My name is Annemarie Middelburg. I was born on the 28th of March 1986 in Delft, the Netherlands. I grew up in ‘s-Gravenzande as the eldest of three children. I graduated from secondary school (Atheneum) in 2004 and started in the same year the bachelor International and European Law at Tilburg University. After my first year, I decided to suspend my studies for one year and I travelled to Australia and New Zealand. When I came back, I continued my studies and obtained my LLB degree in 2008. As a bachelor student, I attended a summer school on ‘Human Rights Law, Contemporary Challenges’ at North West University in South Africa, I volunteered for development projects in India and Kenya, and I participated in Harvard World Model United Nations (WorldMUN). In 2008, I did a six-month internship at the political department of the Netherlands Embassy in Israel, Tel Aviv. In 2009, I enrolled for the Master Public International Law and Human Rights at Tilburg University and obtained my LLM degree (cum laude) in 2010. I successfully completed the Research Master in Law in 2011 at the same university (cum laude). My Master’s thesis ‘Piracy in a Legal Context: Prosecution of Pirates Operating off the Somali Coast’ was published as a book in 2011.
In October 2011 I was appointed a Ph.D. position by Tilburg Law School, based on my own research proposal on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. I joined the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT) and wrote my dissertation under the supervision of prof. dr. M.S. Groenhuijsen, prof. dr. R.M. Letschert and prof. dr. E. Leye. Part of my Ph.D. research was a four-month field study in Senegal. I was awarded grants of McKinsey & Company, Tilburg Law School (Alumni) Fund and the Special Data Collection Requests (BAD) Fund of Tilburg Law School to conduct this field research.
Besides writing my dissertation, I worked on various research projects, including for the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Scientific Research and Documentation Center (WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice and Victim Support the Netherlands (Slachtofferhulp Nederland). I gave presentations at a number of international conferences, including in Barcelona, Venice, Brussels and Paris. I also served as an expert witness during a court case in relation to asylum and FGM/C in the United States.
Besides doing research, I was also involved in educational activities. I taught courses and gave guest lectures on international law, human rights, and FGM/C, both bachelor’s and master’s level at Tilburg University. I also lectured during summer schools at Tilburg University and Trisakti University (Jakarta, Indonesia). I supervised students at Bachelor and Master level (both law and liberal arts) during the writing of their theses. Moreover, I have been involved in various other activities, inter alia, as the chairperson of the PhD Council of Tilburg Law School, as a member of the Tilburg Organization of PhD Candidates (TOP), as a supervisor of interns at INTERVICT, and as a member of the School of Human Rights Research. Between 2005 and 2010 I was a board member of the Mukomeze Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of women, and girls who survived sexual violence during the genocide in Rwanda. In 2015, I started my own business, Middelburg Human Rights Law Consultancy.