TERMS OF REFERENCE
SILENCING THE GUNS: LOCATING THE CHILDREN
STOCKTAKING OF AFRICAN UNION’S RESPONSES TO CHILD PROTECTION IN CONFLICT SITUATIONS
The African Union over the years has shown its unwavering commitment to issues of peace and security through the creation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), which is the framework for promoting peace, security and stability in Africa and through the adoption of important normative and institutional frameworks. Despite these commendable actions, there has not been a comprehensive effort to appreciate the achievements and limitations of the various AU policy organs and frameworks in articulating and addressing the unique vulnerabilities of children. Besides, there is limited knowledge and evidence on effective mainstreaming of children’s concerns and issues in the operationalization of all pillars of APSA framework. In view of this, at its 34th session, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), as a child rights monitoring organ of the African Union, resolved to undertake an assessment study on the extent to which child protection in situations of conflict has been mainstreamed into the work, decisions, frameworks and interventions of key AU Policy Organs and frameworks such as APSA. The research neatly fits in the tapestry of the African Aspiration 4 of Agenda 2063 which aspires for ‘A peaceful and secure Africa’ and one of its flagship initiative Silencing the Guns by 2020 which is also the theme of the Union for 2020. The research will provide a child rights perspective to how the African Union has been integrating child protection in its peace efforts on the continent. There is no doubt that if Agenda 2063 is to be realized, focus has to be put on how the Union and Member States are prioritizing issues of children in all their endeavors. In this regard, African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) is partnering the ACERWC in hiring a consultant/group of consultants to undertake the study.
- PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to carry out an analytical assessment of the extent to which child protection efforts in situations of conflict are mainstreamed in the key AU organs and peace and security initiatives. The research will particularly focus on analyzing the work of key Policy Organs, namely the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments, the Executive Council, Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), Specialised Technical Committee’s (STCs), and the African Union Commission. The research also aims at examining the work of key pillars of APSA in ensuring child protection; in this regard, it focusses on the activities of the Peace and Security Council, the Panel of the Wise, the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS), the 2 Peace Fund, the African Standby Force (ASF), and the role of RECs/RMs. The research is to be undertaken as a way of taking stock, monitoring and evaluating the extent to which children’s rights have been mainstreamed in all AU peace support operations; legal and policy frameworks. Furthermore, considering the role they play in the APSA platform, the research will examine the extent to which regional (RECs/RMs) policy and legal frameworks have integrated child protection in their conflict response mechanisms.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSESSMENT
The main objective of the study is to review the work of AU’s key policy organs, the APSA as well as RECs/RMs in their efforts to mainstream child protection within their conflict-related mandates, from prevention, up to resolution. Specifically, the assessment will: I. Review the status of child protection mainstreaming within AU’s key policy organs; II. Examine the extent of implementation of existing child protection provisions within the APSA as well as RECs/RMs’ policies and legal frameworks; III. Explore mechanisms for effective mainstreaming of child protection efforts in conflict situations in AU’s key Policy Organs, APSA and RECs/RMs.
- EXPECTED DELIVERABLES
- An inception report outlining the consultants’ understanding of the assignment and the methodology and approach to be employed. The inception report will be discussed prior to the commencement of the assignment in an inception meeting;
- Draft report on child protection mainstreaming in conflict situation in AU’s Policy Organs and RECs/RMs which will be subjected to a validation process in the form of a workshop convened by the ACERWC. While the ACERWC and ACPF will be in charge of organizing the validation workshop, the Consultants will be responsible for planning and running sessions and engaging their own experts for rapporteuring and gathering feedback and inputs;
III. A final report on child protection in conflict situations detailing, inter alia, the level and extent of child protection mainstreaming in AU’s Policy Organs, APSA, RECs/RMs’ institutions, policy and legal frameworks, strategies and plans, highlighting any challenges, shortcomings and key recommendations/strategies.
- REQUIRED EXPERTISE AND QUALIFICATION
Candidates must meet the following requirements:
(i) Postgraduate or other advanced university degree in the area of law, political science, conflict studies, development studies or any other cognate discipline;
(ii) At least 10 years’ of traceable experience of working and/or conducting research, policy development and review in the field of child protection or peace and security at African continental, regional or international levels;
(iii) Demonstrable analytical skills and practical exposure in applying child rights analyses, mainstreaming, programming, monitoring and evaluation at African continental, regional or international levels;
(iv) Demonstrable experience of working with the African Union and its mechanisms;
(v) Having Good knowledge of child rights broadly and child protection mainstreaming as a concept, tool and strategy and its linkages to rights protection and fulfilment, especially in conflict situations;
(vi) Past experiences in similar assignments of carrying out child rights analysis particularly in conflict situation in Africa, a prerequisite;
(vii) Proficiency in English is a requirement while knowledge of all AU working languages is highly desirable.
- HOW TO APPLY
Interested and suitable candidates are requested to send their technical proposals, of not more than three pages, and a CV, of not more than five pages, to: