Ellen Desmet


Ellen Desmet is the Assistant Professor of Migration Law. She teaches Belgian, European and international migration law, coordinates the migration law component of the Human Rights and Migration Law Clinic, and co-lectures legal anthropology.

Ellen’s research interests are situated in the field of asylum and migration law, with particular attention for human and children’s rights implications, as well as social-scientific perspectives.

Until September 2016, Ellen was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Human Rights Centre and at the Law and Development Research Group of the University of Antwerp. She was the Project Manager of the Interuniversity Attraction Pole (IAP) “The Global Challenge of Human Rights Integration: Towards a Users’ Perspective” (UGent) and the methodological advisor of the Localising Human Rights research program (UAntwerpen).

Before joining the Human Rights Centre in 2012, Ellen worked as a Senior Research and Policy Advice Officer at the Children’s Rights Knowledge Centre, and was a Substitute Lecturer in Anthropology of Law at the KU Leuven. She complemented her Law Degree with a Master in Cultures and Development Studies and a Master in Development Cooperation. Her PhD from KU Leuven (2010) concerned indigenous rights and nature conservation, including fieldwork in Peru.