Amy Weatherburn


Amy Weatherburn
Research Group Fundamental Rights & Constitutionalism (FRC)
Building B
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
B-1050 Brussels


Amy holds a LLB (Honours) from Cardiff University in Law and French and an LL.M (with distinction) from University of Nottingham in Human Rights Law. From February 2012, Amy was Research Assistant at the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) where her main role was to conduct human rights research, including desktop and fieldwork research, supervised research and analysis, and contribute to the production of reports and research publications. Her principal research focus was legal and social research related to the situation of fundamental rights in the UK, for the European Union's Agency for Fundamental Rights multidisciplinary research network, FRANET. Amy has been enrolled at VUB since January 2015 as a PhD Candidate conducting research on trafficking in human beings for the purposes labour exploitation, analysing the effectiveness of the implementation of the European legal framework and the handling of labour exploitation in law.

From January 2015- April, she provided research assistance on the EU Funded, TRACE Project which aimed to support stakeholders in combating and disrupting human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery and one of the largest criminal enterprises in the world, by assessing and consolidating information surrounding the perpetrators and the wider trafficking enterprise.

Since October 2015, Amy has been providing operational and strategic support for the Brussels Privacy Hub. Her role is to ensure the implementation and realisation of the Hub's projects, including Data Protection in Humanitarian Action in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Since January 2017, Amy has been coordinating and involved in the research allocated to the DESIrE project that aims to better understand the impact of sex work legislation on the prevalence of trafficking in human beings.



Kużelewska, E., Weatherburn, A., & Kloza, D., (eds.), Irregular Migration to Europe as a Challenge for Democracy, European Integration and Democracy Series, Vol. 5, (Intersentia, Cambridge 2018)


Weatherburn, A., & Toft, A., 'Managing the Risks of Being a Victim of Severe Labour Exploitation: Before and After the Modern Slavery Act 2015' in Borracetti, M., (ed) Labour Migration in Europe Volume II: Exploitation and Legal Protection of Migrant Workers (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

Weatherburn, A., Strengthening action to end forced labour: the new International Labour Organisation Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 and the positive human rights obligations of states, in De Hert, P., Smis, S., & Holvoet, M., (eds)Convergences and Divergences Between International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law (Intersentia, June 2018)

Kużelewska, E., Weatherburn, A. & Kloza, D. > Introduction: Asking Big Questions: Migrants Ante Portas and What to Do with Them? in Kużelewska, E., Weatherburn, A. & Kloza, D. (eds)Irregular Migration to Europe as a Challenge for Democracy (Intersentia, May 2018)

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Cavanna, P., Belén Valverde Cano, A., Weatherburn, A., 'Securing the Prohibition of Labour Exploitation in Law and Practice: Slavery, Servitude, Forced Labour and Human Trafficking in Italy, Spain and the UK' Journal of Modern Slavery: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Human Trafficking Solutions (Volume 4, Issue 2, December 2018)

Muraskiewicz, J., Brière, C., & Weatherburn, A., 'Civil society organisations in counter-trafficking governance: when long-standing interactions lead to solid partnerships', Journal of Modern Slavery: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Human Trafficking Solutions (Volume 4, Issue 1, Summer 2018)

Weatherburn, A., & Brière, C., Regulating desire: The impact of law and policy on demand for sexual exploitation in Europe, Ex Ante 1/2017 ISBN: 978-3-03751-946-2

Weatherburn, A., & Muraskiewicz, J., 'The impact of the 2012 Domestic Workers in a Private Household Visa on human trafficking for domestic servitude' 2016, 30 (3) Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law 204-221

Weatherburn, A., 'Using an Integrated Human Rights-based Approach to Address Modern Slavery: The UK Experience' 2016 (2) European Human Rights Law Review 184-194

Weatherburn, A., & Toft, A., 'Managing the Risks of Being a Victim of Severe Labour Exploitation: Findings from a Research Project Exploring the Views of Experts in the UK' (2016)45(2) Industrial Law Journal 257-262

Axel Marx, Nicolas Hachez, Katrien Meuwissen, Pierre Schmitt, Jakub Jaraczewski,Tamara N. Lewis, Kolja Raube, Joanna Roszak, Klaus Starl, Dolores Morondo Taramundi, Anna-Kaisa Tuovinen, and Amy Weatherburn, ‘Localizing Fundamental Rights in the European Union: What is the Role of Local and Regional Authorities, and How to Strengthen It?Journal Human Rights Practice (2015) 7 (2): 246-271

Book Reviews

Weatherburn, A., Vladislava Stoyanova, Human Trafficking and Slavery Reconsidered: Conceptual Limits and State’s Positive Obligations in European Law Rutgers Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books, January 2018

Weatherburn, A., ' Dominika Borg Jansson, Modern Slavery: A Comparative Study of the Definition of Trafficking in Persons', Human Rights Law Review (2015) doi: 10.1093/hrlr/ngv030


Kloza, D., & Weatherburn, A., Irregular migration after the Aquarius incident: moving beyond the law. A reflection on Fink and Gombeer, EJIL Talk!, July 2018

Weatherburn, A., Ending impunity for the violation of migrant worker’s rights: Chowdury v Greece, European Database of Asylum Law, May 2017

Weatherburn, A.,Tackling human trafficking at the roots: preventing a life of crime and a life of exploitation, La Strada International, January 2016

Weatherburn, A., & Toft, A., Zero-Tolerance for Severe Forms of Labour Exploitation in the UK, Oxford Human Rights Hub Blog, August 2015

Weatherburn, A., Excluded from the political process: the right to political participation of persons with disabilities, Ballots and Bullets - University of Nottingham Politics Blog, June 2014

Weatherburn, A.,Omnipresent in the EU: Violence Against Women, Oxford Human Rights Blog, March 2014

Project Deliverables

Weatherburn, A., Rigotti, C., DESIRE Deliverable 6.3 Summary of Final Conference (January 2019)

Weatherburn, A. (ed.), Top, S., DESIRE Deliverable 5.1 Handbook on Demand in the Context of Human trafficking for sexual exploitation (January 2019)

Weatherburn, A. (ed.)., Lasoczik, Z., Wiecorzek, L., DESIRE Deliverable 5.2 Final Report and Recommendations (January 2019)

Weatherburn, A. (ed.), De Koster, M. & Enhus, E., DESIRE Deliverable 3.2: Understanding demand for sexual services, human trafficking for sexual exploitation and existing law and policies in three European countries (Croatia, The Netherlands and Poland) (December 2018)

Weatherburn, A., DESIRE Deliverable No. 4.3: Briefing paper on non-legislative measures that can discourage and reduce the demand that fosters sexual exploitation related to trafficking in human beings (September 2018)

Hachez N., et al., ‘Report on the results of policy benchmarking’, (2017) FRAME Deliverable 15.3

Weatherburn, A., Donovan, A., Jokinen, A., Polatside, V., Muraskiewicz, J., Hoff, S., Rijken, C., Tamas, A., Future trends in human trafficking in Europe TRACE deliverable, December 2015

Weatherburn, A., Pavlova, R., Polatside, V., Tamas, A., & Constantinou, A., Report on how future socio-economic, political and criminal trends might impact human trafficking in Europe TRACE deliverable, November 2015

Weatherburn, A., Hoff, S., Constantinou, A., & Lupascu, I., Report on how external factors such as socio, political and economic factors, or interaction with other criminal industries shape the phenomenon of trafficking, TRACE deliverable, March 2015

Cooper, D., Harris, D., & Weatherburn, A., Social Fieldwork Research Child Participation in Justice Report United Kingdom, 2012, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, May 6, 2015

Harris, D., Sheehan, J., Toft, A., & Weatherburn, A. Social Fieldwork Research, Severe forms of Labour Exploitation, United Kingdom, 2014, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, August 7, 2015


Weatherburn, A., & Tamas, A.,'Contribution externe : Expériences en matière d'exploitation de la mendicité forcée en Belgique et en Roumanie' in Rapport annuel traite et trafic des êtres humains 2016 : Des mendiants aux mains de trafiquants (Myria, 2016)

Weatherburn, A., Moderne Slavernij in de 21ste Eeuw: Interview met VN Rapporteur voor Hedendaagse Vormen van Slavernij Urmila Bhoola, Tijdschrift voor Mensenrechten, March 2015 (Original title: Modern Slavery in the 21st Century: Interview with Urmila Bhoola, UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, including its causes and consequences. Translated by Rezzak Cakar)

European Union, Committee of regions, Multilevel Protection of the rule of law and fundamental rights – the role of local and regional authorities and of the Committee of the Regions, June 2014

Forthcoming publications

Mellon, Y., & Weatherburn A., 'Child Trafficking Victims and Legal Guardians: Exploring the fulfilment of the EU Trafficking Directive in the Context of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 – best practice or not fit for purpose?' New Journal of European Criminal Law (accepted for publication)

Conference Papers & Presentations

Weatherburn, A.,Improving prosecutions of human trafficking victims of labour exploitation: lessons learned from two European jurisdictions (England & Wales and Belgium) “Human Trafficking - a crime with too few convictions and too many victims” Latvian CBSS Presidency, Riga, Latvia (21 -22 February 2019)

Weatherburn, A., Understanding labour exploitation: seeking clarification in law and effective implementation in practice Conference on Rights at Work – Tackling labour exploitation in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and the Netherlands, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (28 September 2018)

Weatherburn, A.,The increased vulnerability of migrants to labour exploitation in Europe: using positive obligations to maintain a firewall between migration law and criminal law International Migration Conference: EU at the crossroads of migration: critical reflections on the ‘refugee crisis’ and New migration deals, Utrecht, The Netherlands (7-8 May 2018)

Weatherburn, A., Chair Opening and Closing Remarks, 8th Annual International Symposium on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling, Brussels, Belgium (17 April 2018)

Weatherburn, A, Migration and the risk of exploitation: the fine line between human smuggling to human trafficking Behind the curtain of exploitation. The lives of victims before, during and after human trafficking, Brussels, Belgium (13 March 2018)

Weatherburn, A., ‘Towards a Conceptualisation of Exploitation in Law: Understanding Exploitation Theory’ Tilburg Law School International Legal Incubator, Tilburg, The Netherlands (9 November 2017)

Weatherburn, A, Understanding labour exploitation in law: to what extent do the existing conceptual limitations of labour exploitation impact the effectiveness of measures taken to combat human trafficking for labour exploitation? Postgrads Against Slavery Ideas to Impact, Liverpool, UK (6 October, 2017)

Weatherburn, A., Immigration Act 2016: tackling precarious employment in the UK, Migrating out of Poverty: From Evidence to Policy conference, London, UK (28-29 March, 2017)

Weatherburn, A., Towards a conceptualisation of labour exploitation in the human trafficking paradigm Antislavery Usable Past PHD School on Anti-trafficking and slavery, Brno, Czech Republic (25-29 November 2016)

Weatherburn, A., Repatriation: achieving the reintegration or re-victimisation of trafficked persons?, IASFM 16: Rethinking Forced Migration and Displacement: Theory, Policy, and Praxis, Poznan, Poland (July, 2016)

Weatherburn, A., Understanding slavery in a modern world, VUB PhD Day, Brussels, Belgium (May, 2016)

Weatherburn, A., NGOs’ integration in the global debate on human trafficking ,The European Union in International Affairs V, Brussels, Belgium (May, 2016)

Weatherburn, A., Strengthening action to end forced labour: the new International Labour Organisation Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 and the positive human rights obligations of states, International Conference: The Global Challenge of Human Rights Integration-Towards a Users’ Perspective, Ghent, Belgium (December, 2015)

Weatherburn, A., Managing the risks of being a victim of severe labour exploitation: Findings from a research project exploring the views of experts in the UK, University of Bologna, Labour Migration Conference, The EU as a forum of labour migration: Entrepreneurship, Exploitation, Dignity and Development, Bologna, Italy (December, 2015)

Weatherburn, A. The effects of political and socio-economic factors on human trafficking TRACE workshop: Current and Future Trends of Human Trafficking in Europe, Sofia, Bulgaria (November, 2015)

Weatherburn, A., Addressing Modern Slavery: The UK Experience, Southern Law PhD Conference, Portsmouth, UK (May, 2015)

Weatherburn, A., Article 19 National rapporteurs or equivalent mechanisms in the EU Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, FIGAS Project – closing conference, Human Trafficking Studies Centre, Warsaw, Poland (March 2015)


Institute of European Studies LLM in International and European Law, International and European Protection of Human Rights 2017 -2018, Class 8 (Thursday 7 December 2017), Guest Lecture: The European anti-trafficking framework: addressing all forms of exploitation

Vesalius College International and European Law Bachelors, 23 October 2017, Guest Lecture: Slavery and Human Trafficking

Institute of European Studies LLM in International and European Law, International and European Protection of Human Rights 2016 -2017, Class 8 (Thursday 8 December 2016), Guest Lecture: The European anti-trafficking framework: addressing all forms of exploitation

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