Call for proposals on capacity-building in the area of rights of the child and child-friendly justice - REC-RCHI-PROF-AG-2019

Deadline for application: 
14 May 2019
Country(s) that the job is based in: 
European Union
Organisation: 
European Union

Call for proposals on capacity-building in the area of rights of the child and child-friendly justice

REC-RCHI-PROF-AG-2019

Scope:

Topic description

The Council of Europe Guidelines on child friendly justice (see bibliography) define child friendly justice as a justice system which guarantees the respect and the effective implementation of all children’s rights at the highest attainable level, is accessible, age appropriate, speedy, diligent, adapted to and focused on the needs and the rights of the child. It respects the rights of the child including the rights to due process, the rights to participate in and to understand the proceedings, the rights to respect of private and family life and the rights to integrity and dignity.

Access to justice and especially child friendly justice is not a given. Progress has been made in many countries and areas, but there are still many challenges: testimonies of children (especially children with disabilities) are often not taken into account, children are put under a lot of pressure when appearing before the court, they are interviewed multiple times and by professionals without appropriate training, violence against children is still under detected, under reported and under prosecuted, etc.

The European Commission adopted the Victims’ rights directive (Directive 2012/29/EU) and Directive (EU) 2016/800 on the procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused in criminal proceedings.

Child victims are considered to have special protection needs under the Victims` rights directive. A number of measures to protect child victims such as use of video recording for their testimonies or appointment of a special representative in case of conflict of interest between them and their parents should always be available to child victims. Other measures should be adopted, taking into account an individual assessment of their needs in order to ensure that if a child victim has to take part in criminal proceedings, every effort should be made to avoid causing further trauma as a result of interviews or visual contact with offenders.

Directive (EU) 2016/800 specifies that children who are suspects or accused in criminal proceedings shall be individually assessed. The individual assessment shall, in particular, take into account the child's personality and maturity, the child's economic, social and family background, and any specific vulnerabilities that the child may have.

Priorities and activities to be co-financed

1. Priorities

As an integral part of the child-friendly justice system, in full cooperation with practitioners and designated authorities in the national justice system(s) concerned:

1. To systemise and further roll out evidence-based supports to children involved in criminal, civil or administrative judicial proceedings.

2. Capacity-building for judicial and other practitioners/professionals involved in systemising robust, multidisciplinary individual assessments under Article 22 of Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime and Article 7 of Directive (EU) 2016/800 on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings, taking account of the Member States which transposed/are due to transpose these Directives.

2. Description of the activities

Under the first priority, activities shall include steps to systemise and roll out the use of accredited intermediaries, communication aids or toolkits on supports for children before, during and after judicial proceedings and/or capacity building and communication aids for lawyers/legal advisers/support persons for children. For some examples see the report from the conference on child friendly justice which took place in June 218.

Under the second priority, activities shall include capacity building for judicial and other practitioners/professionals directly involved in the multidisciplinary individual assessments.

Activities must take place in countries participating in the REC Programme to be eligible for funding.

Support of public authority

It is strongly encouraged to involve a public authority, including regional and local authorities, to be actively involved in the projects. This will be assessed under the award criterion (b) quality of the proposed action. These public authorities can be: Ministries and/or agencies responsible for children (e.g. child protection agencies and services), Ministries for children, child protection, social services, social protection, justice, children's ombudspersons and/or national human rights institutes for children, responsible regional authorities, etc. The rationale for the choice must be documented and explained in Part B Project description and implementation. This support will be expressed through Annex 5 - Letter from the public authority supporting the application and will be assessed under the award criterion b) quality.

Child protection/safeguarding policy

If a project foresees direct contact with children, every beneficiary of funding (including partners) needs to provide their child protection/safeguarding policy, if they work directly with children during the project. Each partner must provide their own child protection policy (not a cumulative one per consortium). The applicant and all partners must describe and submit the child protection/safeguarding policy it will adhere to.

A child protection policy should include standards that cover four broad areas (for more information please see “Child safeguarding standards and how to implement them” https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/standards_child_protection_kc...):

policy: how the organisation is committed to preventing, protecting and responding to harm to children

people: clear responsibilities and expectations on its staff and associates and supports them to understand and act in line with these

procedures: the organisation creates a child-safe environment through implementing child safeguarding procedures that are applied across the organisation

accountability: the organisation monitors and reviews its safeguarding measures. What are the mechanisms in place within the organisation.

A child protection policy should include clear information about the recruitment of all staff – including trainees and volunteers, including background checks (vetting).

A child protection policy must include clear procedures and rules to staff, including reporting rules, and continuous training on this should be in place.

The child protection policy should be available online, i.e. transparent to all those who come in contact with the organisation.

The child protection policy document is to be submitted as Annex 4 and will be assessed under the operational capacity criteria.

3. Expected results

Projects should foster capacity-building, the exchange of good practice, training on the rights and needs of children involved in judicial proceedings, while taking full account of the experience of children and young people who went and go through such experiences. We expect all projects to address and systemise the monitoring of outcomes for children involved in judicial proceedings.

This call aims to fund targeted, practical projects ensuring maximum tangible and demonstrable benefits and impacts on the experiences of beneficiaries (i.e. children involved in judicial proceedings). Activities should focus on the target group and aim at making the system work better for children: the development of materials, the mapping of existing materials or research should be, at most, minor components of project proposals. If included, their need should be solidly justified and they should lead to practical applications and interventions.

Proposals including development and delivery of new training modules/tools or roll out and delivery of previously tried and tested training modules/tools, should describe how access to those to be trained will be assured and describe how training/tools will be rolled out in the participating countries. In terms of promoting sustainability, capacity-building should preferably focus on train-the-trainer approaches and may also include tools such as checklists/draft protocols, etc. For transnational projects, any training modules developed should be made available with a view to being replicated or adapted for reuse in other EU Member States. New training modules must be piloted and, if necessary, adapted prior to delivery.

Applicants are invited to take note of previously funded projects (see bibliography). The continuation or follow-up of successful initiatives, including the scaling up of existing initiatives and/or testing them in a different context, may be funded if it is aligned with the priority. However, the exact duplication of an initiative will not be funded.

Priority 1. To systemise and further roll out evidence-based supports to children

children do not suffer further or secondary traumatisation as a result of their involvement in judicial proceedings;

judicial and other practitioners are more aware of the evidence-based supports that could and should be provided to children;

systemised individual assessments are conducted as required under EU law;

children are better supported in judicial proceedings including in giving best evidence;

the rights of the child are promoted and better protected before, during and after judicial proceedings;

outcomes for children are improved;

Member States are supported in implementing child-friendly justice processes and procedures;

the rights of the child are better respected and implemented in the justice system.

Priority 2. Capacity-building for judicial and other practitioners

judicial and other practitioners are better equipped to communicate with children;

Member States are supported in implementing child-friendly justice processes and procedures;

multidisciplinary and interagency cooperation among the relevant national and other designated authorities is facilitated;

the rights of the child are better respected and implemented in the justice system.

All projects must take a rights-based approach[1] and be clearly grounded in the EU Charter of Fundamental rights and the UN Convention on the rights of the child (UNCRC). Applicants are required to include clear and explicit references to EU and international law and standards they will adhere to or be guided by in project design, implementation, evaluation and monitoring and explain the project rationale.

Child participation

All proposals are expected to respect the child's right to participate[2] and all project activities must clearly integrate and protect the child's right to be heard[3].The involvement of children who were or are involved in judicial proceedings themselves is expected; including in project design. Proposals must make children's involvement central and integral to the project: in designing training and protocols, developing working methods, reviewing services, establishing complaint mechanisms, assessing what needs to be changed at system level, empowering children to be involved in decisions that affect them, etc.[4]

Geographical scope and partnership

All projects under this call can be either national or transnational and should be elaborated in close partnership with and/or be led by appropriate key players[5]. Applicants must document that they have the prior commitment of participating key players.

The involvement of public authorities[6] (at national or local level) is a clear asset to the proposal (as applicant or partner or by providing support). The rationale for the choice must be documented and explained in Part B Project description and implementation. This support will be expressed through Annex 5 - Letter from the public authority supporting the application and will be assessed under the award criterion b) quality.

Monitoring and evaluation

Appropriate attention has to be given to developing a robust evidence base and involving reliable monitoring, evaluation and reporting procedures. This should include defining the expected impact of the activity in measurable terms and defining a robust methodology and indicators to measure the impact of the activity.

Sustainability of projects and dissemination of results

Applications should also include a clear communication, dissemination and sustainability plan, with measures to maintain and monitor results after the end of funding. Applicants should also describe the potential for scaling up the measure, should the activities produce the expected results. The projects should aim at ensuring their durability, including through the involvement of the relevant authorities in the project itself, and appropriate dissemination, including at the end of funding (by promoting and enabling access to their results to the widest possible audience).

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This project is funded by: