Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Senior Research Fellow

Areas of expertise

International Humanitarian Law  /  International Human Rights Law  /  Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  /  Right to Food  /  Indigenous Peoples’ and Minority Rights  /  Gender  /  Non-Discrimination  /  Right to Education  /  Children’s Rights  /  Human Rights and Climate Change  /  Gender-Based Violence

Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni is a Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.

Her research areas include the right to food, land commercialization, climate change, the right to education and gender equality. She is a member of the DEMETER (Droits et Egalité pour une Meilleure Economie de la Terre) multidisciplinary research for development project (2015–2020) that is examining land commercialization, gendered agrarian transformation and the right to food, with Cambodia and Ghana as case studies.

In addition to her research work, Dr Bourke Martignoni teaches on the Geneva Academy training courses on economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR). Dr Martignoni also teaches a master’s level course in ESCR at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

Prior to joining the Geneva Academy, she held positions as a researcher and lecturer at the University of Fribourg, and consultant to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. She also worked as a programme officer on women’s rights at the World Organisation Against Torture and as a legal adviser at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Dr Bourke Martignoni has degrees in South East Asian History, Political Science and Law from the University of New South Wales and the Australian National University, a Master’s in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and a PhD in law from the University of Fribourg. Her doctoral thesis examined the human right to education in the context of international development cooperation programmes with special reference to the role of the World Bank.

Research Projects

Somalia, Bakool region, Hudur village. Woman selling products at market. Project

Land Commercialization, Gendered Agrarian Transformation and the Right to Food (DEMETER)

This project examines the relationship between the right to food and gender equality in ensuring food security in the context of land commercialization in two case-study countries, Cambodia and Ghana.

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Past projects


Human Rights and Gender Equality in the Context of Business Activities

Completed in 29 February 2020

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Cover page of the Transnational Legal Theory Journal

Engendering the Right to Food? International Human Rights Law, Food Security and the Rural Woman

January 2019

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Transnational Legal Theory Journal

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Cover of the Briefing

Gender Responsive Due Diligence for Business Actors: Human Rights-Based Approaches

December 2018

Joanna Bourke Martignoni, Elizabeth Umlas

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover page of the Handbook

Intersectionalities, human rights, and climate change

March 2018

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Routledge Handbook of Human Rights and Climate Governance

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Cover of the Resarch Brief: Gender Equality and the Right to Food

Gender Equality and the Right to Food

January 2017

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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