Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant to undertake a study and produce user-friendly guidance on a human rights-based approach to disaster risk reduction in the Asia-Pacific region
Department/Office: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 13 June 2022 - 23 June 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction-183696-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The consultant will deliver:
1. Desk review of existing literature on human rights and disaster risk reduction.
2. A short report on a human rights-based approach to disaster risk reduction in the Asia-Pacific region that identifies and collects good practices.
3. A series of recommendations will be developed on the basis of the report along with a short guidance for member states that outlines how a human rights-based approach to disaster risk reduction can be implemented.
4. Develop a training module on a human rights-based approach to disaster risk reduction.

Work Location

Home-based

Expected duration

The contract duration will be from 27 June – 31 October 2022 for an expected 60 days work within this time-period.

Duties and Responsibilities

Background
The Asia Pacific region is prone to a range of disasters, many of which are increasing in frequency and severity as the effects of climate change take hold. They have a wide-ranging impact on human rights, exacerbating existing human rights concerns and inequalities while also creating new human rights problems. Issues such as disaster displacement and access to basic economic and social rights, including in relation to the right to food, the right to adequate housing, the right to life, liberty and security of person, right to water and sanitation and the right to work are particularly prominent issues in humanitarian emergencies.

Population groups who are typically marginalized and already suffering discrimination linked to their gender, identity, status or situation (for example indigenous groups, persons with disabilities (PWD), LGBTQIA+ community, migrants and refugees) are even more strongly impacted. The enjoyment of civil and political rights, already facing significant challenges in many countries, are also often exacerbated in disaster settings where restrictions on freedom of expression and movement can impact the quality and efficacy of the response. The ability to understand disaster risk and to respond to humanitarian needs is greatly impacted in situations where people fear to speak openly of their concerns or criticizing authorities.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 places great importance on the promotion and protection of human rights. The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction said in an address to the Human Rights Council in 2019 “we operate from the starting point that preventing and reducing disaster risk is also the means to protect and promote human rights” . One of the guiding principles of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 is to protect people and their assets while promoting and protecting all human rights, including the right to development. At the same time, the way that international human rights conventions are implemented influences disaster risk. Violations of human rights result in increased disaster risk, whereas effective disaster risk reduction promotes human dignity, and can support and uphold human rights.

The Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which is currently underway, offers an opportunity for the UN to engage with Member States on integrating human rights in their DRR strategies, policies, commitments and programmes, including through engagement with National Human Rights Institutions. It also presents an opportunity to explore how the legal foundation of disaster risk reduction can be strengthened by examining the interlinkages between international human rights law and disaster risk reduction.

The human rights mechanisms at the global level have also increasingly focused on the integration of human rights in disaster risk reduction. Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) focuses on the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and in humanitarian emergencies . While the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) issued General Recommendation No. 37 in 2018 which brings attention to the gender-related dimensions of disaster risk reduction in the context of climate change. At the moment, the Committee on the Rights of the Child is developing a general comment (No. 26) on children’s rights and the environment with a special focus on climate change. Several Special Rapportuers have also been looking at interlinkages between human rights and disaster risk reduction, including the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development, the Special Rapporteur on the Issue of Human Rights Obligations Relating to the Enjoyment of a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment, and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The work of the human rights mechanisms and the adoption of the International Law Commission on draft articles on the protection of persons in the event of disasters indicates growing support for a human rights-based approach to DRR .

B. Duty and Responsibility
The consultant will be responsible for undertaking a study on a human rights-based approach to disaster risk reduction in the Asia-Pacific region. Guided by an initial desk review of existing literature on human rights and disaster risk reduction, the study will look at current practices across the region with regards to human rights and disaster risk reduction, including whether and how human rights are incorporated into disaster risk reduction strategies and plans, highlighting both best practices and approaches which inadvertently or otherwise violate human rights and exacerbate disaster risk.

Consultations with relevant actors including National Human Rights Institutions, Disaster Management Agencies, UN and other regional actors, and a broad range of civil society actors including those working on human rights and disaster risk reduction will be undertaken.

The study will identify good practices where human rights and a human rights-based approach has been integrated in disaster management and disaster risk reduction laws, policies and strategies, and make recommendations as to how these efforts can be further strengthened. The research should identify laws, policy initiatives, systems, approaches, tools and other initiatives which have led to successful integration of human rights.

On the basis of this study, a series of recommendations on how a human rights-based approach to disaster risk reduction can be implemented by member states will be developed. The recommendations will be accompanied by a short user-friendly guidance to assist governments in their efforts to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in a way that promotes and upholds human rights. The primary audience for this guidance will be national and local authorities, in particular those who are engaged in national disaster management, as well as entities which should be engaged in disaster management including preparedness structures including national and local authorities responsible for human rights or with a focus on groups typically marginalized in these processes including those working on gender equality, the rights of children, and the rights of persons with disabilities.

Finally, a short (60 min) training module on a human rights-based approach to disaster risk reduction will be developed that captures the key findings of the study, and walks participants through the recommendations and guidance.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree in International Human Rights Law, Disaster Risk Reduction, Social Sciences, International Relations, Development Studies, Political Science, or any other relevant field.
Experience: At least 10 years of relevant experience on international human rights, disaster risk reduction, and/or development and research across the Asia-Pacific region is required.

Field/country-level experience on capacity development and/or technical assistance on human rights, disaster risk, vulnerability and capacity assessment is desired.

Experience working with international human rights mechanisms, as well as frameworks on disaster risk reduction, is desirable.

Experience with the UN and in the Asia-Pacific region is desirable.
Language: Fluency in English is required.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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