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Personal profile

Ancillary activities

  • Nederlands Juristenblad | Den Haag | Medewerker | 2000-01-01
  • Jurisprudentie Vreemdelingenrecht | Den Haag | Medewerker | 2017-07-01
  • Lund University | Lund | Raoul Wallenberg visiting professor | 2017-11-01
  • European Journal of Migration and Law | Leiden | redactielid | 2017-12-01

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Personal information

Thomas Spijkerboer (1963) is professor of Migration Law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam since 2000, and visiting professor at Lund University (Sweden) since November 2017. He is one of the lecturers in the master’s track on International Migration and Refugee Law of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In 2016, he was appointed as a member of the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenchappen (Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities); in 2017 he was elected as a member of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Siences).

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, where he established the research group on migration law, which is nowadays one of the largest research groups on the issue worldwide. 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.

Since 2013, he leads the research project Border Policies and Sovereignty. Human rights and the right to life of irregular migrants, funded by NWO (see the migrant deaths page on this website). In addition, he functions as head of the NWO-funded research project Migration Law as a Family Matter, which was initiated by the late Sarah van Walsum.

For Thomas' publications see his own website. You can contact Thomas at t.p.spijkerboer@vu.nl, Twitter @TSpijkerboer.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 1999 2018

Bifurcation of people, bifurcation of law: Externalization of migration policy before the EU Court of Justice

Spijkerboer, T., 1 Jun 2018, In : Journal of Refugee Studies. 31, 2, p. 216-239 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
court of justice
migration policy

Carrier Sanctions and the Conflicting Legal Obligations of Carriers: Addressing Human Rights Leakage

Baird, T. & Spijkerboer, T. P., 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : Amsterdam Law Forum. 10

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

human rights

High risk, high return: how Europe's policies play into the hands of people-smugglers

Spijkerboer, T. P., 20 Jun 2018, In : The Guardian. 2018, June 20, 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalComment / Letter to the editorPopular

Open Access

Hof van Justitie EU 25 januari 2018, C-473/16, ECLI:EU:C:2018:3613

Spijkerboer, T. P., 2018, 13 p.. (Jurisprudentie Vreemdelingenrecht; vol. 22, no. 90)

Research output: Case NoteCase noteProfessional

Kroniek van het migratierecht

Battjes, H., Boeles, P., Brouwer, E. R., Cornelisse, G. N., Reneman, A. M., Slingenberg, C. H., Spijkerboer, T. P. & Stronks, M., 16 Oct 2018, In : Nederlands Juristenblad. 35, p. 2672 2683 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic

Activities 2001 2018

The European Courts and the 2015 Migration 'Crisis'

Spijkerboer, T. P. (Speaker)
12 Nov 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Europe on Trial

Spijkerboer, T. P. (Participant)
2 Jun 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOther eventSocietal

Border Deaths: Tragedy or Human Rights Violation?

Spijkerboer, T. P. (Speaker)
17 Jan 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationProfessional

Asielbeleid: het kan ook anders

Spijkerboer, T. P. (Speaker)
24 Feb 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationPopular

Why is it so hard to make a human rights analysis of border deaths?

Spijkerboer, T. P. (Speaker)
18 Apr 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


Praemium Erasmianum Studieprijs

T.P. Spijkerboer (Recipient), 2001

Prize: Prize / AwardAcademic

Press / Media

Radio Een Vandaag

T.P. Spijkerboer


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Buitenhof 18 June 2017 (TV talk show)

T.P. Spijkerboer


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other

Op zoek naar de doden aan de Europese grenzen

T.P. Spijkerboer


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Other

Turkije deal was briljant

T.P. Spijkerboer


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment