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Conny Rijken appointed Professor of Human Trafficking and Globalization

PRESS RELEASE 19 December 2015 - Tilburg University has appointed Conny Rijken to the chair of Human Trafficking and Globilization as of January 1st, 2016. At the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT), which is part of Tilburg Law School, Rijken will focus particularly on human rights violations taking place in the context of global migration.


Human mobility in a globalized world has the potential to lead to economic growth and an improvement in living standards throughout the world. However, not all migrants end up in a situation with improved living conditions and a significant number end up marginalised, exploited and discriminated against. Human trafficking is considered one of the largest and most severe criminal offences worldwide and hits people working in forced, bonded and exploitative labour including sexual exploitation.

At this stage, we do not have a full picture of the factors that cause or diminish the risk of being excluded from the profits of migration and the effects of judicial regimes trying to minimize exclusion. At the same time we lack the knowledge how to utilize existing institutions and structures at national, regional and international levels to optimize migration governance at the global level. The research of Conny Rijken will contribute to the identification, understanding and filling of these knowledge gaps. The core research area will be human trafficking in the context of the downside of global migration contemplated through the lens of human rights and more broadly victimology with a particular focus on the European context.

Rijken is also establishing a Human Trafficking Law Clinic for students based on and in cooperation with the Human Trafficking Law Clinic at Michigan University. The Law Clinic will start in Spring 2016.

Dr. Conny Rijken (b. 1969) studied international and European human rights law at Utrecht University and Tilburg University and wrote her PhD thesis on human trafficking under supervision of Prof. Hirsch Ballin and Prof. Fijnaut. She has extended her field of research to other areas including global migration, European criminal law and inclusion and exclusion through migration. Central in her research is the focus on human rights and engagement with the position of the individual. She conducts her research in interdisciplinary and international teams, often led by her, enabling the combination of and building on insights from different perspectives. Her research is characterized by creatively rethinking entrenched principles that are often taken for granted and generating new insights and ideas. Encouraging and inspiring students and other researchers are aspects she finds important in her work and which she will further effectuate as professor of human trafficking and globalization. 

Note for editors

For more information, please contact press officer Corine Schouten of Tilburg University, tel. +31 13 466 2993 / email c.h.schouten@tilburguniversity.edu.