About Thomas

Foto: Bob Bronshoff

Foto: Bob Bronshoff

Thomas Spijkerboer (1963) is professor of Migration Law at the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since 2000, and International Franqui Professor at Ghent University in 2020-2021. He is one of the lecturers in the master’s track on International Migration and Refugee Law of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is a member of the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenchappen since 2016, and of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen since 2017. From 2017 to 2020 he was Raoul Wallenberg Visiting Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University (Sweden).

He studied law at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. From 1982 to 1986 he worked as a volunteer at the Rechtswinkel Amsterdam (legal clinic), specializing in housing law. From 1986 to 1993, he worked at Advokatenkollektief Zaanstreek (lawyers’ collective), where he specialized in asylum cases. Between 1993 and 2000 he was a lecturer in Migration law at the Catholic University Nijmegen. In Nijmegen he wrote his dissertation Gender and Refugee Status (Ashgate, 2000; Praemium Erasmianum 2001), combining qualitative, quantitative and purely legal approaches.

Since 2000 Thomas works at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. From 2001 to 2006, he co-directed (together with Kees Groenendijk) the research project Transnationality and Citizenship: New Approaches to Migration Law, carried out with the Catholic University Nijmegen and funded by NWO (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). In 2010-2011, he worked on the research project Fleeing Homophobia. Asylum claims related to sexual orientation and gender identity in the EU, funded by the EU and initiated by COC Nederland. This project resulted in a report and an edited volume. From 2013-2018, he led the research project Border Policies and Sovereignty. Human rights and the right to life of irregular migrants (see more here), funded through a personal NWO Vici Grant. In addition, in 2013-2017 he was the acting head of the research project Migration Law as a Family Matter, which was initiated by the late Sarah van Walsum, who received a personal NWO Vici Grant for it.

You can contact Thomas at t.p.spijkerboer@vu.nl, Twitter @TSpijkerboer.