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Witness and Victim Support Consultant (War Crimes Proceedings)

Country : Bosnia and Herzegovina
Summary :

Witness and Victim Support Consultant (War Crimes Proceedings)

TOT Ref No : 30561521
Competition : ICB
Financier : UN System
Zmaja od Bosne b.b. 71000 Sarajevo Tel: +387 (33) 293 400 Fax: +387 (33) 552 330
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email :registry.ba@undp.org
Tender Details :

Tenders are invited for Witness and Victim Support Consultant (War Crimes Proceedings). Background Purpose The purpose of this consultancy is to help improve support and assistance, primarily by courts and prosecution offices, to witnesses and victims participating in war crimes proceedings in the targeted countries of the Western Balkans - namely Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Such improvements should result in creating better conditions for witnesses, as well as increased appearance and participation of individuals as witnesses and/or victims in national trials for war crimes and other international crimes committed in the 1990-s in the Western Balkans.This should result in better protection of victims- rights, including reduction in risks of their (re)traumatization and secondary victimization, and concurrently, strengthen their trust in criminal justice systems in the region so to increase overall willingness and ability to give relevant and reliable testimonies. Objective The main objective of the consultancy is to produce an expert assessment in the four countries of the Western Balkans (Serbia, BiH, Croatia and Montenegro) of the currently available judicial and other institutional frameworks for witness and victim support in war crimes proceedings as well as their capacities, in order to identify problems, gaps, needs and identify areas for improvement in their structure, organization, function, technical and personal capacities, communications, multisectoral co-ordination, national and cross-border procedures, and other relevant aspects of their work, in order to propose lines of action for further improvement. Background Information The consultancy is planned within the Regional War Crimes (RWC) Project- Western Balkans, implemented by UNDP. The RWC Project aims to strengthen the rule of law in the Western Balkans (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia) by contributing to the effective fight against impunity for war crimes through support to regional cooperation in war crimes processing and other efforts to address the legacy of the conflict from the nineties in region. The project builds on the platform for regional cooperation on processing war crimes and the search for missing persons, established among institutions of BiH, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, which has been facilitated by UNDP since 2015, under the initiation phase of the project. The platform has supported trust-building among the key actors, re-activation of cross-border communication, exchange of information and evidence, as well as commitment to joint investigations. The overall aim of the RWC Project will be realized through the achievement of the following project outputs: 1. Strengthened regional cooperation among prosecution services through improvement of the legal framework for cross-border cooperation aimed at increased efficiency of the war crimes processing in BiH, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia. 2. Establishment of cross-border victim and witness support system and framework of regional consultations between the victims- associations and Prosecutors Offices, including enhanced communication with victims and the public. Overall, the project aims to contribute to maximizing societal impact of criminal proceedings and other transitional justice processes contributing to a conducive environment for reconciliation and sustaining peace in the region. It will do so through expediting the prosecution of war crimes, enhancing support, especially cross-border, to victims and witnesses, facilitating regional dialogue among POs and other relevant institutions and victims- associations, while also promoting transparent and data-based communication and public outreach on processing of war crimes cases, search for missing persons and other transitional justice processes. One of the issues that the project will address are problems, gaps and challenges in witness and victim support (WVS) and assistance in war crimes proceedings in the region, such as insufficient institutional capacities, lack of resources, lack of skills and appropriate operational protocols, challenges in communication with victims and witnesses in particular with sensitive witnesses such as victims of conflict related sexual violence (CRSV), as well as insufficient or missing co-operation between different institutions and stakeholders, both nationally as well as regionally, etc. This all compromises victims- rights and well-being and reduces witnesses- and victims- willingness to testify in war crime trials, especially in foreign jurisdictions in the region. As a first step to improve the situation in this regard, UNDP will seek to inform itself, as well as relevant national authorities in the region, and international and non-governmental stakeholders by conducting a thorough needs assessment. Based on the needs assessment and recommendations, UNDP will offer further support to work on capacity strengthening of WVS services or units that are part of the courts, prosecution offices, or ministries of justice, and other relevant institutions and stakeholders as needed (police, social services, defense attorneys) for development or improvement of WVS standard operating procedures, including for cross-border WVS, addressing needs of vulnerable witnesses, especially those who have experienced gender based and sexual violence during the conflicts.? Travel requirement (11 days): BiH: Sarajevo (2 days), BiH elsewhere (2 days); Croatia: Zagreb (2 days), Osijek (1 day), Split (1 day); Serbia: Belgrade (2 days); Montenegro: Podgorica (1 day). Duties and Responsibilities The consultant will be tasked to gather necessary information about and analyze provision of witness and victim support in war crimes cases by WVS services or units in the judiciaries of BiH, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. He/she will seek to identify possible problems, gaps, needs and areas for improvement in organization and functioning of WVS services and other institutions involved in VWS in war crimes proceedings (law enforcement agencies, ministries, etc.), their skills and technical and logistical? capacities, operational protocols and policies, communication with witnesses and victims, co-ordination and co-operation with other institutions and with civil society, and any other relevant issues. Special attention will be dedicated to existing procedures and skills for handling sensitive witnesses, especially victims of CRSV crimes, and gender aspect and sensitivity in the work of the WVS services. The analysis should particularly investigate cross-border WVS in the region - from legal frameworks to identifying many practical challenges in assisting witnesses crossing borders to testify before a foreign jurisdiction. One of the topics to be addressed will be role of civil society organisation in provision of WVS. The consultant-s analysis should result in an assessment of needs and recommendations for interventions to address those needs, possibly including some of the following; amendment of existing or adoption of new legal instruments (national laws and bylaws, bilateral or multilateral inter-state agreements and technical co-operation protocols), adjustment or development of standard operating procedures, adoption of changes to institutional and governmental policies, changes in organisation and management of VWS services, training and other forms of skill building for VWS services and other state or non-governmental actors, development or expansion of technical resources and provision of equipment, development of partnerships between institutions and civil society, etc. The consultancy will focus specifically on VWS in war crimes cases (which also includes cases of crimes against humanity and genocide) in different stages of proceedings before national courts in the four countries (Serbia, Croatia, BiH and Montenegro), but it will take into account any previous, current or planned development and activities in the area of VWS in criminal justice in the four countries, especially if directly related to war crimes cases. The needs assessment will be conducted through the consultant-s direct communication with the representatives of the relevant national institutions in BiH, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia (WVS services, courts, prosecutors- offices, law enforcement agencies, ministries of justice and other ministries), civil society organisations (CSOs) including victims- associations, international stakeholders (especially those implementing capacity development projects) and other relevant collocutors. Such communication should be carried out through direct visits, interviews and meetings, requiring traveling through the Western Balkans region, and remote communication (skype, e-mail, phone). In addition, the consultant will review relevant and available reports, documents and literature on the matter. The consultant will present the needs assessment study to IRH in the form of a report which will also outline specific recommendations for UNDP, as well as other possible interventions and support in this area. More specifically, the consultant will undertake the following main tasks: Task 1: Design and planning of a needs assessment Under this task the consultant will: · Familiarize himself/herself with key stakeholders, documents, and challenges, including through a meeting with the RWC Project team (possibly by Skype); · Based on the inputs from the RWC Project team, provide a methodology for conducting a needs assessment, given the Scope of Work, and the purpose and objective of the consultancy, as explained above; in co-operation with the RWC Project team, outline a plan of interviews, meetings and communication for the purpose of the study; submit the methodology and plan to the RWC Chief Technical Advisor for approval. The level of effort for this t

Deadline : 18th Feb 2019
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