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Sep 29, 2017

Save the Children Mapping and Piloting of Child Protection Accountability Mechanism Consultancy

Save the Children
Terms of Reference
Mapping and Piloting of Child Protection Accountability Mechanism in Armed Conflict in Africa
Save the Children (SC) is the world's leading independent organization for children. 

As part of the organisation’s contribution towards ensuring every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation, Save the Children has been working with armed forces in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since 1998 and with the African Union (AU) for the last ten years to promote the rights of children in conflicts, post-conflict and protracted political emergency situations. 

With support from SIDA, Save the Children has worked towards strengthening Child Protection in African Union Peace Support Operations since 2013.

The engagement has borne results that include:
  • The development and adoption of a harmonized and standardized curriculum and standards on child protection and child rights;
  • The development of a training management system (AMANI) providing a platform for learning and sharing information with key stakeholders in Peace Support Operations (PSO) through knowledge learning event and symposium.
Save the Children in collaboration with partners continues to augment efforts that protect girls and boys in conflict settings. 

These interventions aim at strengthening the capacity of the Peace Support Operations Actors in Africa to deliver their protection mandate and ensures girls and boys affected by armed conflicts and protracted political disputes enjoy their rights.

Our work focusses on four key objectives:
  1. To enhance the commitment and capacity to prevent and respond to violence against girls and boys within the AU Peace and Security Department (AU PSD), East Africa Standby Force, ECOWAS Standby Force, and Member States.
  2. To institute and monitor a functional accountability framework on child protection within the AU Peace and Security Department, East Africa Standby Force, ECOWAS Standby Force and troop contributing countries.
  3. To increase knowledge, evidence and collective understanding on child rights and child protection issues within Peace Support Operations.
  4. To improve participation among girls and boys affected by armed conflict to contribute to decisions and processes of the AU, Regional, Regional Mechanisms/Bodies and Member States.
To achieve this, Save the Children collaborates with stakeholders within the AU, Regional Bodies and Regional Mechanisms in East and West Africa, and National Armed Forces.

2.    Context

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) entered into force in 1999. This was after AU Member States took an unambiguous stance on the applicability of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to children in Africa on various socio-economic, cultural and developmental diversities.

Like the UNCRC, the ACRWC defines the full spectrum of children’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and the obligations of duty bearers to uphold those rights; the principal duty bearer being the state. 

The Charter makes it possible for girls and boys to assert their rights through domestic judicial or administrative proceedings. 

The Charters articles are applicable in all contexts including situations of conflict. Article 22 of the Charter is specific to conflicts in stating that no child should participate in armed conflict. 

The Charter establishes ACERWC as the body responsible for monitoring its implementation and ensuring the protection of the rights contained in it. 

On the definition of a child, the UNCRC defines a child as every human being below the age of 18 years ‘unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier[1], where the law referred to in the CRC includes international treaties and domestic legislations specific to children. 

The ACRWC defines a child more concisely as ‘every human being below the age of 18 years[2].

This has a significant difference when we discuss the age of conscription or engagement in armed forces.

Despite this framework girls and boys caught in conflict on the continent continue to be subject to rights violations including violence that is both incidental and targeted. 

As highlighted in the Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children in Africa commissioned by the ACERWC[3], girls and boys living in conflict contexts are more likely to be separated from their families, sexually assaulted, subject to early marriage, maimed killed, recruited by force, or die early as a result of disease of malnutrition. 

At the same time, they are less likely to attend school. Girls and boys not only have to live with the physical and psychological scars from their experience but often with social alienation particularly those who have been associated with armed groups or those who have survived sexual violence. 

Conflict often has different effects on girls and boys. For example, boys are often more vulnerable to recruitment as combatants by armed groups whilst girls are often more vulnerable to sexual violence.

Despite widespread condemnation and mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable such grave violations of children’s rights continue. In the annex to the UN Secretary General’s report 2014 on Children and Armed Conflict[4] listing parties responsible for grave violations against children, armed groups on the continent are overrepresented.

15 of the 28 groups listed are located in Africa, 5 of which are national armed forces.

There is growing intolerance globally and on the continent against acts of violence committed against children in conflict situations and in particular against violence committed by peacekeepers. 

The UN Secretary General is vociferous in his condemnation and he is exploring ways to end impunity through, for example, naming and shaming countries that fail to take action[5]

His dismissal of the Head of the UN mission in the Central African Republic following repeated allegation of violations by peacekeepers sends a clear signal. In 2015, the UN Security Council demonstrated its continued engagement on the issue by adopting resolution 2225[6]. The resolution requests the Secretary General to include in the annexes to his report on children and armed conflict those parties to armed conflict that engage in contravention of applicable international law, in patterns of abduction of children in situations of armed conflict. 

In line with the priorities of this Swedish funded project, it also calls for mandatory pre-deployment training of peacekeepers on child protection and sexual violence. 

This will need high-level political commitment that is driven by evidence from grassroots action, which this project would endeavour to undertake.

The AU is taking the issue seriously with the appointment of a Special Representative to the AU Chair of the Commission for Women, Children and Armed Conflict to drive the agenda within the AU. 

The AU Peace and Security Council, PSC, has to date held five open sessions focusing on children associated with armed conflicts. It is cooperating with the ACERWC to make Member States more accountable for their implementation of the African Children Charter.

African troops already form the bulk of the peace support troops currently engaged in the UN missions on the African continent and in one AU mandated mission (AMISOM in Somalia) and two AU authorised missions (fight against Lord’s Resistance Army in central Africa and Boko Haram in Nigeria and surrounding countries). 

By the weight of their numbers and their engagements, they clearly have a significant effect on the lives of girls and boys in the contexts in which they operate. As peacekeepers, they are mandated to protect children from violence in conformity with Security Council resolutions on children in armed conflict, country specific resolutions and the respective mandates.  

 Ensuring that they have the necessary capacity and resources to implement this mandate effectively has a large potential impact on protecting children from violence in the continents ongoing and future conflicts.

3.    Background to mapping of Accountability Mechanisms

The 10 Year Review following the Graça Machel Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on children stressed on the protection of boys and girls from violations and called on ending impunity by perpetrators. 

To this end, functional accountability mechanisms are important to hold perpetrators/violators accountable in accordance with the respective laws and rules that they are expected to adhere to. As such, this would prohibit violations against children including abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence during conflict. 

Consequently, such accountability mechanisms would improve the safety of civilians including children and ensure that members of militaries and state security actors adhere to the prescribed professional conduct and are disciplined. As such, mapping relevant means of holding actors to account will allow Save the Children and its civil society partners to identify and focus their interventions appropriately. 

This mapping exercise on accountability mechanisms includes safeguarding and internal disciplinary processes, criminal prosecution and military tribunals, international or supra-national processes.

For purposes of this programme, this work will focus on Accountability mechanisms within the scope of the African Peace and Security Architecture and its relationship with international legal and policy instruments and structures. 

This will further explore those mechanisms across the following tiers:

  • a)    National level mechanisms especially for troop contributing countries and also the role of National Human Rights Institutions (Uganda[7] and Cote d’Ivoire[8] are selected as primary countries of interest with Senegal and Kenya as secondary targets) 
  • b)    Sub-Regional level mechanisms such as but not limited to ECOWAS[9], EAC, EASF, SADC, ECCAS, NARC, IGAD, IGAD+, tribunals and special courts
  • c)    Continental level mechanisms at the AU[10] and Continental Human Rights Institutions
  • d)    UNSC level mechanisms such as the UN CAC Protection Structures, UNSG ‘naming and shaming’ list, MRM and the UNSC CAC Working group on CAC Toolkit
This work will also adopt Conflict Dynamics Initiative’s definition of accountability mechanisms[11] as those actions taken to achieve outcomes for children in:
  • a)     Imposing legitimate consequences for perpetrators
  • b)    Assigning responsibility for violations committed
  • c)    Preventing or deterring future violations
  • d)    Reconciling and rebuilding traumatised societies and individuals
 4.    Objectives of the mapping

The mapping process shall seek to achieve the following objectives:
  1. Provide an analysis of existing accountability mechanisms and their effectiveness. Specifically, this would aim at provide a clear description of the structure, functions and assessment of child protection-relevant accountability mechanisms[12] in armed conflict within the tiers described above. It would also further provide exemplary case studies from selected countries, institutions or contexts to examine how the accountability mechanisms are operating.
  2. Initiate dialogue and consensus building towards approaches to bridge identified gaps
  3. Initiate policy and practice interventions for attainment of functional accountability mechanisms
Describe the current applicable legal and normative framework, setting out the strengths and weaknesses, and outlining ongoing or planned policy agenda focussed on or relevant to child protection in armed conflict within the identified institutions.

The mapping will focus on these core components of accountability
  • legal framework – enforcing laws and norms
  • assigning responsibility – structures in place known for this and who is in charge
  • reforming systems – International and national legal frameworks rectified and domesticated
  • child safeguarding - service delivery structures for how children are protected, victims supported when they need assistance
 5.    Questions the Mapping will be addressing

What components of Child Protection Accountability Mechanism in armed conflict are currently in place?
  • What are the violations that girls and boys are exposed to; this should go beyond the 6 grave violations
  • Has the State ratified relevant international treaties? In practice, do national armed forces comply with relevant laws and norms (including international humanitarian law, human rights law, child protection standards, and relevant provisions in national law?
  • How much evidence is there that members of the military and other state security actors have the mandate to follow up on accountability i.e. have their institutions awarded individuals with specific roles that include responsibility for holding perpetrators to account.
  • Are local and national authorities willing and/or able to fulfil relevant obligations under national and/or international laws in matters of accountability for violations against children including abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence?
  • Are other actors (e.g. national armed forces, human right organisations including national human rights institutions, international bodies, local communities) fulfilling their respective roles and responsibilities when it comes to holding perpetrators of violations against children to account?
  • Are perpetrators of violations against children identifiable and accessible? This should also look at the cases of child perpetrators
  • Do any parties to conflict obstruct or facilitate investigation, prosecution and sentencing of perpetrators?
Child Safeguarding
  • How do preventive and disciplinary processes protect the identity of the person (victims and other witnesses) reporting the allegations or concerns?
  • Is the reporting and investigation process entirely child-centred?  This approach ensures that the child’s needs and the rules of evidence and fair process required in any investigation and prosecution are satisfied.
How do children and families experience the Child Protection Accountability Mechanism?
  • Strategies for dealing with child protection and child justice problems. What is the ability of the accountability process being mapped (whether formal judicial or other) to provide adequate victims and witness support in accordance with best standards? This could also explore DDR as an accountability mechanism
  • What is the perception of accountability mechanism?
  • When and how is the mechanism used?
  • Do victims see the formal system as relevant?
  • How can children be engaged in the processes?
 6.    Methodology, Outputs and Timeframe

Phase 1 (50 Days)
  1. Desk research/ review that will inform the mapping and conduct initial review and prepare outline of the mapping, including methodology and tools (14 days)
  2. Presentation of the outline, tools and methodology to the project team for approval and direction of mapping work (2 days)
  3. Consultations key informants and experts on CAAC, IHRL, IHL (29 days)
  4. Field consultations in missions and development of case studies (4 days)
  5. Submission and finalisation of Mapping Report (2 days)
Phase 2 (30 Days)
  1. Consultations with a multi-lateral group at the Continental level for consensus on the findings and agreements on the framework (7 days)
  2. Consultations with a multi-lateral group at the Sub- regional level for consensus on the findings and agreements on the framework (7 days)
  3. Consultations with a multi-lateral group at the National level for consensus on the findings and agreements on the framework (7 days)
  4. Development of the Accountability Framework (7 days)
  5. Submission and finalisation of Accountability Framework (2 days)
Phase 3 (30 Days)
  1. Piloting of the Accountability Framework in Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire (30 days)
  2. Development of monitoring tools for the Accountability Framework (7 days)c)    Submission and finalisation of Monitoring Tools (2 days)
  3. Submission and finalisation of Full Process Report (2 days)
The initial contract will be for Phase 1 and then subsequently extended after each phase following Programme Management team and Thematic Advisors’ review and approval of the agreed outputs of each phase and progress made by the consultant.

Save the Children will conduct reviews throughout the period of the consultancy as required by the consultant and Save the Children. 

7.    Consultant profile
  1. Qualifications and experience in International Human Rights Law, Child protection,
  2. Demonstrated knowledge of Peace Support Operations including the role military and armed forces in the protection of civilians and child protection during armed conflict
  3. Familiarity with African Peace and Security Architecture.
  4. The consultant will have experience of research and analysis including planning research, outlining and writing reports, reviewing documents, conducting in-person and remote (skype or telephone) informant interviews on sensitive issues – all within an agreed timeframe.
  5. Good working knowledge of East and West African regions and
  6. Working proficiency of English and French is critical.
8.    Remuneration

Daily rates will be determined after discussions with the consultant. Save the Children ESARO will cover for the consultant’s air tickets on economy class to relevant field sites, accommodation on bed and breakfast plus airport transfers in the field. All other costs shall be borne directly by the consultant. 
Remuneration will be based on submission of deliverables. Payment will be made as par the agreed schedule. Taxation laws for Kenya will apply on the overall consultancy fee.
 9.    Ethics, Safeguarding and Code of Conduct
As the consultant firm will be working on behalf of Save the Children they will be required to sign and adhere to the Child Safeguarding Policy and ethical guidelines. Note that background checks will be undertaken on all applicants.
As regards the documentation, the title rights, copyrights and all other rights of whatever nature in any materials used or generated under the provisions of these services will exclusively be vested with Save the Children International East and Southern Africa Regional Office.

10.  Submitting expressions of interest

Interested individuals must submit a technical and financial proposal including:
  • A cover letter introducing the consultant and how the skills and competencies above are met, with concrete examples as appropriate.
  • An expression of interest including interpretation of the TOR, proposed methodology, time schedule and work plan for carrying out the consultancy.
  • A CV detailing relevant skills and experience, including 3 contactable referees
  • Reasonable budget breakdown and cost consideration commensurate to expected deliverables.
  • Applicants should be available for immediate engagement (End of October)
How to Apply

Please apply with a covering letter and up-to-date CV to: '[email protected]'

Applications should be submitted to Save the Children East and Southern Africa Regional Office by 12th October 2017

  • [1] Article 1 CRC
  • [2] Article 2 ACRWC.
  • [3] ACERWC (June 2015). Inception Report - A Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children in Africa commissioned by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
  • [4] UN Secretary General Report on ‘Children and Armed conflict’. A/68/878–S /2014/339 of 15 May 2015.
  • [5] The Guardian (14 August 2015) Ban Ki-moon says sexual abuse in UN peacekeeping is 'a cancer in our system' online at:
  • [6]UN SC Resolution 2225 available online at:
  • [7] Uganda successfully launched MRM, which led UPDF to establish standard operating procedures in May 2011, for the reception and handover of children and women separated from LRA in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
  • [8] For CIV, it is related to the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism and hold perpetrators to account and wanted to be involved in verification, the Human Rights Commission and ONUC (while it was present) were involved,
  • [9] Save the Children has s Memoranda of Understanding with ECOWAS, and the East African Standby Force. 
  • [10] Includes but not limited to African Committee of Experts on Rights and Welfare of the Child ACERWC, African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA)
  • [11] Bridging the Accountability Gap: New approaches to addressing violations against children in armed conflict, 2011, Conflict Dynamics International.
  • [12] These accountability mechanisms may be formal or informal. Informal processes may include links between national armed forces’ mechanisms and external actors in the judiciary and child protection systems or actors.

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