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Conference lecture by Barbara von Rütte at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Logo Conference / Barbara von Rütte

Photo: Logo of the conference (Flyer) / Barbara von Rütte (EIB)

Barbara von Rütte gave a lecture at the conference "Making Rights Reality: The Human Rights of Undocumented Migrant Workers" held at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In her presentation, she addressed the systemic exclusion of undocumented migrants from citizenship. The conference that took place from 17 to 19. June 2024, was organized by the Amsterdam Centre for Migration and Refugee Law (ACMRL).

Barbara von Rütte´s presentation was part of the panel titled "New Perspectives on Existing Rights Systems". In her lecture, she argued that the right to citizenship, as recognized in Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has not been given adequate attention. States often resist concrete obligations in the field of nationality, which has led to a situation where naturalization procedures are highly discretionary and making access to citizenship a political privilege rather than a legal right.

Von Rütte proposed that the right to citizenship should be reinterpreted to include effective protection for undocumented migrants. She argued for the principle of jus nexi, which connects the right to citizenship to an individual's genuine connections and social identity. This principle supports a rights-based approach to citizenship that could significantly enhance the protection of undocumented migrants. Furthermore, it challenges the current political and legal landscape, advocating for a shift towards a more inclusive and rights-based understanding of nationality.

Barbara von Rütte is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for European Global Studies. She received her doctorate in the field of international law from the University of Berne and has worked for the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen and Free University of Berlin. In addition, she was a consultant for the Council of Europe and is a member of the Swiss Federal Commission on Migration. In her research, she focuses on questions of belonging, discrimination, and democracy; nationality, citizenship, and statelessness; Swiss and international migration law; international human rights protection and public international law; as well as constitutional law and general administrative law.