Sibel Top

Sibel Top

PhD Researcher Migration, Diversity & Justice


Sibel holds a Master’s degree in European Interdisciplinary studies from the College of Europe and one from the Institute of European Studies of Université Libre de Bruxelles, where she also graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology. During her studies, she participated in the work of the Centre d’Histoire et de Sociologie des Gauches of Université Libre de Bruxelles as a trainee from July 2012 until November 2012. She later did an internship at the European Economic and Social Committee in July 2013.

After completing her studies, she worked as an intern at the Brussels office of the International Labour Organisation from September 2015 to March 2016, where she focused on the integration of migrants into the EU labour markets. In April 2016, she undertook a Bluebook traineeship at the European Commission, Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs, where she worked in the unit focusing on irregular migration and returns. From January 2017 to September 2018, Sibel worked as a researcher and communications coordinator on the DESIrE project, which aims at reducing trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Since October 2018, Sibel is a PhD fellow of the Flanders research foundation (FWO).

In the framework of her PhD thesis, Sibel is conducting research on the legal relevance and actual application of the political offence exemption meant to protect political offenders, using Bourdieu's theory on the state to understand the shift in the protection of political crimes.


Publications & Activities

Peer-reviewed contributions in edited volume

Top, S. (2018). The collapse of the political offence exemption in European Union extradition law: the end of political asylum? In E. Ku┼╝elewska, A. Weatherburn, & D. Kloza (Eds.), Irregular Migration to Europe as a Challenge for Democracy (Vol. 5, pp. 165-178). (European Integration and Democracy Series). Cambridge, Antwerp, Portland: Intersentia Cambridge. 



Top, S. Empowering Public Authorities in the Technological Fight Against Human Trafficking, The Human Trafficking Center blog, 24 October 2018.

Top, S., The European Arrest Warrant against Puigdeont: a feeling of déjà vu?, Blog of the European Journal of International Law, 3 November 2017.


Commissioned work

Top, S. & De Hert, P. (Ed.). (2019). Online lecture on alternatives to legislation to curb human trafficking. Project DESIrE.

Top, S., Weatherburn, A. (Ed.) & De Hert, P. (Ed.). (2019). DESIRE Deliverable 5.1 Handbook on demand in the context of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Project DESIrE.

Top, S. & De Hert, P. (Ed.). (2018). Deliverable 4.2 : Briefing paper on the use of technology to combat trafficking in human beings. Project DESIrE.

Rigotti, C, Top, S. (Ed.), Weatherburn, A. (Ed.) & De Hert, P. (Ed.). (2018). Deliverable 4.4 : Video involving buyers of sexual services in fighting sexual exploitation. Project DESIrE.

Top, S., Weatherburn, A. (Ed.) & De Hert, P. (Ed.). (2018). Deliverable 3.3 : Summary of Workshop. Project DESIrE.

Top, S., Weatherburn, A. (Ed.) & De Hert, P. (Ed.). (2017) Deliverable 2.1 : Video on the differences in sex work legislations. Project DESIrE.


Talks at conferences and seminars

Top, S. Definitional uncertainties on political crimes in European criminal, ECLAN PhD Seminar, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg (January 2019).

Top, S. Alternatives to legislation to curb human trafficking, Project DESIrE, Brussels (December 2018).

Top, S.The adoption of criminal law tools to be used among democratic states: the butterfly effect?, European Criminal law and its impact on national legal orders, University of Warsaw, Warsaw (May 2018).



Top, S. Justice and Home Affairs and Brexit, Inter-University Summer School on EU policy-making, Brussels (July 2018).



Profile and Publications