Heli Askola

Assoc Professor

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Immigration and Citizenship

International and Comparative Law

Gender and Law

International Human Rights Law

Trafficking in Human Beings and Modern Slavery

The European Union

Monash teaching commitment

LAW5465 Migration and Human Rights

LAW1114 Criminal Law 1 SEM1/T2

LAW5304 Overview of international human rights law SEM2/T3; SUM/T1

LAW4161 Introduction to European Union law SEM2/T3





My primary interests lie in studying the various legal, social and political practices through which states seek to manage and control movement across international borders and the incorporation of (im)migrants, and the ways in which these efforts shape the lives of both migrants and citizens. 

I have written about these matters from various inter-disciplinary angles and national, regional and international perspectives. I am particularly interested in the role of gender in migration; transnational families and care; demographic change; freedom of movement in international law; and multiculturalism and the treatment of minorities. 

I also maintain a strong interest in the critical analysis of legal responses to trafficking in human beings, irregular migration and migrant exploitation, including various forms of modern slavery.

I have authored a number of peer-reviewed publications in these areas, including two monographs, The Demographic Transformations of Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and Legal Responses to Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation in the European Union (Hart, 2007).  

My interest in migration is also personal, and my background as an international migrant informs not only my research but my approach to teaching. Having lived and worked outside my country of birth (Finland) for two decades, I believe in internationalising legal education and seeking to understand one's own legal system through a comparative lens. 

I've held a number of visiting research positions and taught in my areas of expertise across a number of jurisdictions, including Canada, the UK, Italy, Malaysia, Germany, Viet Nam and Finland. I have also provided legal and policy advice to various local and international bodies, including the International Organization for Migration, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • Comparative law
  • International Law
  • European Union
  • Violence against women
  • Immigration and citizenship
  • Feminism
  • Trafficking in human beings
  • Modern slavery