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Áquila Mazzinghy, Ph.D.

Researcher | Professor | Consultant | Lawyer

Humanitarian Photographer

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Professional Skills

International Criminal Law

International Humanitarian Law

International Refugee Law

Public International Law

Humanitarian Photography

Fields of work

International Criminal Law | International Human Rights Law | International Humanitarian Law | Children and Armed Conflict | International Crimes Against Children | Refugee Children | Children affected by the Foreign Terrorist Fighter Phenomenon | Terrorism & Terrorist Groups | Religious Persecution | FoRB rights

Combating violence against women and children worldwide

I am a professional with fourteen years of relevant work, academic, and teaching experience in the following fields: genocide studies, crimes against humanity, human Trafficking & forced labor, the international criminal justice system, international terrorism, violent crimes committed against children, freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) rights, and religious persecution. I hold a Ph.D. in International Criminal Law and a Master’s in International Humanitarian Law.


I have worked as a lecturer and guest professor in several law schools since 2011. I teach courses in Public International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights Law, and International Refugee Law. I am also a member of the Global Association of Human Trafficking Scholars (GAHTS). GAHTS is committed to understanding the historical, political, structural, and cultural components of human trafficking and to producing research-guided advocacy papers to influence the global community.


I authored the book Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Did the Islamic State Commit Genocide against Christians in Iraq? Its main goal was to determine the legal nature of, typification of, and criminal responsibility for criminal acts that ISIL/DAESH perpetrated against civilians in Iraq, focusing on violations against Christians.


I have served as an intern in several capacities, such as the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations in Geneva and the War Crimes Research Office in Washington-DC. I have already volunteered in different projects assisting poor and marginalized communities. From July to September 2023, I served syrian refugees as an English language and photography teacher at a community center in Mafraq, Jordan. In September 2019, I served the Refugees 4 Refugees NGO in Greece, providing practical and logistical support to refugees and asylum seekers in a refugee camp on Samos Island. From February 2018 to December 2021, I served an NGO in Istanbul that assists refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, and unaccompanied children. There, I taught International Refugee Law to the NGO's volunteers and trained them on the practical aspects of refugee protection in Turkey. I also directly provided logistical support to undocumented children.


I am also a humanitarian photographer. I want people to see the suffering in the world through the eyes of my lens. I also want access to areas of international conflict so that my photographs can be used as criminal evidence. I want to use my storytelling skills to inform, provoke discussion, and inspire action.


With my extensive experience, I can contribute to relevant organizations in the following ways:


1. Teaching and providing sound and timely legal professional consultation in my expertise areas;


2. Helping them with war crimes investigations and documentation of scenes of war crimes or other grave human rights violations


3. Helping them interact with criminal justice system authorities to challenge impunity by strengthening the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of cases involving crimes perpetrated by terrorist groups and cases involving violence against women and children;


4. Conducting research; monitoring results and assessing programs’ impact; training legal practitioners; convening meetings and events; organizing and delivering workshops, conferences, and public activities; and producing legal reports, memos, and submissions;


5. Helping to identify key underlying issues related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children in assigned areas/regions Region; influencing municipal governmental policies; increasing state actors' transparency and accountability toward sexual crimes committed against children;


6) Partnering with frontline organizations, key stakeholders, the private sector, civil society actors, the media, and grassroots organizations in assigned areas/regions; locally manage and implement assigned programs;


7) Helping them identify key underlying issues related to religious discrimination and persecution worldwide; influencing governmental policies concerning freedom of religion; increasing state actors’ transparency and accountability toward violations of religion, belief, and conscience; and monitoring the state of FoRB rights in assigned countries.

Main Publications

Book – Nov. 2023
MAZZINGHY, Áquila. Beyond a reasonable doubt: Did the Islamic State commit genocide against Christians in Iraq? International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF) & Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft. Bonn, 2023. ISBN 978-3-86269-267-5. Click here to read it


Publication in Law Journals – Blind peer review process
MAZZINGHY, Áquila. United Nations Framework on Terrorism and States Compliance to Security Council Anti-Terror Resolutions. Banja Luka Criminal Law Review. 2021. Click here to read it

MAZZINGHY, Áquila. Please, Set Me Free! The Right to Challenge An Unlawful Detention: Scrutinizing The Practice of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. (2020) 5 Perth International Law Journal. Click here to read it

MAZZINGHY, Áquila. Child-Friendly Justice Behind Bars: A Comparative Analysis of the Protection Mechanisms of the Rights of Arrested Children in the Practice of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and of the European and Inter-American Courts of Human Rights, American University International Law Review: Vol. 35 : Iss. 2, Article 6. Click here to read it

MAZZINGHY, Áquila. Please, Hear My Cry: Judicial Interpretation of Children's Human Rights under the Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, 43 Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 35 (2020). Click here to read it

MAZZINGHY, Áquila. Who cares about the rights of indigenous children? The problem of infanticide in Brazilian Indian tribes. Winter issue, Volume 22, of the Hastings Women's Law Journal –Hastings University, CA, U.S. v. 22, p. 17-54, 2011. Click here to read it

Book Chapter
MAZZINGHY, Áquila. Liquid bodies in the postmodern era: A Critical Legal Studies approach to the problem of human trafficking. In: Elisha J. Dung; Augustine Avwunudiogba. (Org.). Human Trafficking: Global History and Perspectives. 1sted.London: Alabama University; Lexington Books, 2021, v. 1, p. 133-158. Click here to read it

Short Note
MAZZINGHY, Áquila. The Demarcation case of "Raposa Serra do Sol" Indigenous Land in Brazil."  International Legal Studies Program Law Journal – American University. Washington-DC, US, May 2009.

Research Assistance
Research assistant for "Defining a case against an accused before the International Criminal Court: whose responsibility is?" Susana SáCouto; Katherine Cleary. War Crimes Research Office - International Criminal Court Legal Analysis and Education Project.  Washington-DC, US, November 2009. Click here to read it

Research Papers
MAZZINGHY, Áquila. Please, set me free! The right to challenge an unlawful detention: Scrutinizing the practice of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary detention. Paper presentation, panelist. AHRI Conference 2019. The Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI). September 7th, 2019. University of Potsdam, The Human Rights Centre. Potsdam, Germany.


MAZZINGHY, Áquila. A Hostile World for Children: An Assessment of Security Council Resolutions and Reports on Children and Armed Conflict. Paper presentation, panelist. 3rd Postgraduate Conference in International Law and Human Rights. June 17th, 2019, the University of Liverpool, School of Law and Social Justice, Liverpool, United Kingdom.


MAZZINGHY, Áquila. Please, Hear My Cry: Judicial Interpretation of Children's Human Rights under the Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Paper presentation, panelist. 8th International Students Symposium on Law and Global Issues: Law and Global Contemporary Challenges. April 26th, 2019, Koç University, Law School, Istanbul, Turkey.


Ph.D. Degree (2016-2021)
Koç University – Law School
Istanbul, Turkey
Ph.D. Public Law | International Criminal Law
Consolidated GPA: 4,00

Masters Degree (2009)
American University Washington College of Law
Washington-DC, US
Master of Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

Law School (2002-2008)
Universidade Federal de Viçosa (Federal University of Viçosa)
Viçosa, Brazil
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B., equivalent to U.S. Juris Doctor degree)


Short Courses

Ruhr University Bochum – The Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV)
Summer School ‘Humanitarian Action’: Humanitarian Crisis, International Humanitarian Law, International Criminal Law, Refugees and IDPs, Humanitarian Actors & Organizations, WASH
August 2019, Bochum, Germany.

Koç University – Office of International Programs
Summer Program ‘International Migration and the Crisis´: Cross-border movements of people, theories explaining international mobility, forced migration, migrant integration, governments' responses to the social, political and legal challenges raised by international migration, dilemmas facing policy-makers at both national and international level
July 2019, Istanbul, Turkey.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – Executive and Professional Education
Preparatory course on Radiological Emergency Planning: Terrorism, Security, and Communication
July 2017, Cambridge, US.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health & International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – HELP Course
Preparatory course on Humanitarian Disasters and Public Health: Management of Disasters in Humanitarian Crises; Protection of Displaced Populations; International Humanitarian Law (IHL); Refugee Law and Refugee Protection
July 2017, Baltimore, US.

American University Washington College of Law & The Netherlands Institute on Human Rights
Specialization in Humanitarian & Human Rights Law
2008 and 2009 Specialized Summer Program of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
May 26 - June 13, 2008 and May 25 - June 12, 2009. Washington-DC, US.

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