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Dr. Natalia Ollus


“I strongly feel that we as researchers have a responsibility to listen to the experiences of victims of crime. Behind every number is a real person with real, and often traumatic experiences. We have a responsibility to speak of behalf of those who are less fortunate, or who do not have a voice."

Natalia holds a PhD in law and a Master’s in social anthropology. Throughout her career she has worked for the rights of victims of crime and vulnerable people, specifically those affected by gender-based violence and human trafficking. Her professional interest center around policy development and research in crime, criminology, crime prevention and victimology, with an emphasis on human trafficking, gender-based violence, corruption, economic crime, the rule of law, and female and juvenile prisoners. Natalia is passionate about making a difference through impactful, cutting-edge research and knowledge-creation. Her PhD thesis dealt with the exploitation of migrant workers and trafficking for the purpose of forced labour, defining the exploitation of migrant workers and trafficking for forced labour as a form of corporate crime. Natalia’s methodological expertise covers qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods, in particular the development of comparative research setups and survey tools. Natalia and HEUNI go back 20 years; when still a student at the university, she was hired to work at HEUNI as a research assistant. In addition to HEUNI, Natalia has held positions at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in South Africa, at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations in New York and as an anti-trafficking adviser at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. In addition to her professional work, Natalia has carried out volunteer work at various organisations working with women victims of violence. Natalia is currently a board member of the Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology ( and a member of the national Human Rights Delegation 2020-2024. Natalia is keen to engage partners and stakeholders in sharing expertise and good practices, and to forge new partnerships with interested institutions and organisations around the globe.

Natalia Ollus, expert, Dr, criminologist, HEUNI director

Writings, projects and publications