Advisory Board

The scientists of the VULNER project are being supported by an advisory board. Its members are prominent experts and stakeholders who provide external and independent scientific advice during the course of the research, with the view to strengthening the scientific quality of the research output.

The following experts contribute to the VULNER advisory board:

 Independent Ethics Advisor

Anthony Good

Anthony Good is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh.

He provides independent ethics guidance and monitoring to the project members.

Advisory Board Members

Nele Allenberg

Nele Allenberg is the Head of the Department of Human Rights Policies Germany / Europe of the German Institute for Human Rights. Before, she was Head of the Unit Refugee Politics for the Department of Integration of the Berlin Senat and lead the Welcome Center Berlin, an advice and support structure for newly arrived migrants.
She also worked as a policy advisor to the Plenipotentiary of the Council of the Protestant Church of Germany and to Amnesty International Germany.

She is a member of the board of the publisher of Zeitschrift für Ausländerrecht und Ausländerpolitik (ZAR, Journal for Foreigner‘s Law and Policy).

Idil Atak

Idil Atak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology, cross-appointed to the Faculty of Law at Ryerson University, Toronto.

Jean-Yves Carlier

Jean-Yves Carlier is a Professor in law at the Catholic University of Louvain, the University of Liège, the University Saint-Louis and a lawyer at the Bar of the Walloon Brabant, Belgium.

He is or has been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Paris 2, Geneva, Caen, Aix, Montreal, Ouagadougou, Cotonou and Bujumbura.

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro

Dr. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro has been a Judge since 1991. She served as a Pre-Trial Judge at the Criminal Court of Rome, and currently serves as a Judge in the Civil Court of Rome. In February 2019, she was appointed Adjunct Professor of Human Rights Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway.

From March 2010 to February 2014 she was the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe). In this position she hosted the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons, a platform for consultation and cooperation including UN Agencies, International Organizations and NGOs.

She served from 2006 until 2009 in the European Commission's Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security in Brussels, where she was responsible for combating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. She drafted the EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.

From 2001 to 2006 she was a Judge in the Criminal Court of Rome, dealing with serious crimes including violent crimes, drug trafficking and trafficking in persons. During this time she was also a member of the Equal Opportunity Committee at the National Superior Council of the Judiciary.

From 1996 to 2001 she was the Head of the Legislative Office and Adviser to the Minister for Equal Opportunities. She drafted the Italian legislation on trafficking in human beings, judicial action against discrimination, and protection orders against domestic violence.

She holds a degree in Italian literature and in Law, and worked for several years as a High School teacher before joining the Italian Judiciary.

She speaks Italian, English and French. more

James Hathaway

James C. Hathaway is the James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law and Director of the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law at the University of Michigan, USA.

Hathaway’s publications include more than one hundred journal articles, book chapters, and studies; a leading treatise on the refugee definition (The Law of Refugee Status, second edition 2014 with M. Foster; first edition 1991); an interdisciplinary study of models for refugee law reform (Reconceiving International Refugee Law, 1997); and The Rights of Refugees under International Law (2005), the first comprehensive analysis of the human rights of refugees set by the UN Refugee Convention and the International Bill of Rights. 

He is the founding Editor of Cambridge Asylum and Migration Studies and Senior Advisor to Asylum Access, a non-profit organization committed to delivering innovative legal aid to refugees in the global South. 

Hathaway regularly advises and provides training on refugee law to academic, non-governmental, and official audiences around the world.

Katrin Imhof

Katrin Imhof

Katrin Imhof is a Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid professional with many years of experience working with partner country governments and decision-makers, the UN, NGOs, the private sector, and directly with marginalized populations in over 40 countries.

At Right to Play International, as a member of the Executive Board for six years and most recently as Global Chief Program Officer, she oversaw over 15 country programs in Africa, Asia, Americas and the Middle East, and previously spent 13 years on assignments with UNICEF in Libya, Bolivia, Thailand, Iran, Nigeria and Afghanistan; in many of them working with and for refugees, internally displaced people and migrants.
Before her time working abroad, she led campaigns at Amnesty International Switzerland.

Katrin Imhof holds a doctorate (ETH Zurich) in Neuroscience of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Francesca Ippolito (University of Cagliari)

Francesca Ippolito is currently an Associate Professor of International Law at the University of Cagliari, Italy, where she also teaches EU law. She is a principal investigator and member of funded national, international and European projects as well as a Visiting Professor in several universities including Glasgow, Bordeaux, Grenoble-Alpes, Valencia and Seville. She is a selected member of the prestigious Research Centre of The Hague, Academy of International Law and a member of the Scientific Board of the journal European Papers.

She researches and publishes in the area of international human rights law, international migration law, children's rights, general principles and European integration. Her most recent publications include a monographic study on vulnerability, entitled "Understanding vulnerability in international human rights law" (to be published by the end of 2020/early 2021); and edited volumes such as F. Ippolito, G. Borzoni, F. Casolari (eds.), Bilateral Relations in the Mediterranean. Prospects for migration issues, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020; F. Ippolito, M.E. Bartoloni, M. Condinanzi (eds.), The proliferation of integration principles in EU law: towards a more policy consistency? Routledge, 2018; F. Ippolito, G. Biagioni (eds.), Migrant children: challenges for international law, pubblicato nella collana diretta da Maurizio Arcari, Enrico Milano e Attila Tanzi, La ricerca del diritto nella comunità internazionale, Editorale Scientifica Italian (ESI), December 2016; F. Ippolito, S. Trevisanut (eds), Migration in the Mediterranean: Mechanisms of International Cooperation, Cambridge (Cambridge University Press), December 2015 – reprinted in 2018 in paperback and F. Ippolito, S. Iglesias Sanchez (eds.), The protection of vulnerable groups. The European Human Rights Framework, Oxford (Hart Publishing - Modern Studies in European Law Series), February 2015.

Fatima Khan (University of Cape Town)

Fatima Khan is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Refugee Rights Unit; a research unit incorporating a legal practice registered with the Cape Law Society. The Refugee Rights Unit is funded by the United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and operates as an implementing partner for the UNHCR in South Africa.

Dr Khan is the Course Coordinator of three courses - Refugee and Immigration Law, Public Interest Litigation – two electives for final year students as well as the Refugee Law and Human Rights course a master’s level course for LLM and MPhil students.

Dr Khan was awarded a Doctoral degree in December 2017 from the University of Cape Town.

She is a member of the Editorial Board of The Refugee Law Reader: Cases, Documents and Materials (7th edition), a comprehensive on-line model curriculum for the study of the complex and rapidly evolving field of international refugee law.

She has also done collaborative research as a World-Wide University Network (WUN) member with the following universities and institutions; University of Auckland, University of Bergen, Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Leeds, Maastricht University, University of Sheffield, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, Zhejiang University, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland and University of Oxford. more

Julie Lejeune

Julie Lejeune is the director of NANSEN, the Belgian Refugee Council, an UNHCR implementing partner in Belgium for quality legal assistance to asylum seekers.

She built up her experiences in fundamental rights, international protection and statelessness related issues by being actively involved in legal support to individuals, technical legal analysis, advocacy and capacity building of legal professionals. Her insights were gained through various positions in the Belgian national civil society, at Myria (an independent public body) and at ENNHRI (the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions).

For 5 years she was a Belgian Independent Member of the management board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2015-2020). She is currently a Member of the management board of the Belgian Federal Institute for the Protection and the Promotion of Human Rights. She is a fervent supporter of plain legal language as a token for transparency and accessibility.

James Milner (Carleton University)

James Milner is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Carleton University. He is also currently the Project Director of LERRN: The Local Engagement Refugee Research Network, a 7-year, SSHRC-funded partnership between researchers and civil society actors, primarily in Canada, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon and Tanzania.

He has been a researcher, practitioner and policy advisor on issues relating to the global refugee regime, global refugee policy and the politics of asylum in the global South.

In recent years, he has undertaken field research in Burundi, Guinea, Kenya, India, Tanzania and Thailand, and has presented research findings to stakeholders in New York, Geneva, London, Ottawa, Bangkok, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and elsewhere. He has worked as a Consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in India, Cameroon, Guinea and its Geneva Headquarters.

Pål Nesse

Pål Nesse was with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) for thirty years. He was mainly stationed in Oslo, supporting field programmes, particularly in the field of legal assistance.

He also worked in Mozambique, served as Country Director in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina as well as Resident Representative in Geneva. He joined the Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers (NOAS) as their Secretary General in 2020.

Nora Sveaass

Nora Sveaass is a Professor Emerita at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway and a clinical psychologist, primarily in work with refugees, at the former Psychosocial Centre for Refugees (1987-2004). She has conducted research projects on family therapy with traumatized refugee families, rehabilitation of victims of torture and on transitional justice mechanisms. Sveaass has written numerous books and journal articles on psychology, forced migration and human rights, with a particular focus on the right to redress and rehabilitation. Some of her most recent book chapters are included in the Research Handbook on Torture. Legal and Medical Perspectives on Prohibition and Prevention (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020), Human Rights Education for Psychologists (Routledge, 2020) and Psychology and Human Rights (Routledge, 2020). Sveaass has worked on gender-based violence in conflict, both clinically, as part of research, advocacy and in developing training material for helpers working with women exposed to sexual violence in armed conflict. Sveaass has in particular been engaged in projects and recommendations related to vulnerable asylum seekers, in particular victims of torture, and is presently finalizing a work on this for the Norwegian Migration Directorate. Sveaass is initiator and Head of Board of the Health and Human Rights Info, an NGO providing information on health and human rights for professionals working with survivors of human rights abuses. She served as Chair of the Human Rights Committee for the Norwegian Association for Human Rights (1998–2019), was a member of UN Committee Against Torture (2005–2013) and is currently a member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture.

In 2009 she was awarded the Amnesty International award (Norway) for work on human rights, and the University of Oslo’s Human Rights Prize in 2018.

Anna Triandafyllidou

Anna Triandafyllidou is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University, in Toronto, where she is setting up a large research program on international migration with a double focus on Canada and global migration.

She previously held a Robert Schuman Chair at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2012-2019), where she led the Cultural Pluralism research area in the EUI's Global Governance Programme.

She is the Editor of the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies and chairs the Editorial Committee of the IMISCOE network.

For more details on her work please visit and

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