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National Legal Consultant - Inclusive Education Legal and Policy Framework

Apply now Job no: 554628
Contract type: Consultant
Duty Station: Belgrade
Level: Consultancy
Location: Serbia
Categories: Education

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all qualified candidates, irrespective of nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization. UNICEF’s office is accessible to a certain extent, and employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations that are needed for ensuring equitable working conditions.

Considerable progress has been achieved in the implementation of inclusive education (IE) in Serbia since its introduction in 2009. Under the leadership of the Ministry for Education, Science and Technological Development (MoESTD), with continuous UNICEF support over the past years, reform measures have been taken with focus on developing a comprehensive institutional and policy framework for inclusive education (IE). However, 12 years after, many children with disabilities, Roma children and those from poor households and living in rural areas are still lagging behind and are less likely to benefit from inclusion in mainstream education.

The National Report on Inclusive Education in Serbia (MoETSD with the support of UNICEF, 2018) published on the 10th anniversary of implementation of inclusive education in Serbia has taken stock of progress achieved, as well as challenges in making the national education system fully inclusive. One of the key challenges identified is the need to further improve the national policy and legal framework relevant to IE and harmonize with the international framework and standards as emphasized also in multiple international reviews and reports on the situation in Serbia, including concluding observations of UN committees for the Rights of the Child and for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Additionally, the process of accession of Serbia to EU demands full harmonization of the Serbian legal framework with the EU Law, and the Action Plan for Chapter 23 demands legal and practical changes in education which will improve inclusive education for every child. Legal changes should address further improvement in fully embedding the rights of the children with disabilities in national education laws and regulations related to the transformation of schools for education of children with disabilities and further development of additional support services for their learning in regular education, with focus in improving institutional mechanisms at school, local and national level, use of assistive technology and related in mainstream education, universal design, monitoring and financing of IE. This will also include recommendations on how to improve inter-sectoral collaboration at national, local and school levels.

UNICEF has developed the Draft Report “The Inclusive Education Legal and Policy Framework in Serbia: An Analysis of the Current Situation and Recommendations for a Path Forward”, based on the analysis of the compliance of IE legal and policy framework with ratified international treaties and accepted international standards, with recommendations for legal framework harmonisation. Further wide consultations will provide inputs for elaborated and more concrete recommendations for future normative actions, in education, social protection, health, local governance and other legal areas, as to ensure alignment of IE legislative with the international treaties and standards.

Work Assignment Overview:

The purpose of this assignment is to support the national consultation process and achievement of the joint understanding of the future normative changes aimed to harmonisation of the IE legal and policy framework with the ratified international treaties and accepted international standards.

Duration of the assignment: Sep 2022 – Dec 2023 (part-time, remote, up to 45 workdays)

Task description:

  1. Support the consultative process on the Draft Report “The Inclusive Education Legal and Policy Framework in Serbia: An Analysis of the Current Situation and Recommendations for a Path Forward”;
  2. Revise the Draft Report “The Inclusive Education Legal and Policy Framework in Serbia: An Analysis of the Current Situation and Recommendations for a Path Forward” and develop legislative and policy changes recommendations, based on the results of the consultation process;
  3. Provide support to the Ministry of Education and other relevant bodies for further development of legal and policy framework relevant to Inclusive Education.

Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required:

  • University degree in human sciences, preferably education, law, pedagogy, psychology, sociology, or other humanities. Advanced degree will be an asset - national or international law on human rights and/or fields of education/inclusive education or any other area of inclusion of children and persons with disabilities.
  • Excellent knowledge of the national legal and policy framework and international and EU standards relevant to IE.
  • Experience in drafting legal and policy documents.
  • Excellent knowledge of the education legislative, policy, and institutional framework.
  • Experience in legal and policy reforms in Serbia, preferably in the area of education.
  • Experience in performing legal and policy reviews and analyses
  • Knowledge and experience in strategic planning and strategic approach implementation will be an asset.
  • Fluency in Serbian and English language.
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills.

How to apply:

The application must include a financial proposal in RSD as a separate document, providing the following information:

  • Daily rate (all costs included, e.g. usage of mobile phone).

Remarks:  

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. 

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 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. 

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. 

Advertised: Central Europe Daylight Time
Deadline: Central Europe Daylight Time

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