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Els Dumortier

+32 (0)2 629 13 94


Els Dumortier is a full professor in Youth Criminology and Youth Justice Law. Her research focuses on the history of children’s rights in the 20th and 21st centuries, and on the foundation of Children’s Courts in Belgium. She is a founder and Board Member of the (Flemish) Children’s Rights Knowledge Centre and she actively cooperates with the (Flemish) Children’s Rights Commissioner to implement the right to complain by juveniles deprived of their liberty.

Els is a member of the European Council of Juvenile Justice, a network of juvenile justice institutions and experts from all Member States of the European Union. She participates in several national and international scientific networks on youth justice (Dutch, English, and French speaking), both contemporary focused (such as the Working Group on Youth Justice of the European Society of Criminology) and historical (such as the Standing Working Group on Growing up in out-of-home care of the European Standing Conference for the History of Education).

Els is currently: 1) developing of new methods of giving voice to children and young people; 2) children’s rights in action (e.g. during police interrogations, hearings of young asylum seekers); and 3) youth victimology (specifically institutional violence and abuse).


Research Line: Youth Justice Studies

Knowledge Cluster: Empirical Human Rights


Courses taught at the VUB in 2020-2021

Name  Link
Bronnen in de criminologie More info
Recht en Criminologie More info
Jeugdrecht en jeugdcriminologie More info



# Childrensrights






Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels