Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA)
Theme: Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
Location: Home Based
Contract Type: Consultant
Duration of Assignment: 30 Days
With support from USAID, the PROGRESS Consortium is currently implementing the Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA) Program to improve the recognition, awareness, and enforcement of human rights in the region, including protection of the region’s most vulnerable and marginalized groups. The Progress Consortium is made up of Freedom House, the American Bar Association (ABA), Internews and PACT. The ARISA Program will run for a period of five (5) years with a focus on the following thematic issues which have been identified as crucial for the promotion of human rights in the region:
- Women’s customary land rights;
- Indigenous Peoples’ rights;
- Media freedoms and digital rights and;
- The rights of human rights defenders as a cross-cutting theme.
To achieve its programme objectives, the ARISA program through the ABA seeks to engage the services of a consultant to develop a Paralegal Resource/Training Manual on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (IPRs). This work will be undertaken under the Program’s thematic area on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights.
Over the past three years, the ARISA Program, through the ABA has been working closely with regional Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), legal practitioners and Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations (IPOs) to strengthen their capacity and engagement to seek redress for IPRs violations. Part of this work included undertaking research in order to understand the impact of COVID-19 on IPRs. The research identified lack of access to justice during the pandemic as one of the human rights issues of concern to Indigenous Peoples (IPs) given their remote location and lack of information, communication and technology facilities to engage with legal aid providers and the courts during the pandemic. IPs normally obtain legal aid from CSOs but these were inaccessible during different phases of the pandemic due to the lockdowns and movement restrictions. From these findings, the ABA/ARISA Programme concluded that the identification and capacity development of paralegals and their deployment to work within their communities is an important strategy in improving access to justice for IPs in the region.
Objectives of the Assignment
Given the challenges identified above, the main objective of the assignment is to develop three separate paralegal resource/training manuals on IPRs specific to South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The Manuals will be deployed to guide the training of paralegals on IPRs in the respective countries and will be used as reference documents by the trained paralegals in undertaking human rights work with indigenous communities in the three countries.
The manuals will be country specific and will focus on providing legal and constitutional rights literacy to paralegals as well as strategies for improving access to justice for Indigenous Peoples in the context of COVID-19. The development of the manuals and the subsequent initiatives such as training of paralegals are intended to raise awareness about IPRs in the context of the pandemic and result in case sourcing and/or identification for redress using various national and international mechanisms. The expectation is that the paralegals who will be trained using the manuals will be capacitated to identify rights violations and work with legal CSOs and human rights lawyers by referring cases for further management.
The manuals will also be useful for litigators who may want to use them as basic resource tools when undertaking IPRs litigation both within their countries and using international and sub-regional mechanisms.
Key Activities and Deliverables
The consultant/s will be required to undertake the following activities and produce the following deliverables:
- Develop an Inception Report;
- Undertake research to identify the international and national human rights and legal framework on the protection of IPRs in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa;
- Engage stakeholders in each of the three countries, in Southern Africa and internationally to identify key legal, human rights issues and related issues in the context of COVID-19 for inclusion in the paralegal resource/training manuals; and
- Using the findings of the desk research and stakeholder interviews, develop a draft and final paralegal resource/training manual for each of the three countries. The resource manuals are intended to be understood by paralegals and rural indigenous communities and should therefore use simplified language.
The manuals will be developed in line with an outline to be made available by the ABA/ARISA Programme which will include the following aspects, amongst others:
- Outlining indigenous peoples’ rights, and how these rights have been and continue to be impacted in the context of COVID-19 in each of the three countries;
- Explain in simple language IPRs against the respective national laws and constitutions as well as regional and international obligations and how human rights violations in the context of COVID-19 infringe on these obligations.
- Identify the various remedies and mechanisms available for redress of violations including traditional mechanisms, national courts, regional and international options;
- Provide strategies for advancing constitutional rights and legal literacy for paralegals; and
- Provide simplified jurisprudence on IPs rights from both a national and international perspective and outline how paralegals, working with legal practitioners and legal CSOs can use the jurisprudence to advance IPRs.
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor’s and/or Master’s Degree in Law or Human Rights;
- At least 5-10 years of professional experience at national, regional or international levels working on IPRs, human rights and/or capacity development of paralegals,
- Candidates must demonstrate a strong understanding and knowledge of IPRs policy; legal, governance and institutional frameworks in Southern Africa, internationally and in each of the three project countries;
- Experience litigating, researching, teaching and publishing on IPRs and related law and rights at national, regional and international levels;
- Good understanding of country contexts on IPRs in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia and at the Southern African regional level;
- Experience in developing legal training manuals and materials for paralegals and local communities, ensuring simplification of the law for use by these actors; and
- Familiarity with the legal systems in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Interested and qualified applicants must submit their applications to email@example.com by the 24th of March 2021. The application must contain a budget, curriculum vitae and an application letter demonstrating the applicant’s qualifications and experience and how these fit within the scope of the proposed assignment.
The applications must be clearly marked “Development of Paralegal Resource/Training Manual on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights” and indicate the country/countries for which you are submitting the application.
Applicants can propose to development the manual/s for one, two or all three project countries.