Tilburg University Summer Course

“Justice for Victims of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence and Human Trafficking?” 8 – 19 July 2019

All around the world, numerous men, women, boys and girls suffer the harsh consequences of conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking. Thousands of men, women and children are forced into sexual slavery or raped during conflict-situations, and/or, when fleeing conflict, are forced by human traffickers into exploitative practices en route and in the country of destination. One only needs to watch the news about what is happening today in (former) conflict areas and in the wake of the refugee crisis in Europe to see that these practices are ever present. Both phenomena are crimes that affect the physical integrity of human beings and cause gender inequality worldwide. In addressing both crimes, which take place in conflict, transitional and/or peacetime situations, a contribution is made to remedy that injustice.

During this two-week course we will look into the opportunities and challenges in addressing both crimes. Among the questions we will address are:

  • How can conflict-related sexual violence be investigated and prosecuted before local, national and international criminal tribunals as part of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes?
  • Does the approach to address the business model of human traffickers (targeting the profit) contribute effectively to combatting the crime?
  • What are the needs and rights of victims/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking to ensure justice?
  • And how can these crimes be prevented? For example, how do we prevent that military peacekeepers engage in sexual violence as witnessed in the Central African Republic?

The ultimate goal of this summer course is to critically assess whether the current approaches are contributing to realizing justice.

This course includes:

  • An intensive two week program of interactive lectures with group assignments;
  • Interdisciplinary lecturers who teach from both an academic and practical perspective (e.g. research and field expertise);
  • Two one-day working visits to relevant institutions in the Netherlands dealing with both phenomena;
  • Social and networking activities include welcome and farewell drinks as part of the course.

You are expected to:

  • Prepare for interactive lectures through reading assigned materials;
  • Be present and actively participate during the interactive lectures;
  • Demonstrate the learned skills in a practical assignment at the end of each lecture day;
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically approach and assess contemporary issues in relation to the phenomena of conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking in a concluding assignment on the last day of the course.

The course grade will be made up of two parts: (1) group assignments (40% of total grade), involving case study discussion, country evaluation; testimonial assessment; development of preventive measures; critical assessment of preventive measures and presentation of these assignments; and (2) one individual final closed book exam (60% of total grade). There is a possibility to resit the exam.

Course objectives:
At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the phenomena of conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking and how these contribute to (gender) injustice;
  • Identify, analyse and critically assess the opportunities and challenges in addressing conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking through legal and non-legal mechanisms;
  • Identify, analyse and critically assess the opportunities and challenges for victims/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking with regard to their rights and needs;
  • Identify, analyse and critically assess the opportunities and challenges in preventing conflict-related sexual violence and human trafficking;
  • Argue whether the current national and international approaches that deal with both crimes contribute to achieving (gender) justice.

For whom:
Bachelor’s / Master’s students of any discipline with a strong interest in the topic.

Taught by: 
Dr. Anne-Marie de Brouwer and Dr. Eefje de Volder of Impact: Center against Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence in Conflict

Start date:
Monday 8 July 2019

Duration | ECTS:
2 weeks | 6 ECTS (84 study hours per week)

Language of instruction:

Law (TLS)

Course fee:
Course fee: €1000
– 10% early bird discount when registering before April 22nd*
– 10% discount for current Tilburg University students*
– 10% discount for students from partner universities*
*Combining discounts is not possible

Course materials

  • A number of academic articles and/or book chapters will be assigned; a digital version of all the reading materials will be sent by email after registration closes, so that you can prepare for class.
  • All materials will be distributed in hardcopy at the start of the course and are also available online.
  • When preparing for assignments during the course, you also have access to the Tilburg University library to seek additional sources.

For more elaborate information on course content, course materials, course specifics, registration and application, visit the Tilburg University Summer School webpage.

The Terms and Conditions of Tilburg University Summer School contain more information regarding procedures, cancellation, damages and privacy.

Impact’s terms and conditions and privacy policy.

Mridula Shobinath

“This course provided me with valuable insights on these complex topics, and it has renewed my passion and energy to fight against human trafficking and conflict-related sexual violence. I have also had the opportunity to meet inspiring people from around the world and from various fields of study.”

Officially accredited educational institute