
  2. The minimum legal age for marriage for both women and men is raised to 18 years of age, without exception.
  3. Mandatory registration and entry of each concluded marriage in the official registry, by the competent body is legally prescribed.

Consultations conducted, amendments presented and completed

(6 days)

30 October 2022

Amendments to the Family Law of Montenegro and Law on Out-of-Court Procedure presented to parliamentary working group and cleared, so that:

Criminal act of Extramarital relationship with juvenile, Art 216 of the Criminal Code is properly regulated (to consider all children below 18 years of age).

Consultations conducted, amendments presented and completed

(4 days)

30 October 2022

In accordance with the CO, RO and government dynamics, some of the deliverables and related timelines might undergo changes/extensions or certain tasks could be replaced by other tasks.

Payment schedule: The payments will be made upon successful completion of the deliverables and submission of invoices. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines.

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

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in law or social science;
  • Master’s in law or equivalent diploma will be considered as an advantage.

Experience:

  • Proven experience of ten (10) or more years of experience in human rights including child rights;
  • Experience in developing research papers and analysis from the civil and criminal legislation and procedures with specific knowledge of child protection field (violence and exploitation in particular);
  • Background /experience in policy and legal amendments, including reviews and formulation with evidence of similar assignments in other countries;
  • Familiarity with legal context of Montenegro in particular with civic and criminal law legislation and judicial context will be considered as an advantage;
  • Knowledge of the EU Acquis, CoE and UN standards in child rights in civic and criminal proceedings;
  • Previous work experience with UN/UNICEF or other international organization will be considered as an advantage.

Language:

  • Excellent command of English;
  • Knowledge of local language would be considered as advantage.

Other:

  • Excellent writing skills, presentation skills, strong strategic and analytical skills;
  • Ability to work with Government and Parliament Officials.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA). To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Mandatory eLearning in UNICEF: Upon conducting the recruitment process and prior to the signing of the contract, the consultant will be required to complete the following online courses. All certificates should be presented as part of the contract: Ethics and Integrity at UNICEF, Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority (PSEAA), Sexual Exploitation Abuse (PSEA).

Consultants and Individual Contractors must complete BSAFE security training before commencement of any travel on behalf of UNICEF. Any consultant or individual contractor who is issued a UNICEF email address must complete the following courses no later than 30 days after signature of contract: Fraud Awareness, and Information Awareness Security Course (only for consultants/individual contractors with a UNICEF email address). The above courses can be found on Agora through the following link: AGORA (unicef.org) . Course completion certificates should be shared and retained with the human resources unit of the hiring country office.

Selection methodology: All applicants will be screened against qualifications and requirements set above. Candidates fully meeting all the requirements will be further evaluated based on the criteria below. The below selection criteria will be used for desk review of the qualified applications:

A) Technical criteria – Technical evaluation process / Maximum points: 70 1. Technical Criteria – 70 % of total evaluation– max. 70 points

  • Education: 15 points;
  • Previous experience: 25 points;
  • Technical questions at the interview: 25 points;
  • Other: 5 points.

Only candidates who obtained at least 70% of points from the technical part (who will score at least 49 points) will be qualified for considering for financial proposal evaluation

B) Financial criteria – evaluation of financial proposal - Maximum points: 30 The applicants are requested to submit their financial proposal consisting of a professional fee only for the services to be provided. - -

  • Financial scores will be calculated using the formula [lowest offer / financial offer of the candidate x 30].

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.

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 offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors 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.

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.

Remarks:

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.

Added 5 months ago - Updated 5 months ago - Source: unicef.org