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Terms of Reference (TORs) for a National Level Documentation of COVID-19 Related Human rights Violations

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR A CONSULTANCY

National level documentation of COVID-19 related human rights violations

Introduction

Civil society organizations (CSOs) and Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in Uganda promote an enabling environment through activities relating to re-claiming of freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly in physical and digital civic spaces which have worsened substantially due to disproportionate government restrictions stemming from COVID-19 and its effects.

These, however face challenges related to the shrinking operating environment for civic space, with a worsening human rights situation and restrictions as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. Firstly, prior to the onset of COVID-19, citizens were experiencing repressed physical and digital civic spaces primarily associated with regressions in access to information, means of expression and limitations to peaceful assembly as reported by the CIVICUS civic space monitor. These were occasioned by the passing of regressive laws including the NGO Act (2016), and the Public Order Management Act (POMA, 2013) to grossly abuse or curtail civic and political rights. Laws such as the Anti-Terrorism Act (Amended 2017) and the Anti-Money Laundering Act (2013) arising from a global drive to fight terrorism and extremism have also been unjustly used to further curtail the operations of mainly governance and human rights organisations and control citizens’ demand for accountability in the country. Secondly, public health measures and existing laws implemented in Uganda to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19 are added onto an already repressed environment and are further used against citizens to violate civil and political rights. This was evidenced during the national election in January 2021 which saw non-accreditation of CSOs that were planning to monitor the 2021 elections, broad suspension of the internet, arrests of opposition leadership, their supporters and human rights activists and the freezing of CSO bank accounts on allegation of terrorism financing. Such actions were only receded after declaration of the election results. With regime longevity, CSOs and HRDs are at increasing risk of government restrictions and threats thus requiring new capacity building interventions to document, collaborate, advocate and where possible ‘push-back’ on measures responsible for closing space, using tools and security skills in line with the changing context for effective and impactful responses to human rights violations (HRVs).

Introduction to consultancy assignment

The consultancy is geared towards gathering of information on how COVID-19 has been used as a tool to curtail freedoms, deny access to information and abuse the rights of HRDs. The research will be in part based on documentation and reporting from the project and use evidence to demand accountability and redress of violation from duty bearers. The documentation will focus on the violations targeting CSOs and HRDs, abuse of COVID-19 SOPs, Finance Intelligence and Anti-terrorism laws among others.

Specific activities the consultant will perform:

  1. Conduct a National Level documentation of COVID-19: The consultant will gather information on how COVID-19 has been used as a tool to curtail freedoms, deny access to information and abuse rights of HRDs.
  2. Conduct a validation workshop: The Consultant will design a one-day long validation workshop in light of study findings.
  3. Reporting: The consultant will provide a detailed report of the Workshop. The report should contain details of the discussion, activities/mechanisms agreed by participants of each region, challenges, and recommendations.
  4. A report summarizing cases of human rights violations including those related to shrinking space and where COVID-19 has been used as a tool to curtail freedoms, deny access to information and abuse the rights of HRDs.

Duration and Deliverables of the Consultancy

The key product will be a report summarizing cases of human rights violations including those related to shrinking space and where COVID-19 has been used as a tool to curtail freedoms, deny access to information and abuse the rights of HRDs.The total duration of this consultancy is one month. Details are described in the table below:

Activity Deliverable Duration Remarks
Conduct a national level -documentation of human rights violations including those related to shrinking space A report summarising cases of human rights violations including those related to shrinking space and where COVID-19 has been used as a tool 14 days The Consultant will use different methods to conduct the documentation.
Deliver/Conduct a validation Workshop 1 day validation workshop 1 day The consultant will facilitate a validation meeting to share a first draft of the results.
Compile and submit the final report National level documentation report. 5 days The consultant will be required to submit the final report.

 

Qualification and Skills Required:

  • The applicant should have Master degree from a recognized university in the field of development studies, management, social science or other relevant fields.
  • Minimum of seven years’ relevant experience. Previous experience working with/on civil society, research on Freedom of Information and Expression, Rights of Assembly and Association, Citizen Participation, Non-Discrimination and Inclusion, and Human Rights / Rule of Law.
  • Strong diplomatic skills a high level of cultural sensitivity and familiarity with an international and/or regional work environment.
  • An ability to work in and through networks and alliances
  • An ability to work with diverse actors
  • Fluency in English (written and verbal)

 Consultation Fee:

The consultant cannot sub contract this assignment to any other person or organization. The consultant is required to deliver quality services as per the plan and in close coordination with relevant stakeholders. Please mention your proposed daily consultancy fee for this 20-day assignment in the cover letter, include a financial and technical proposal.

Application Process:

The consultant (s) should send the following information to [email protected] by 4pm on the 14 April 2022 or hand delivered to National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders-Uganda Plot 148, SEMAWATTA ROAD, NTINDA, KAMPALA with Reference; Consultancy NO. DCA/CISU/2022. (Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted)

  • A brief proposal of no more than 2 page indicating how they will approach the task as outlined and including 2 references – at least 1 of which needs to be an organisation that work has been done for in the last 12 months.
  • At least 1 example of work completed in the last 12 months.
  • A budget for the consultancy which outlines an overall cost and a daily cost.
  • A brief profile/CV of the consultant(s) that will be responsible.

N.B. The winning proposal will be one that indicates an appropriate implementation model that is considerate of the current health situation in Uganda.