Global: News

Consultant for project on inclusion and IHL

2 February 2024

IHL Centre is seeking consultants to join a groundbreaking project on inclusion and international humanitarian law.

The Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre seeks leading experts on international humanitarian law (IHL) and any of the following themes or groups: gender, children, older persons, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI persons, ethnic or religious minorities and undocumented migrants. Experts will be hired as consultants and will be part of an expert advisory group on the identity dynamics of armed conflict and the inclusive application and monitoring of IHL. Consultants will be expected to commit approximately 12 days to the project.

Who we are

The Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre is an independent expert group that provides rapid and in-depth advice on the laws of war to advance the protection of persons in conflict zones worldwide. As a group of experts, we share knowledge about and promote international law relevant for situations of armed conflict through research, advocacy, and training. Our rapid and in-depth analyses enable the humanitarian sector to respond to urgent needs and improves understanding and application of international law.

The International Humanitarian Law Centre is part of the Swedish development organisation Diakonia and has teams based in Bamako, Beirut, Geneva, and Jerusalem, which cover conflicts in the Middle East, West Africa, and emerging crises worldwide.

Purpose and scope of work

Addressing the inclusion gap

Across the humanitarian community there is a knowledge gap on the identity dynamics of conflict and the inclusive application and monitoring of IHL. Many actors still work on the assumption that the civilian population is a largely homogenous group, and that their experiences of armed conflict will be similar. This is a dangerous misconception that results in under-inclusive and therefore ineffective interpretation, application, and monitoring of IHL. The reality is that the civilian population will be diverse. It will include groups such as women, children, older persons, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI persons, ethnic minorities, and undocumented migrants whose identities will significantly impact upon their experience of armed conflict.

This gap in conflict analysis and response poses the risk that those who are already marginalised are further excluded from the protection of IHL as well as humanitarian responses to armed conflict. The violations of IHL that they experience are invisible and the

protection gaps that they are exposed to remain. There is a real risk that under-inclusive IHL monitoring could do harm by reenforcing the invisibility of certain groups, denying them protection and perpetuating a lack of accountability for IHL violations.

An Expert Group and report on inclusive IHL monitoring

To facilitate the humanitarian community's ability to engage in inclusive, responsive, credible, and high-quality IHL advocacy, the IHL Centre will form an Expert Group in which leading experts will come together to share their knowledge of the identity dynamics of conflict and provide guidance on how IHL advocacy and monitoring can be strengthened.

The Expert Group will draft a report that explores the identity dynamics of conflict and provide guidance on how IHL can be interpreted, applied, and monitored to ensure it provides the strongest possible protection to all persons living in conflict settings.

The Expert Group will have access to research support, senior IHL advisers, a dedicated project assistant as well as a communication officer to support their work.

Strengthening the IHL monitoring capacity of the humanitarian sector

The Expert Group is part of a wider project that the IHL Centre is undertaking in partnership with the European Commission - European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), to strengthen IHL monitoring and advocacy by the humanitarian sector.

The project is composed of three interlinked and complementary components. The first is the development of IHL monitoring standards. The second is a IHL Help Desk that provides support to the humanitarian community on the laws of armed conflict. The Expert Group is the third component of the project and the inclusion report that it produces will heavily influence the IHL monitoring standards as well as the outputs of the IHL Help Desk.

Commitment

We are seeking approximately six experts. Each expert commits to approximately 12 days of work, including an in-person meeting in June at a central location in Europe. The candidate is expected to provide analysis on international humanitarian law and their field of expertise and contribute a section to the inclusion report. Submissions to the report are due beginning of November. The report will be launched to co-inside with the European Humanitarian Summit 2025.

Assignment outline

Meeting preparation – 1 day
Participate in expert network meeting – 2 days (1 day for the meeting 1 day remuneration for travel)
Draft a section of the report ‘Identity dynamics of Armed Conflict: an inclusive interpretation of IHL’ – 8 days
Review and edits to any feedback on the draft – 1 day

Renumeration

550-700 € per day depending on location.

Qualifications

  • Proven expert knowledge of international humanitarian law and any of the following groups: gender, children, older persons, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI persons, ethnic or religious minorities, undocumented migrants. We are looking for those that have a strong reputation in their field of expertise.
  • Extensive experience (minimum ten years) in research and conflict analysis.
  • Experience of working within or supporting the work of an investigative or monitoring mechanism is highly desirable.
  • Strong level of English writing proficiency (the report will be copy edited by a communications adviser).

    Application

    If you have the essential qualifications outlined for this consultancy, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please apply with a one-page cover letter outlining your relevant experience and expertise along with your CV through to ihl.expert@diakonia.se by 2 March 2024.

    For any questions regarding the positions please contact alice.priddy@diakonia.se.

    The Centre is committed to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace, and strives to be representative of all sections of society. The Centre strives to recruit staff with diverse backgrounds including persons with lived experiences of conflict. All reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities.