- 2015 – Present: Founder and Director at Middelburg Human Rights Law Consultancy, the Netherlands.
- My company has six main focus areas:
- Research projects: The core of my consultancy is doing (interdisciplinary) research. I conduct short- and long term research projects for the United Nations, European Union, civil society organizations and universities, either individually or as part of a team.
- Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation: I provide technical assistance to civil society organizations, as well as UN agencies, in relation to the development of strategic plans, theories of change (including outcomes, outputs, activities, assumptions) and country programmes in the field of girls’ and women’s rights. I also monitor and evaluate programmes, conduct baseline studies or mid-term reviews and suggest ways to improve future programming. Lastly, I also conduct capacity assessments of civil society organizations.
- Academic Education: I develop and teach courses at different universities in the Netherlands and abroad. These courses – both at the bachelor and master level – relate to the field of international public law, human rights, harmful practices, violence against women, gender-related issues, asylum and migration. I also teach courses in relation to research methods and critical thinking. I also give guest lectures and teach during summer schools in the Netherlands and abroad.
- Fieldwork: I find it important to frequently travel to the field to have the “on-the-ground” perspective. I travel to other countries to conduct research, to provide technical assistance, to monitor CSO projects, to evaluate programmes, to meet local partners working on girl’s and women’s rights and to assist UN country offices.
- Conferences: To my mind, sharing knowledge is key. Therefore, a couple of times a year I participate and/or present my work at international conferences. I am regularly invited to deliver (key-note) speeches, to moderate sessions or to take part in a panel discussion, participate in a workshop or expert meeting.
- Expert statements: I often serve as an expert witness and write expert statements for law firms in the Netherlands and abroad (including the United Kingdom and the United States). In those court cases, women and girls claimed asylum based on a fear of persecution on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)-related grounds.
- 2011 – 2015: PhD Researcher at the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT) at Tilburg University, the Netherlands.
- My PhD thesis is entitled ‘Empty Promises? Compliance with the Human Rights Framework in relation to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Senegal.’ My PhD research is interdisciplinary as it involves law, political science and anthropology. I address the practice of FGM/C from a human rights law perspective. I analyzed why States (do not) comply with the human rights framework that is designed to eliminate FGM/C. Senegal was selected as a case study. Through legal analysis, literature research and an in depth empirical study (five months fieldwork – conducting interviews with over 50 respondents at government level, international organizations and NGOs), this question was being addressed.
- Next to conducting my own research, I was also involved in various external research projects at INTERVICT, for example for Victim Support the Netherlands (a study to the National Ombudsman in the Netherlands and the possibilities for the Ombudsman to address victim’s needs) and for the Scientific Research and Documentation Center (WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice (a study to the extension of the Act on compensation and damages during disasters and major accidents, to include damages related to personal injuries and deaths).
- I was also a lecturer of several courses in the field of human rights and public international law, both at the bachelor and master level at Tilburg Law School. I also supervised students with their bachelor and masters thesis.
- 2008 – 2011: Research Assistant at Tilburg University, the Netherlands.
- I provided research assistance in relation to various research projects on a wide range of topics (including human trafficking, access to justice, conflict resolution and urban governance) at several research institutes of Tilburg Law School, including:
- Center for Transboundary Legal Development (CTLD)
- Tilburg School of Politics and Public Administration (TSPB)
- Tilburg Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems (TISCO)
- August 2008 – December 2008: Intern at the political department of the Netherlands Embassy, Tel Aviv, Israel.
As an intern, I was responsible for managing the various NGO projects funded by the Embassy: I assessed project proposals, visited and monitored projects (including in the West Bank) and reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I also attended political seminars and conferences, I was involved in various research projects and I wrote political reports for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I attended and took minutes of meetings of the economic and political department. Liaise with the Israeli government and army to facilitate passage of Palestinian students through the Gaza/Israeli border who came to the Netherlands to study for a semester.
- 2011 – 2015: PhD in Law, Tilburg University, the Netherlands.
- 2010 – 2011: Research Master in Law, LLM (cum laude) Tilburg University, the Netherlands.
- 2009 – 2010: Public International Law and Human Rights, LLM (cum laude) Tilburg University, the Netherlands.
- 2008: Summer School ‘Human Rights Law, Contemporary Challenges’, North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.
- 2004 – 2008: Bachelor International and European Law, LLB, Tilburg University, the Netherlands.
- 1998 – 2004: VWO – athenaeum (Profile: Economy and Society, elective: Management and Organization), ISW, ’s-Gravenzande, the Netherlands.
- November 2016 – present: Member of the Pax Christi Members Council, PAX, the Netherlands.
PAX emerged from a partnership between the two largest peace movements in the Netherlands: IKV Foundation (Inter-church Peace Council) and Pax Christi. PAX is grounded in the belief that peace is possible and that vicious cycles of violence and injustice can be broken. The aim of PAX is to bring about peace, reconciliation and justice in the world, by working with people and organisations in conflict areas. The Pax Christi Members Council watches over the mission and identity of PAX. The Council also contributes to the development of the vision and oversee the main policy lines.
- July 2010 – October 2015: Board Member, Mukomeze Foundation, the Netherlands.
The Mukomeze Foundation aims to improve the lives of women and girls who survived sexual violence during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. In the national language of Rwanda, Mukomeze means “empower her”. The purpose of the Mukomeze Foundation is to positively impact the lives of these women and girls by attending to their physical, psychological, material, social, economical and spiritual needs in order to contribute to their empowerment. As a board member, I was responsible for managing the sponsorships (communication with the implementing partner in Rwanda, monitoring sponsorships, writing sponsorship reports, contact with the sponsors in the Netherlands). I was also responsible for taking minutes during board meetings, I managed and responded to the incoming e-mails, organized activities, gave lectures/presentations about the genocide, sexual violence and the foundation. I visited Rwanda in 2012 to monitor the projects.
- July 2013 – July 2015: Chair, PhD Council of Tilburg Law School, the Netherlands.
The PhD Council of Tilburg Law School represents PhD candidates of the Law School. The Council kept track of developments affecting the position of PhD candidates. As the chair of the Council, I had bi-monthly meetings with the director of the Law School to discuss PhD matters.
- September 2010 – October 2011: Executive Production Editor Tilburg Law Review (TLR).
The TLR is a journal of International and European Law within Tilburg Law School. As a board member, I was responsible for all the non-content aspects of issuing the journal (financial and logistical matters, copyright issues, communication with the publisher and subscribers).
- December 2008 – March 2009: Harvard World Model United Nations (WorldMUN) in The Hague.
On behalf of Tilburg University participant of WorldMUN. I was a representative of Italy in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Committee.
- December 2007 – May 2008: VAR Moot Court Competition.
On behalf of Tilburg University participant in a nation-wide moot court competition in the field of Constitutional and Administrative Law.
- February 2007 – June 2008: Secretary Students for Amnesty – S4A Tilburg.
Responsible for organizing activities for students of Tilburg University with the aim of creating awareness among students of human rights violations in the world.
- September 2006 – August 2007: European Law Student’s Association – ELSA Tilburg.
As a member of the Seminars & Conferences Committee responsible for organizing monthly lectures and conferences at Tilburg University.
- November 2015 – October 2016: World travel.
I traveled for one year with my husband in Asia, Australia and Africa. More specifically, we visited the following countries: Malaysia, Australia, the Philippines, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Israel.
- September 2013 – February 2014: In-house researcher, Netherlands Embassy in Dakar, Senegal.
During my fieldwork in Senegal for my PhD research, I was invited by the Netherlands Embassy to work two days a week at the Embassy in Dakar. At the end of my fieldwork, I organized a conference where I presented my preliminary research results at the Residence of the Netherlands Embassy.
- January 2009 – February 2010: Volunteer, School 4 Kenya, Mpeketoni, Kenya.
School 4 Kenya is my own development project. I collected a total amount of € 15,000 through sponsorship activities in 2009. In February 2010, I traveled to Mpeketoni (Kenya) to build a primary school with local construction workers. I initiated this project with my husband in cooperation with the Dutch NGO Stichting Ontwikkelingshulp Kenia. I am still closely involved (advisory role to the board) in various projects (wells, clinics, schools and agricultural projects).
- October 2007 – July 2008: Volunteer, World Servants, Sidakatte, India.
Preparation (including fundraising) and participation in a development project: the construction of a primary school in Sidakatte, India. In July 2008, I traveled with a group of students to India for three weeks to help with the construction of classroom blocks.
- September 2005 – July 2006: World Travel.
After completing my first year at Law School, I travelled independently to Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia for 10 months. I widened my horizons, made friends for life and experienced other cultures.
Personal skills and competences
Mother tongue: Dutch
Other languages: English, French and German
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For my list of publications, click here.