Job Opening

Posting Title: International Consultant (Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses to Cyber Gender-based Violence against Women and Girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina & other South Eastern European jurisdictions)
Department/Office: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 08 November 2022 - 21 November 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-194784-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

.Specific tasks to be performed by the consultant:

The consultant will work under the supervision of the responsible Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at the Justice Section, Division for Operations of UNODC, and in close collaboration with UNODC staff in the Programme Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The consultant will be undertaking the following tasks and related activities:

Task 1: Conduct an assessment of capacities and technical assistance needs concerning crime prevention and criminal justice responses to cyber GBV in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries in South-Eastern Europe

• Conduct a desk review of available information, official data, academic articles and other reliable sources, including a review of existing legal and policy frameworks concerning crime prevention and criminal justice responses to cyber GBV;

• Prepare an assessment plan, clearly identifying the key focus areas of the assessment and the different stakeholders to be contacted or interviewed and the specific questions to be addressed to each of them concerning the relevant focus areas;

• Gather information from relevant stakeholders including civil society groups working on the topic and supporting victims through online interviews and/or in person interviews as feasible (individual and/or focus groups), with support from UNODC field office staff;

• Analyze the information gathered, with a view to identify and document current good practices, challenges and needs for future technical assistance activities;

• Prepare a comprehensive report summarizing the information gathered and outlining key findings (including any gaps in legislation and policy frameworks; the current needs and technical requirements to build capacity, technical expertise and specialization in relation to the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cyber GBV in a manner that protects and empowers victims and ensures offender accountability; opportunities to increase international cooperation and partnerships with the information and communications technology sector and civil society) and recommendations (including a capacity-building plan focusing on necessary training and education; suggested mechanisms to enhance international cooperation and partnerships with the private sector and civil society; ways to use criminal justice data to enhance research and analysis on cyber GBV to enable evidence-based prevention and responses; as well as identifying resource requirements for each recommendation).

Task 2. Conduct a 1-2-day workshop in Bosnia and Herzegovina for relevant national and regional stakeholders, private technology companies and donors to present and validate the findings of the needs assessment.

• Identify relevant stakeholders to be invited to workshop.
• Prepare the agenda, presentation of the assessment report and other materials and contents for the workshop.
• Conduct the workshop in line with the approved agenda.

Expected tangible and measurable output(s):

• 1 assessment plan.
• 10 or more stakeholder interviews/focus groups.
• 1 assessment report.

Work Location

Home-based with travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Expected duration

December 2022 – 28 February 2023

Duties and Responsibilities

The types of violence women and girls experience have become increasingly complex, with increasing rates of violence committed using information and communications technology, such as online harassment, cyber-bullying, stalking and image-based abuse, as well as the production and circulation of child abuse materials. While online or cyber gender-based violence against women and girls (cyber GBV) has become increasingly common, authorities have struggled to provide adequate responses and perpetrators have benefited from increased violence, particularly with the prevalent use of social media platforms and other apps. Technology has transformed many forms of gender-based violence into something that can be perpetrated across distance, without physical contact and beyond borders through the use of anonymous profiles to amplify the victims’ harm.

Different terms have been used to describe this kind of violence: “technology-facilitated violence against women”; “digital violence” or “cyber-violence”. Such violence occurs across the digital space of social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube and Tumblr, smartphone functionalities, micro-blogging sites and messaging applications (such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Messenger, Weibo and Line). It is often difficult to distinguish the consequences of actions that are initiated in digital environments from offline realities, and vice versa. Such violence can take many forms and target women and girls in multiple and different ways, due to the characteristics of information and communications technology, such as the rapid (“viral”) sharing of messages or pictures; global search; and the persistence, replicability and scalability of information, which also facilitates the contact of aggressors with targeted women, as well as secondary victimization. New forms of violence against women through information and communication technology include “doxing”, “sextortion” and “trolling”. Some forms of violence against women carry the prefix “online”, such as online mobbing, online stalking and online harassment. Pictures-based abuse (sometimes referred to as “revenge porn”) is the non-consensual distribution of intimate images and is a serious form of cyber GBV.

States hold the responsibility to develop legislative, policy and regulatory frameworks to prevent and counter cyber GBV in order to ensure perpetrator accountability, attention to the victims, but also to ensure the safety of online platforms, digital spaces and the use of technology. However, current legal frameworks and policies rarely consider cyber GBV within existing laws and policies that address GBV and, while some countries may have laws and policies for online safeguarding and security, they are often generic and gender-blind, and they fail to take appropriate action to stop digital harm. Most frequent legal instruments are cybercrime laws, criminal laws, laws on domestic violence and violence against women, hate speech laws and laws on data protection and privacy.

Some reports indicate that cyber GBV seems to also have increased during the pandemic due to the rising levels of internet use worldwide. Increased time online is linked to increased risks of online harms, ranging from hate speech and harassment to sexual violence and threats. In the United Kingdom, the lockdown caused a surge in the number of people contacting government-funded services for adults experiencing non-consensual intimate image-based abuse, and traffic to the helpline’s website nearly doubled in the week of 23 March 2020. In addition, more cases were opened in the following four weeks than in any previous four-week period. Similarly, in Australia, since early March, reports to eSafety about online harms have surged. In certain areas, such as image-based abuse, i.e. the sharing of intimate images and videos without consent, the reporting has almost doubled.

Regarding the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries in South Eastern Europe, a recent report published by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network stressed that cyber gender-based violence was growing for four main reasons: “inadequate legislation and an already poor institutional response to discrimination and hate speech; lack of response from big tech companies in implementing their own community policies related to digital violence; media enforcing gender stereotypes and failing to punish violations of professional ethical guidelines; and deep-rooted patriarchal norms on societal level that legitimize and normalize violence and discrimination against women.”

Effective crime prevention and criminal justice responses to cyber gender-based violence requires overcoming various challenges. Victims, offenders and the tools used to compromise can be, and often are, in different countries. The majority of evidence in cybercrime offences is electronic (“
and frequently requires the use of specialized/specific cybercrime investigation techniques, as well as formal and informal international cooperation measures. At the same time, national frameworks, operating procedures and national capabilities to prevent and combat cybercrime lag behind the advancements observed in cybercrime modus operandi. Furthermore, the legal framework covering online gender-based violence, if regulated, can pivot among data protection, cybercrime and gender rules, resulting in a complex network of rules applicable.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated to promote crime prevention and criminal justice responses to all forms of violence against women, in line with relevant international standards and norms adopted by the General Assembly, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and other relevant instruments. UNODC offers targeted technical assistance, including through its Global Programme on Strengthening Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses to Violence against Women and in collaboration with its partners under the UN-EU Spotlight Initiative and the Joint UN Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls subject to Violence.¿ Developing the evidence base on criminal justice responses to violence against women is a key aspect of UNODC’s technical support to assist countries in aligning national criminal legislation and policy frameworks on violence against women with international standards and developing the capacity of criminal justice systems respond more promptly and effectively to violence against women and provide essential services to victims and survivors.

To assist and support countries in ensuring that police and criminal justice services were delivered in a prompt and effective manner even during the COVID-19 pandemic, UNODC prepared an ad hoc thematic brief and a global review of emerging evidence concerning the impact on criminal justice responses to GBVAW. The Office also developed a series of handbooks and training tools for police, prosecutors and the judiciary on effective and victim-centered responses to violence against women, including the recent Handbook on gender-responsive police services for women and girls subject to violence, published by UN Women, UNODC and the International Association of Women Police.

The UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime provides focused technical assistance for capacity building, prevention and awareness raising, international cooperation and analysis on the phenomenon. Building on its specialized expertise and technical assistance in these areas, UNODC supports countries in developing and expanding crime prevention and criminal justice responses to online/cyber gender-based violence and in enhancing international cooperation. Ending online gender-based violence requires collaboration among States, Internet and communications service providers and other private actors, essential service providers, civil society and other stakeholders.

The assesment should in particular focus on the following elements:

A. Overview/picture of the threat

This analysis/description must include:
a) Scale and scope of the Cyber GBV situation
b) Modus operandi
c) Characteristics of victims and offenders

To conduct this part, the consultant should conduct an open-source investigation from reliable sources like reports from NMEC, ICMEC, IWF, EUROPOL, INTERPOL, etc.; and conduct interviews with authorities and organizations working on the thematic.

B. Operational and institutional capacities to counter Cyber GBV

This analysis/description must include:
a) A description of the Units/divisions/institutions from the Justice Sector (Law Enforcement, Attorney General Office, Supreme Court of Justice) working in the area
b) A brief assessment of their strengths/weaknesses in countering Cyber GBV
c) National statistics
d) Institutional resources to counter Cyber GBV (including prevention work, reporting portals)
e) Other organizations working in the filed

To conduct this part, the consultant should conduct an open-source investigation from reliable and conduct interviews with authorities and organizations working on the thematic.

C. Legal analysis (overview and gaps) of the legislation in place to counter Cyber GBV

This analysis/description must include:
a) A description of national law applicable
b) A description of international conventions
c) A brief analysis of the gaps in investigating, prosecuting, and adjudication Cyber GBV and other related crimes

D. Conclusions and Recommendations

The conclusions and recommendations must include those related to the legal and institutional framework. A brief list of actions that UNODC can conduct in the near future.

Proposed period: December 2022 – 28 February 2023
Actual work time: 35 working days

Qualifications/special skills

• An advanced university degree in law, human rights, political science or related field is required. A first level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

• At least ten years of professional experience in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice responses to gender-based violence, with several years of experience related to cybercrime, is required.
• Demonstrated experience in conducting technical needs assessments, especially in the subject matter areas relevant to the present consultancy, is desirable.
• Experience in liaising with and providing technical advice to criminal justice professionals and/or senior government officials is desirable.
• Experience of working with the UN or other international organizations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English, with excellent drafting and communication skills, is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

No Fee


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