Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

International Expert (Human Rights-based Needs Assessment on The Special Regime in High Security Prisons)

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Job Description


The Presence is implementing the Unified Budget project “Promoting and enhancing human rights protection in Albania – Phase III.”

This project aims to support national authorities, institutions and citizens to better understand, protect and respect human rights in Albania. The Presence will continue to observe and support through this project the rights of people in detention, consolidating the progress made over the past years to improve the conditions in prisons in line with international standards and good practice. Building upon the previous work of the Presence in supporting prison reform in Albania, the Presence will focus on the protection and promotion of human rights in prisons in light of the recent commencement of the implementation of a Special Regime in high security prisons for serious crimes. The Presence will conduct a needs assessment on human rights aspects within the Special Regime, and provide findings, recommendations and technical support to state authorities to encourage adherence to human rights standards in the implementation of the special regime measures.

For this purpose, the Presence will hire one International Expert with extensive experience in both human rights and prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, to conduct a human rights-based needs assessment on the Special Regime in high security prisons. The Needs Assessment will be conducted in compliance with international human rights standards. In addition, the Presence will also hire a national expert who will conduct desk research on human rights in prisons, contextualizing standards and principles related to special regimes in high security prisons, i.e., right to security and safety, access to health care and personal wellbeing, interpersonal relations, material conditions, etc. The desk research will be conducted in compliance with the Nelson Mandela and European Prison Rules, CPT standards, OSCE commitments, UNODC assessment toolkits, and others, accordingly. The Special Regime puts several restrictions on the offenders, which might lead to violations of human rights, which, according to European Court of Human Rights, may amount to crule, inhuman and degrading treatment; or even torture.

The Presence’s Rule of Law and Human Rights Department is looking for one International Expert (home based) to conduct a human-rights based Needs Assessment on the Special Regime in high security prisons (similar to Article 41 bis of the Italian Criminal Code), with a focus on the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.


Under the guidance of the OSCE National Legal Officer, the expert will be expected to:

• Preliminary discussion with the OSCE National Legal Officer and the national expert to collect input for the needs assessment. • Participate in a conference call (between June and July 2020), organized by the OSCE National Legal Officer to discuss about the structure, content and format of the needs assessment. • Conduct a desk research on the compliance with Human Rights standards on the Special Regime in the high security prisons. • Draft the structure and methodology of the needs assessment and consult it with the Presence’s focal point; • Prepare a Needs Assessment report on the Special Regime in high security prisons. The report should be in English and at least 10 pages long, Times New Roman 12, 1.5 space, justified. The needs assessment report should have the following indicative structure: - Executive summary - Introduction and background - Methodology - International framework and standards, case-law on ECHR - Analysis of national legal and regulatory framework - A situation assessment - Major findings and shortcomings - Conclusions and recommendations for short term and long term strategies • Compile a set of recommendations for the state prison authorities to assist them with the development and further monitoring of the application of human rights-based procedures for the Special Regime. The set of the recommendations will be part of the Needs Assessment.

Expected Outputs/Deliverables:

- Methodology of the needs assessment report to be delivered within 30 July 2020. - A needs assessment report, including a set of recommendations to be delivered within 30 September 2020.

Location and duration

The expert will work remotely, from his/her office for the entire consultancy duration. No travel or physical presence will be required. The expert will submit the deliverables to the OSCE National Legal Officer.

Necessary Qualifications:

• Advanced university degree in law, criminal law, human rights or similar fields;

• At least 5 years of professional experience as an academic or practitioner in the criminal justice system and/or human rights;

• Professional experience in dealing with European Court on Human Rights cases;

• Professional experience in conducting similar needs assessments;

Very good knowledge of English including excellent communication and drafting skills.

All applications are due by 02 June 2020. If you wish to apply for this position, please use the OSCE's online application link found under

Should you have any question, kindly contact

The OSCE retains the discretion to re-advertise the vacancy, to cancel the recruitment, to offer an appointment at a lower grade or to offer an appointment with a modified job description or for a different duration.

The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply to become a part of the organization.

Due to the current unpredictable situation, the start date may probably be revised according to the daily and rapidly evolving situation.

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