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School of Law

Maja Grundler


PhD Student



Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholar

Thesis Title

Protection for Irregularized Migrants? – Trafficking, Smuggling and Asylum


Professor Elspeth Guild, Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax, Jef Huysmans

Summary of research

The research examines the effects and implications of employing the criminal law concept of human trafficking in refugee law. It questions the compatibility of the criminal law framework and the refugee law framework, as well as the trafficked/smuggled distinction in order to examine which irregularized migrants can claim protection in the EU. The research is based on an analysis of trafficking-based asylum claims from the UK and Germany. 


Maja holds an MA in British Studies from the Humboldt-University of Berlin and an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford. She has experience in refugee legal aid and refugee social work. Her research is funded by a Queen Mary University of London Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship (QMUL-LTDS).


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