TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR SERVICE CONTRACT FOR A CONSULTANT TO PREPARE A BACKGROUND PAPER ON ACCESS TO DOCUMENTATION FOR THE ZHRC NATIONAL INQUIRY ON ACCESS TO IDENTITY DOCUMENTS

1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC/Commission) is the National Human Rights Institution responsible for promoting and protecting human rights in Zimbabwe. The Commission is also the Public Protector in Zimbabwe with the mandate to promote administrative justice. It was set up in terms of sections 232 and 242 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and its functions are spelt out in section 243 of the same Constitution.  

The issue of access to identity documents is of concern to the ZHRC given that the right to a nationality is constitutionally guaranteed and is also enshrined in key regional and international human rights standards such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families among others. 

Section 81(1) (c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the right to prompt provision of a birth certificate to children born in or outside Zimbabwe. Further, Sections 2 and 10 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act [Chapter 5:02] provide for compulsory and prompt birth registration within forty-two (42) days of birth.

To fully appreciate the issue of access to identity documents in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) is working with relevant stakeholders to carry out a qualitative and quantitative study into access to documentation.

2. PROBLEM STATEMENT

The ZHRC has noted through its programming that there are challenges in accessing national identity documentation in the country. For example, through monitoring Old People and Children’s Homes, the ZHRC noted that some adults and children did not have documentation due to various reasons, some of which included inability to meet the requirements set out by the Registrar General’s (RG) Office. The Commission has also received numerous complaints that relate to the right to identity which include failure to access birth and death certificates, national identity cards and passports. In public outreaches, stakeholder engagement meetings and mobile legal aid clinics, access to identity documentation has been noted as a recurring concern by the citizens of Zimbabwe. All of the issues mentioned above have a negative impact on one’s ability to enjoy civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, including the right to identity and the right to nationality. 

3. OBJECTIVES

As a result of the challenges discussed above, the ZHRC has begun a National Inquiry into Access to Identity Documentation in Zimbabwe.  The objectives of the National Inquiry are as follows: 

3.1. To inquire into the challenges in accessing identity documents, and the extent to which it affects people in Zimbabwe;

3.2. To inquire into and determine the root causes and factors that hinder access to identity documents; 

3.3. To assess the impacts of lack of documentation on the enjoyment of human rights for all people and groups as guaranteed under the Constitution, national laws and relevant regional and international treaties;

3.4. To review the effectiveness of existing laws, institutions, policies and procedures and analyse attitudes and beliefs relating to accessing identity documents in Zimbabwe; and 

3.5. To report, recommend and follow-up on steps to be taken in addressing barriers identified in accessing identity documents.

4. HIRING OF CONSULTANT

For the purposes of informing the design and approach of the National Inquiry, the ZHRC seeks a Consultant to undertake the following work: 

Prepare a Background/Research Paper in order to:

4.1.     Provide an overview of the situation to be addressed

4.2.    Outline the national and international law that is relevant to the situation

4.3.     Define the issue (access to documentation) in more detail.

4.4.     Outline the whole national inquiry process in more detail

4.5.     Conduct a mapping of relevant stakeholders

4.6.     Summarize stakeholder views following preliminary consultations

4.7.     Identify resource requirements at each stage of the national inquiry

4.8. Gather evidence, that is, statistics and other forms of information that reveal the nature of the problem being investigated, the people affected by it, and the impact on the affected people. 

4.9. Identify the gender, demographical and regional dynamics related to the issue of accessing national documents.

5. TIME FRAME FOR RESEARCH

The research should be undertaken in a period of 4 weeks from the date of signing of the contract. 

6. OUTCOMES

A comprehensive National Inquiry Background Research Paper on access to documentation

7. QUALIFICATIONS

ues mentioned above have a negative impact on one’s ability to enjoy civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, including the right to identity and the right to nationality. 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Law/ Social Sciences required; Master’s degree in human rights or related filed is highly desirable. Proven previous work experience is required. Familiarity with political, economic, and social issues in Zimbabwe.
  • Significant experience and knowledge of nationality laws/policies and access to documentation in Zimbabwe
  • Ability to conduct interviews, write reports, and provide oral briefings to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission
  • Ability to work with a tight deadline
  • Experience working with government and non-government stakeholders a plus
  • Fluency in at least three languages including English, Shona and Ndebele required

8. APPLICATION

Interested candidates should submit:

  • A Curriculum Vitae 
  • A technical proposal, in line with the Terms of Reference  including: A brief description (max. 500 words) on why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment; A brief outline (max. 2 page) of the proposed methodology of the work and a Work Plan with time lines  in completing the assignment ;
  • Financial Proposal.

 

Application to be sent to: info@zhrc.org.zw. Alternatively candidates can deposit their applications at one of the following addresses:

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission                                              Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission

144 Samora Machel Avenue                                                                   49 J.M Nkomo (between 3rd and 4th Ave)

Harare                                                                                                                  Bulawayo

                                                                                Or

Application deadline: 18 January 2019, 1600hours.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified persons with disability are particularly encouraged to apply.