16 July 2018

2 Veni grants for research into green organised crime and violence against trans and intersex persons

Logo NWO van Veni, Vidi, Vici

Daan van Uhm en Lorena Sosa, researchers in criminology and human rights have been awarded a Veni grant by NWO.

The Veni amounts to a maximum of 250 000 euro and allows researchers who have recently obtained their PhD to conduct independent research and develop their ideas for a period of three years.

Addressing violence against trans and intersex persons in human rights

Lorena Sosa, affiliated with the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights and the Utrecht Centre for European Research into Family Law of Utrecht University is awarded a Veni grant for research on adressing the violence against trans and intersex persons in human rights. It gives her the opportunity to explore the international and regional developments by focusing on the UN, the European and the Inter-American system. Trans and intersex persons face severe harassment and violence in all regions of the world. However, the human rights frameworks on gender-based violence, which focus on women, pay limited attention to such cases. Sosa's research explores these norms, explains their shortcomings and proposes ways in which these can be improved.

She is currently based in Buenos Aires, carrying out a research project on the same subject, funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship, granted to her by the EU in January. Argentina offers a very interesting scenario for exploration due to the innovative laws on gender-based violence and gender identity, the high levels of social awareness on the issue, the very strong and active feminist movement, and the State's support for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity rights at UN and regional level. In spite of these efforts, trans and intersex persons face high levels of violence and severe social exclusion.

Organised Crime and the Illegal Trade in Natural Resources

Green criminologist Daan van Uhm, recieves a Veni grant for research into the relationship between environmental crime and other serious forms of crime. Van Uhm is often in the news, speaking on illegal animal trade and the trade in illegal animal products such as bones, skins, horns and caviar since his completing his PhD on this subject. He noted, among other things, that the illegal trade in "wildlife", after drug and arms trade, is very lucrative for organised crime and that many of the illegal products end up on the European market.

Understand and fight

Van Uhms research with the Veni is intended to understand how and why international organised crime expands and diversifies its activities with the illegal trade in natural resources. It is not just about money. The criminal organisations respond to socio-economic, political and ecological changes. According to Van Uhm, the interconnectedness between environmental crime and other serious forms of crime shows that the traditional lines of separation are no longer appropriate for understanding and thus also fighting the increasing complexities of crime.

Van Uhm wants to close the theoretical and empirical gap in an innovative way. According to him, this is urgent, given the worldwide destruction of ancient rainforests, the mass extinction of species, the pollution of the atmosphere, the syrface and the water. This also has far-reaching consequences and threats to social security and safety.