Ruben Wissing is a PhD researcher at the (start-up) Migration Law Research Group at the of Ghent University. The subject of his research is refugee protection in Morocco and Turkey and the impact of EU migration policy. The research is done under the guidance of promotor Prof. Dr. Ellen Desmet, Professor of Migration Law, and clustered with other migration studies by the interfaculty Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR) at the Ghent University.

Ruben studied Law in Leuven and Madrid (2004), and also holds a bachelor in Philosophy. After practising as a lawyer specialized in migration and asylum law in Antwerp for three years, he worked for the then Flemish Minorities Centre (now Kruispunt Migratie-Integratie) and later as a legal officer and policy coordinator at the Belgian Refugee Council (CBAR-BCHV) for more than six years.

He also was an independent consultant, i.a. as national expert for the Asylum Information Database (AIDA) of the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), and at the UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR) in Brussels on the issue of migration detention. In 2017 he coordinated the (start-up non-profit) organisation NANSEN, in combination with the teaching assistant position in Migration Law at the Ghent University with professor Desmet.



POSITION PhD researcher

EMAIL Ruben.Wissing[@]

SECRETARIAT HRC +32 (0)9 264 69 11


  • March 2018 – ongoing: PhD researcher at Ghent university
  • May – December 2017: Coordinator, NANSEN vzw/asbl
  • January – December 2017: Academic assistant Migration Law, Ghent University
  • May 2016 – May 2017: Associate protection officer Detention, UNHCR Regional Representation Western Europe in Brussels (UNV position)
  • November 2015 – May 2016: Freelance consultant, BXL CONSUL (independent)
  • June 2009 – January 2016: Legal and policy officer, Belgian Refugee Council (BCHV-CBAR)
  • October 2008 – June 2009: Legal officer, Flemish Minorities Centre (VMC, Kruispunt Migratie-Integratie)
  • June 2004 – December 2007: Lawyer (barrister), law firm Kati Verstrepen, Antwerp


  • Migration Law
  • Human Rights
  • Refugee Law


University Studies

  • 2018 – ongoing: PhD candidate in Law Ghent University
  • 2003 – 2004 Candidate in Philosophy KU Leuven
  • 1999 – 2003 Licentiate in Law KU Leuven, Complutense University of Madrid
  • 1997 – 1998 Candidate in Law KU Leuven, Kortrijk Department (KULAK)


  • Doctoral School Ghent University, Hasselt University and VUB, ‘Qualitative data analysis with NVIVO 11’, by Prof. dr. D. Mortelmans, Ghent University, 19-20 June 2018
  • Doctoral School Ghent University, Hasselt University and VUB, ‘Developing interview questions and basic interview skills’, Hasselt University, 26 April 2018
  • Doctoral School Ghent University, Hasselt University and VUB, ‘Narrative Analysis’, VUB Brussels, 19-20 April 2018
  • European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), Annual General Conferences, Dublin 2012; Prague, 2013, Brussels, 2014, The Hague, 2015
  • UNHCR, Tilburg University, Global Forum on Statelessness, The Hague, 15-17 September 2014
  • European Database of Asylum Law (EDAL), ‘Reflections on the current application of the EU Asylum Acquis’, Dublin, 17-18 January 2014
  • UNU-MERIT, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ‘Complexities and Challenges in Afghan Migration Research and Policy’, Brussels, 8-9 April 2013
  • European Network on Statelessness (ENS), ‘Addressing Statelessness in Europe’, Budapest, 19-21 November 2012
  • Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), University of Oxford, ‘Palestinian refugees and Internaitonal Law’, 10-11 March 2012
  • Chaire W.J. Ganshof Van Der Meersch, Institut d’Etudes Européennes, ULB, ‘Principles of International Refugee Law’ by Prof. Goodwin-Gill, University of Oxford, February-March 2011
  • European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA), ‘The Common European Asylum System: Ten Years On – Developments to Date and Future Challenges’, Vienna, 13-15 November 2009


  • Member of the council of the League for Human Rights (Dutch-speaking branch)
  • Member of the editorial board of the Journal for Aliens’ Law (Tijdschrift voor Vreemdelingenrecht)
  • Member of the board of non-profit organisations NANSEN vzw/asbl and Globe Aroma


Wissing R. (2017). ‘Artikel 3 EVRM beschermt ernstig zieke vreemdelingen tegen een verwijdering van het grondgebied en beidt hen procedurele garanties (EHRM-arrest Paposhvili)’, Tijdschrift voor Mensenrechten, jg. 15, no. 1, 15-16

Wissing R. (2015). ‘Eerste land van asiel – een nieuwe grond om vluchtelingen van bescherming uit te sluiten?’, Tijdschrift voor Vreemdelingenrecht, no. 2, 74-85

Wissing R. (2014). ‘Grenzen aan het grensbeleid? Fort Europa doorgelicht door de VN’, Tijdschrift voor Mensenrechten, jg. 11, no. 4, 8-11


Wissing R., ECRE (2013), Asylum Information Database: Country Report Belgium,

Wissing R., ECRE (2014), Asylum Information Database: Country Report Belgium, First Update

Wissing R., ECRE (2014), Asylum Information Database: Country Report Belgium, Second Update

Wissing R., ECRE (2015), Asylum Information Database: Country Report Belgium, Third Update

Wissing R., ECRE (2015), Asylum Information Database: Country Report Belgium, Fourth Update


Wissing R., UNHCR (2017).‘“Is this jail?” / “C’est comme prison” – Monitoring Detention in Belgium, Findings & Recommendations

Wissing R., UNHCR (2017). National Action Plan Global Strategy Beyond Detention, April 2017


You can find all the publications of Ruben Wissing in the Ghent University Academic Bibliography at RubenWissing@biblio.ugent

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