Prof Elisa Fornalé

SNSF Professor

International Migration Law and Human Rights Climate Change and International Public Law

Since January 2017, Elisa Fornalé has been a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Professor at the World Trade Institute (WTI), University of Bern. She holds a law degree from the University of Trento, Italy, and a PhD in law from the University of Palermo, Italy, and she specialises in international law, human rights, migration and environmental humanities.
She is the Principal Investigator of the project “Framing Environmental Degradation, Human Mobility and Human Development as a Matter of Common Concern” (CLI_M_CO2), which is exploring the adverse impacts of climate change through a pilot case study in the Small Pacific Island States. Until April 2019 she was involved in the Horizon 2020 project CLISEL: Climate Security with Local Authorities, which addressed the local dimension of the climate change–security nexus.
She is an appointed member of the Advisory Committee of the Platform on Disaster Displacement; a member of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise; and of the COST Action on Drylands facing change: interdisciplinary research on climate change, food insecurity, political instability (CA 16233).
More recently, she took up the position of Gender Coordinator of the Gender Team at the WTI and initiated the Gender Lecture Series – Know the GAP.
Previously, as the recipient of a Marie Curie Intra-European Individual Fellow award, she conducted a research project on regional migration governance at the Jean Monnet Centre for Excellence for Migration Law at the Radboud University, Nijmegen (2015–2016).
She has been an invited speaker at fora and symposia at a number of universities and international organisations, including at the Academic Council on the United Nations System, Asia-Europe People’s Forum, Durham University, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, and Leiden University.
Elisa Fornalé has been a visiting scholar at the University of Auckland, the University of Vanuatu and the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security. As a legal scholar and activist, she provided commentaries on some of the cutting-edge legal topic, including on the recently adopted Global Compact for Migration.

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External webpage
Curriculum Vitae
Publication list

Ms Modesta Nsowaa-Adu (BA, LLB, BL, LLM)

Modesta is an Attorney engaged in the dual role of researcher and Gender Mainstreaming Consultant with the World Trade Institute's Gender Research Team and Trade Policy Consultant with CUTS International, Accra. As a consultant with CUTS, she has designed training workshops, modules, and concepts on trade law and policy, mainly on the African Continental Free Trade Area for eight African Countries (Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, and Zambia). She holds an LLM in International Trade and investment law from the World Trade Institute, University of Bern, a bachelor's in Political Science (BA) and Law (LLB) from the University of Ghana, Legon and a Qualifying license from the Ghana School of Law. Her professional and research interests are in the areas of Trade in services, Trade and Investment Facilitation and the intersection of global Trade and sustainable development. In particular, she is passionate about how trade law and policy impact gender, labour, and the environment.

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Ms Rahel Hirschi

Rahel Hirschi has been working as a research assistant at the World Trade Institute (University of Bern) since October 2022 for the SNSF Project "Gender Equality in the Mirror" (GEM) aimed at exploring women’s participatory rights. Rahel is currently doing her Bachelor's degree in Law (BLaw) at the University of Bern and is interested in gender and environmental issues. Prior to working at the World Trade Institute, she worked for the Stämpfli Verlag as an employee in Data Transformation and did an internship at PostFinance and PostAuto.

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The GEM Project is funded under the grant No. 100011_200462/1 by the Swiss National Foundation Research.
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