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Call for Short-Term Consultancy: Research Consultant. Interpreter-mediated questioning of children


Terre des hommes’ Regional Office for C/SEE, in the framework of the regional child protection project Co-Minor Inquest II, is looking for an experienced consultant to conduct a qualitative research on the question of interpreter-mediated questioning of children, using a participatory research approach, including the views of children and professionals.



The Co Minor II project intends to ensure that Interpreter mediated Questioning of Minors (ImQM, a highly unexplored research topic) does not result in further violations of children's rights, but, instead, contributes to the realisation of the rights of non-native children involved in criminal or other type of proceedings. There is a lack of mutual knowledge about the tasks and responsibilities of all professionals involved in ImQM, especially the interpreter and its role in making communication possible between all parties involved. The second phase of the Co Minor project will, through focus group discussions with professionals and semi structured interviews with children, contribute to the design of a training curriculum for all professionals involved in proceedings which require the use of interpretation and translation in order to uphold the rights of children during any type of proceedings.



The research aims to inform the work and efforts of Co-Minor Inquest II project partners and of key stakeholders through the analysis of both existing professional practices and children’s views in the field of interpretation and translation services for non-native children in contact with the law, be it in the framework of criminal proceedings or civil or administrative procedures in Hungary.


Main objectives

- to contribute to the harmonisation of EU legislation (Directives 2010/64/EU, 2012/29/EU, 2012/13/EU, 2016/800/EU) at national level and to increase the effectiveness of justice in multilingual contexts.

- to raise awareness on the vulnerability of non-native children in contact with the lay as far as their need of interpretation and translation services is concerned.

- to develop specialized joint training modules for legal practitioners involved in interpreter-mediated questioning of minors (ImQM).


Main tasks of the consultant

  1. Engage with all concerned actors in order to secure, safely organize and carry out semi structured interviews with 10 children and seek their views about:
    1. personal feelings
    2. Role and relations of all parties involved in the proceedings
    3. the spatial, temporal and material conditions
    4. trust and relations
  2. Engage with all concerned actors in order to secure, coordinate facilitate and carry out a focus group discussion with 8 professionals involved in interpreter mediated questioning of minors (legal professionals, psychologists, child protection experts/social workers, guardians and interpreters) and seek their collective views about:
    1. the role and expectations regarding interpreters,
    2. the “rapport” built with them and between them and children,
    3. the information exchanged between professionals and between professionals and children
    4. system related obstacles
    5. training and synergies between professionals
  3. Produce a report synthetizing all findings in line with the methodology develop din the framework of the project.
  4. Ensure follow up and accountability processes are all closed after finalization of the main output (i.e. relations with authorities, other stakeholders and children are followed up, M&E processes are closed)


Time frame

December 2016 – February 2017. The exact number of days is to be determined.


Required/preferred experience and skills of the researcher:

  • Demonstrated experience in conducting qualitative research;
  • Expertise in working and consulting with children in similar researches or direct work;
  • Very good training and facilitation skills with children and adults alike;
  • Very good understanding of ethical considerations in conducting research work with children;
  • Ability to liaise with authorities, details-oriented and ability to demonstrate diplomatic manners activities in the field;
  • Excellent analytical and report writing skills;
  • Ability to be creative and open;
  • Ability to work under time constraints;
  • Very good planning and time management skills;
  • Outstanding level of written English and native Hungarian required.


All persons who work with Terre des hommes Foundation programs are obliged to respect its Child Safeguarding Policy (the policy will be communicated before signature of the contract with the selected applicant) and will be required to attend an online CSP training on November 28, 2016.


Interested persons are invited to submit their application to by November 20th, COB, enclosing:

an up-to-date CV
a cover letter (max. 2 pages) outlining:

their experience in carrying out participatory research projects with children and facilitation of focus group discussions with professionals
A short description of the approach they will take in engaging with authorities to organize both focus group discussions and semi structured interviews with children  (with associated expected number of days of work).

One relevant and unedited writing sample.


 We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be notified