Research activity per year

Personal profile


Sharon Pickering is a highly-regarded leader in Australia’s education sector. She is Dean of Arts at Monash University, building humanities and social sciences to create the next generation of leaders. She is also Professor of Criminology and a leading expert on Australian criminal justice and criminology and refugee law. She is regarded as a global expert on border crossings, migration and trafficking and is the founder of the Border Crossing Observatory, working with NGOs, government agencies and law enforcement. Previously she worked across South East Asia and Northern Ireland on counter-terrorism policing, human rights and women. She was the editor of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology.

She is an award-winning author, writing 16 books and over 60 articles and chapters and in 2012 won the Australian Human Rights Award for print and online media on human rights and asylum. She is a sought after speaker, regularly quoted in the media and in her downtime, can be found at the football supporting Geelong Cats.

Research interests

Professor Sharon Pickering researches irregular border crossing and has written in the areas of refugees and trafficking with a focus on gender and human rights. Sharon leads a series of Australian Research Council projects focusing on the intersections of security and migration, deportation, and police and community responses to Prejudice Motivated Crimes. She has worked extensively with government agencies and law enforcement and with local and international NGOs. She has previously worked in Northern Ireland, on counter-terrorism policing, and human rights and women in South East Asia. She is the immediate past editorAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. She has recently taken up five year Australian Research Council Fellowship on Border Policing: Gender, Human Rights and Security. Her books include Sex Work (with Maher and Gerard); Globalization and Borders: Deaths at the Global Frontier (with Weber), Borders and Crime (with McCulloch); Gender, Borders and Violence; Sex Trafficking (with Segrave and Milivojevic); Counter-Terrorism Policing (with McCulloch and Wright-Neville); Borders, Mobility and Technologies of Control (with Weber); Refugees and State Crime; Critical Chatter: women and human rights in South East Asia (with Lambert and Alder); Global Issues, Women and Justice (with Lambert); Women, Policing and Resistance in Northern Ireland. She has a forthcoming edited collection (with McCulloch) on Borders and Crime and has begun work on editing the Routlege Handbook on Migration and Crime to be published in 2014. 

Supervision interests

Professor Sharon Pickering current supervises doctoral and masters candidates in the criminological study of borders, crime and justice. These include studies in:

Sex trafficking

People Smuggling

Border control and law enforcement

Gender and irregular migration

Criminalisation of migration (with a focus on forced migration)


She particularly welcomes interdisciplinary research on the above and related fields.


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 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • Borders
  • Border Control
  • Refugees
  • Trafficking
  • Smuggling
  • Irregular Migration
  • Migration Policing
  • Gender
  • Criminology
  • Policing Law Enforcement
  • Counter Terrorism
  • Policing Transnational
  • Policing Crime
  • Transnational Crime
  • Law Enforcement