CVs Staff


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CV Prof. Dr. Beate Rudolf, Director

Since 1 January 2010, Prof. Dr. iur. Beate Rudolf has been the Director of the German Institute for Human Rights. Prior to that, she was a junior professor for public law and equality law at the faculty of law of Freie Universität Berlin and director of the research project "Public International Law Standards for Governance in Weak and Failing States" within the Research Center "Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood". Her research focuses on human rights and legal principles on state structures under public international law, European law and German constitutional law as well as from a comparative law perspective. She carried out her activities in research and teaching in these areas at the universities of Bonn, Dusseldorf, Tulane Law School, New Orleans and Freie Universität Berlin. She gained practical experience in human rights work during an internship at the Directorate for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, by representing applicants before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and as an active member of the German Women Lawyers Association and the European Women Lawyers Association, of which she was a Vice-President until end of 2011. She also belongs to the editorial committee of the German-language version of decisions of the ECHR. Her numerous publications (in German, English and French) in the area of human rights range from conceptual questions of specific rights, gender equality and non-discrimination to problems of implementation and improving the UN human rights system. From March 2016 until March 2019, she served as Chairperson of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) which represents over 100 National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) worldwide. GANHRI coordinates the activities of the NHRIs at the global level, promotes the role of NHRIs worldwide, provides a forum for its members to interact and exchange, and facilitates their engagement with international organizations.

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CV Michael Windfuhr, Deputy Director

Michael Windfuhr is a political scientist, educated at the University of Heidelberg. Since 2011, he has been the Deputy Director of the German Institute for Human Rights, the national human rights institution of Germany. For the five years prior to this, he served as Human Rights Director of Bread for the World, the development organisation of the Protestant church of Germany. Between 1988 and 2006 he worked with FIAN-International (FoodFirst Information and Action Network), an international human rights organisation that focuses on the realisation of the right to adequate food. Initially he coordinated FIAN's Latin American work concentrating on land conflicts and agrarian reform. He represented FIAN at the United Nations Human Rights system from 1992 onward. In the last 10 years, he has contributed to the effort to set standards for the right to food. He was actively involved in the elaboration of the “Voluntary Guidelines on the progressive implementation of the right to adequate food” adopted by the FAO Council in November 2004. He became Secretary General of FIAN in 2005.
He brought his experience in international relations to the Institute of Political Science at the University of Heidelberg. From 1996 to 2000 he was also a part-time assistant to Prof. Klaus von Beyme. In addition Michael Windfuhr lectured at the Institute for more than ten years. His main fields of publication and teaching are: human rights policies, international relations theory, international economic and development policies. He has published extensively, particularly on economic, social and cultural rights as well as on trade and agricultural policies.
Lastest book publications: Windfuhr, Michael (ed.): Beyond the Nation State. Human Rights in Times of Globalisation, Stockholm, 2005. Bals, Christoph / Harmeling, Sven, Windfuhr, Michael: Climate change, Food Security and the Right to adequate Food, Study written for Brot für die Welt, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe und Germanwatch, November 2008.

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CV Dr. Valentin Aichele, Head of the CRPD National Monitoring Body

Portrait Valentin Aichele

Dr. Valentin Aichele, LL.M. (University of Adelaide) is with the German Institute for Human Rights since 2005. His expertise and interests are inter alia public international law, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs); human rights action plans; poverty and social exclusion, non-discrimination; economic, social and cultural human rights, in particular right to education; the right to be equal before the law; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), human rights-based monitoring and evaluation; human rights treaty law in the German justice system. Since May 2009, Valentin Aichele is Head of the independent National CRDP Monitoring Mechanism.

Selected publications:
In English: "'Taking out the magnifier': Groups in vulnerable situations under global health law", in: German Yearbook of International Law. Jahrbuch für Internationales Recht (61). Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2019, pp. 103-130; "Article 33", in: Ilias Bantekas / Dimitris Anastasiou / Michael Stein (Hrsg.): Commentary to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Oxford: OUP, 2018, pp. 978-1010; “Germany”, in: Waddigton, Lisa / Anna Lawson (Hrsg.): The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in practice. A comparitive analysis of the role of courts, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp. 153-185"National Human Rights Institution", in: Mihr/Gibney (eds.) (2014): The SAGE Handbook of Human Rights, Vol. 2, Los Angeles, pp. 691-708.

In German: "Eine Dekade UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention in Deutschland", in: Aus Parlament und Zeitgeschichte (2019) 69 (6-7), S. 4-10; "Die praktische Geltung der Menschenrechte. Zur aktuellen Diskussion über die Bedeutung und Tragweite des UN-Völkervertragsrechts für die gerichtliche Praxis am Beispiel der UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention", in: Deutsche Richterzeitung (2016) 10, S.342-347; "Deutschland am Anfang des Weges zur schulischen Inklusion" in: T. Müller-Heidelberg u.a. (Hrsg.): Grundrechte-Report 2015. Zur Lage der Bürger- und Menschenrechte in Deutschland, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, S.46-50; "Das Menschenrecht auf gleiche Anerkennung vor dem Recht. Artikel 12 der UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention", als Herausgeber (2013), Baden-Baden: Nomos; "Nicht-Diskriminierung und angemessene Vorkehrungen in der UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention", in: Antje Welke (Hrsg.) (2012): UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention mit rechtlichen Erläuterungen, Berlin: Deutscher Verein, S.104-118 (in cooperation with Nina Althoff); "Anspruch auf Zugang zu medizinischer Versorgung: Das Recht auf Gesundheit nach dem UN-Sozialpakt", in: Christiane Falge / Andreas Fischer-Lescano / Klaus Sieveking (Hrsg.) (2009): Gesundheit in der Illegalität. Rechte von Menschen ohne Aufenthaltsstatus, Baden-Baden, S.205-222; "Ein Meilenstein für die Unteilbarkeit: Das neue Fakultativprotokoll zum UN-Sozialpakt", in: Vereinte Nationen (2009) 2, S.72-78; "Nationale Menschenrechtsinstitutionen", Dissertation Universität Mannheim, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Valentin Aichele's presentations

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CV Dr. Claudia Engelmann, Policy Adviser

Portrait of Claudia Engelmann

Dr. Claudia Engelmann works as a Policy Adviser at the German Institute for Human Rights. She coordinates the annual human rights report to the German Bundestag.
From 2009 to 2015 she was a researcher and lecturer at Maastricht University. Her expertise includes asylum and migration, policy-making in the European Union as well as qualitative research methods. She previously worked for serval organisations in the field of political education. Claudia Engelmann studied international human rights law, political science and German Literature in Oxford, Stockholm and Konstanz.

Selected publications: "Umsetzung der Istanbul-Konvention – Gewaltschutz in der Wohnungslosenhilfe" (2019, mit Heike Rabe), in: wohnungslos, 3; "Hausordnungen menschenrechtskonform gestalten. Das Recht auf Unverletzlichkeit der Wohnung (Art. 13 GG) in Gemeinschaftsunterkünften für Geflüchtete" (2018, with Hendrik Cremer); "Sichere Herkunftsländer" (2016), in: Kurzdossiers, Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung; "Sichere Herkunftsstaaten – sinnvoll oder nicht?" (2015), in: Neue Gesellschaft/Frankfurter Hefte, 12; "Informelles Regieren in der europäischen Asylpolitik" (2014), in: Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft, 8; "Convergence Against the Odds: the Development of Safe Country of Origin Policies in EU Member States" (2014), in: European Journal of Migration and Law, 16 (2).

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CV Judith Feige, Senior Researcher and Policy Adviser

Judith Feige followed her first degree in social work with a Master’s in social work as a human rights profession. She has worked in various fields of children’s and youth welfare as a social worker and helped to set up a counselling centre for people with disabilities before joining the German Institute for Human Rights in 2012. Initially employed as a researcher and policy adviser on various projects in the Human Rights Education department, she switched to working for the National CRC Monitoring Mechanism in 2015.

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CV Dr. Stephan Gerbig, Researcher and Policy Adviser

Dr. Stephan Gerbig is a lawyer whose studies focused on international and European law. After his legal traineeship, he worked as an advisor on Fundamental and Human Rights for the Evangelical Church in Germany as well as lecturing on constitutional law and criminal (procedural) law. He took up his post as researcher and policy advisor at the National CRC Monitoring Mechanism in February 2018. He wrote his doctorate on the subject of publicity in juvenile criminal law.

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CV Andrea Kämpf, Senior Policy Adviser

Andrea Kämpf works as a Senior Policy Adviser in the Department International Human Rights Policies at the German Institute for Human Rights. She currently focuses on accountability of donors as well as strategies for civil society promotion. Next to advising both state and non-state institutions of development cooperation, she works as an independent consultant. Andrea Kämpf is a lawyer and specialized in international public and European law. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked for a private development consulting, the OSCE, the EU and a civil society organisation.

Recent publications include: "Zwischen Menschenrechtsförderung und Duldung von Menschenrechtsverletzungen? Anforderungen an die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit aus der Perspektive der extraterritorialen Staatenpflichten" ("Between promotion of human rights and toleration of human rights violations? Requirements for development cooperation from the perspective of extraterritorial human rights obligations"), in: Zeitschrift für Menschenrechte 2012/02 (with Inga Winkler); "Menschenrechte der 'dritten' Generation" ("'Third' generation human rights"); in: Menschenrechte. Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch (Human Rights. An interdisciplinary handbook), Stuttgart 2012.

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CV Claudia Kittel, Head of the National CRC Monitoring Mechanism

Claudia Kittel has a degree in education and has been Head of the National CRC Monitoring Mechanism at the German Institute for Human Rights since 2015. Before that, she served as spokeswoman for National Coalition Germany – Network for the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child where she focused on implementing the CRC from a civil society perspective.
She has also spent many years as a consultant and facilitator for various children’s rights organisations, a member of the board of the German Federal Association for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors and a lecturer on the Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights Master’s course at Freie Universität Berlin.

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CV Jan-Christian Niebank, Policy Adviser

Jan-Christian Niebank is a researcher and policy adviser in the international department of the German Institute for Human Rights. His main areas of expertise include business and human rights, human rights-based development policy, human rights as a criterion for the licensing of German arms exports, and climate, environment and energy. Most recently he worked intensively on coal mining in Colombia, the garment sector in Asia and land rights in Côte d'Ivoire, with corresponding research stays on site.

He studied law at the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli (LUISS) in Rome and passed his second state examination. During his master studies in Venice and Strasbourg he specialized in human rights and democratization. Before joining the Institute, he worked at the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection and most recently as legal advisor at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). He completed his legal clerkship at the Federal Foreign Office and the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York.

Publications: Menschenrechtliche Risikoerwägungen in der deutschen Rüstungsexportkontrolle. In: Humanitäres Völkerrecht – Informationsschriften, Band 1 2018, Heft 1, S. 47-68; Menschenrechtliche Grenzen der zwischenstaatlichen Kooperation: Beihilfeverbote im Völkerrechte. In: DIMR 2017, Analyse: Beihilfe zu Menschenrechtsverstößen vermeiden – außenpolitische Zusammenarbeit kritisch prüfen, S. 11-22; Beihilferisiken in ausgewählten Politikfeldern: Rüstungsexporte, Analyse: Beihilfe zu Menschenrechtsverstößen vermeiden – außenpolitische Zusammenarbeit kritisch prüfen, S. 24-28; with Deniz Utlu: Closing gaps in protection - Transnational cooperation on human rights: The case of the extractive sector in Colombia; with Deniz Utlu: Calculated Risk Economic versus Human Rights Requirements of Corporate Risk Assessments; with Gizem Kaya und Deniz Utlu: Closing protection gaps in the human rights and business context - What transnational cooperation between the National Human Rights Institutions of Germany and Colombia has achieved; mit Deniz Utlu, Viviana Arango u.a.: Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia 2017, Fortalecimiento de las Instituciones Nacionales de Derechos Humanos en Materia de Derechos Humanos y Empresas.

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CV Dr. Sandra Reitz, Head of Department Human Rights Education

Dr. Sandra Reitz is Head of the Department Human Rights Education. She finished her studies of English and Social Sciences at the Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster with her Erstes Staatsexamen (State Examination for teachers). She received her PhD at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg and worked as a Research Associate ("Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin") at the Institute for Political Science, Goethe-University Frankfurt from 2009 to 2013. The title of her PhD thesis is: "Improving Social Competence via E-Learning: The Example of Human Rights Education". 

Selected publications: "Standards der Menschenrechtsbildung in Schulen" (2005, together with other authors from the working group Human Rights Education, Forum Menschenrechte); "Building a Global E-Community: Intercultural Courses on Human Rights Education" in: Martin Ebner & Mandy Schiefner (Eds.): Looking Toward the Future of Technology Enhanced Education: Ubiquitous Learning and the Digital Native (2009, pp. 88-106); "Menschenrechte im Unterricht" (2010, together with Ingo Köhler, Sabine Bäcker, Steffi Pohl und Jens Wetzel; "Improving Social Competence via E-Learning? The Example of Human Rights Education" (2012, dissertation); "Menschenrechtsbildung für Kinder und Jugendliche - Befunde und Empfehlungen für die deutsche Bildungspolitik" (2014, gemeinsam mit Prof. Dr. Beate Rudolf); "Policy Paper No. 31: Kinder und Jugendliche haben ein Recht auf Partizipation. Was aus menschenrechtlicher Sicht im Bildungsbereich getan werden muss" (2015).

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CV Christopher Schuller, Senior Policy Adviser

Portrait Christopher Schuller

Christopher Schuller is Senior Policy Adviser for Business and Human Rights in the International Human Rights Policy department of the Institute. He deals with issues of access to remedy for victims of business-related human rights violations, transnational cooperation among National Human Rights Institutions, and human rights in the tech sector.

He holds degrees in law (M.A., University of Oxford) and Protestant theology (M.Th., University of Marburg) and is a member of the New York Bar. Prior to joining the German Institute for Human Rights, he was Lecturer in English Law at the Humboldt University of Berlin and a consultant lawyer for the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).

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CV Lena Stamm, Senior Policy Adviser

Lena Stamm is a Senior Policy Adviser at the German Institute for Human Rights. Her main areas of expertise include children`s rights and international cooperation. She holds a diploma in Public Policy and Administration and completed the European Master in Children’s Rights at the Free University of Berlin. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked from 2009 to 2013 as an adviser for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on an education project in Pristina, Kosovo.

Selected Publications:
GANHRI-UNICEF report on Children's Rights in National Human Rights Institutions: A Mapping Exercise (2018, mit Dr. Anna Würth); Children’s Rights during Adolescence, General Comment No. 20 of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (2017, with Dr. Judith Striek); How the Child's Right to Participation Can be Promoted in German Development Cooperation (2015, with Lissa Bettzieche); Policy Paper Nr. 25. zuhören – ernst nehmen – handeln. Wie das Recht auf Partizipation von Kindern in der deutschen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit gefördert werden kann (2014, mit Lissa Bettzieche).

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CV Eric Töpfer, Policy Adviser

Eric Töpfer is Policy Advisor at the Department for Human Rights Policies Germany/Europe focusing on issues of policing, internal security and data protection. In addition, he is in charge of conducting and coordinating studies contracted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in the framework of its FRANET research network. Töpfer studied Political Science at the Free University of Berlin and worked from 2001 to 2010 in various projects on surveillance technologies and urban security policies at the Centre for Technology and Society of the Technical University of Berlin. Prior to joining the German Institute for Human Rights in 2012, he worked as freelance research consultant for the UK-based civil liberties organization Statewatch. A list of his publications can be found at

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CV Deniz Utlu, Policy Adviser

Deniz Utlu is Policy Adviser for Business and Human Rights in the International Human Rights Policy department of the German Institute for Human Rights, Germanys National Human Rights Institution. His work at the Institute focuses on impacts and risks of economic and business activity and policy on society, especially concerning extractive industries, export promotion and economic policy such as austerity. Before joining the Institute he was Lecturer in Economics at the Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR) and an academic staff member at the Berlin Migrant Qualification Network (BQN). He regularly publishes political essays in German newspapers, such as FAZ and Tagesspiegel.

Publications: Jan-Christian Niebank, Deniz Utlu: "Closing the Gap. International Cooperation in Human Rights in the Extractive Industries of Colombia and Latin America", Forthcoming, DIMR, Berlin 2017; Jan-Christian Niebank, Deniz Utlu: "Human Rights vs Business Risk Analysis", Forthcoming, DIMR, Berlin 2017; Deniz Utlu: "Wo ist der Staat? Minen und Menschen in Kolumbiens Kohleregionen", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2016; Deniz Utlu, Madleine Koalick, Philipp Bleckmann: "Assessing Human Rights Risks and Impacts Perspectives from corporate practice", German Global Compact Network, 2015; Lissa Bettzieche, Christopher Schuller, Deniz Utlu und Michael Windfuhr: "National Baseline Assessment: Umsetzung der UN-Leitprinzipien für Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte", 2015; Sofia Manoukian, Claire Methven O'Brien, Deniz Utlu: "NHRI actions in the field of business and human rights – Update on steps to implement the 2010 Edinburgh Declaration", Feb 2014; Christopher Schuller, Deniz Utlu:  "Transnational Cooperation in Business and Human Rights.  A model for analysing and managing NHRI networks", Dec 2014; Deniz Utlu: "Menschenrechtliche Risikostandards im System der Außenwirtschaftsförderung", 2014; Deniz Utlu: "Migrationsforschung als kritische Analyse von Marktmechanismen", in: Mecheril, P.; Thomas-Olalde, O.; Melter, C.; Arens, S.; Romaner, E. (Hrsg.), Migrationsforschung als Kritik? Kontur einer Forschungsperspektive, Springer VS, 2013

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CV Dr. Anna Würth, Head of Department International Human Rights Policy

Anna Würth is Head of Department International Human Rights Policies at the German Institute for Human Rights. She earned her PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and has taught at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Richmond in Virginia (USA). She has worked with Human Rights Watch, and has more than 15 years of experience as an independent consultant in development. Anna Würth has published widely on contemporary Islamic Law, on human rights and human rights policy.

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DIMR/Anke Illing (Cremer, Feige, Follmar-Otto, Kämpf, Kittel, Mahler, Palleit, Rudolf, Töpfer, Windfuhr, Würth)
DIMR/Amélie Losier (Aichele, Reitz, Schuller, Stamm) It is not allowed to use these pictures on Facebook or Twitter!
DIMR/S. Pietschmann (Heinz)