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Carlotta Rigotti holds a master’s degree in law (110/110 cum laude) from the Università degli Studi di Torino (IT). She wrote her final dissertation on prostitution and fundamental rights under a comparative and constitutional perspective; her work sought to understand whether the current legal frameworks concerning prostitution in Italy, Germany, Sweden and Russia could effectively protect and fulfil women's fundamental rights, as enshrined in Constitutions. An excerpt of her dissertation was published on Studi di Genere. Quaderni di Donne & Ricerca, 2019, No. 3 and, since November 2019, she is a member of the Italian Research Group on Prostitution and Sex Work (GRIPS). Because of her research interest in gender studies, she is also a member of the VUB Research Centre on Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality (RHEA) since February 2020.

In addition to the Italian degree, Carlotta got the International and European Legal Studies Certificate from the Antwerpen Universiteit, where she studied during the academic year 2015-2016. From January 2017 till December 2018, she joined the Human Rights and Migration Law Clinic run by the Università degli Studi di Torino and so dealt with asylum seekers' applications under the supervision of avv. Donatella Bava. Ultimately, after completing her studies and until December 2018, Carlotta worked as an intern at the law firm Cossa, Martin, Bombara and Massaia. Specifically, she focused on criminal law, while conducting research on female genital mutilation, discrimination on grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as environmental international protection.

In May 2018, Carlotta joined the Fundamental Rights Research Centre (FRC) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, to provide research assistance on the DESIRE project (to curb demand for sexual exploitation) and became PhD candidate in January 2019, when she also started working on the EXIT Europe project (to prevent and counter violent extremism). Since September 2020, she has also been involved in PANELFIT (to develop participatory approaches to a new ethical and legal framework for ICT).

Her PhD proposal addresses legal feasibility of potentially criminalising the abuse of female sex robots. The exploratory findings of her first chapter were presented during the Closing Ceremony of the Winter School 'The Regulation of Robotics and AI in Europe: Legal, Ethical and Economic Implications', organised by the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa (Italy) on 5 December 2020.

Research Expertise: criminal law - sex robots - prostitution - pornography - vulnerability - harm principle - deception - consent - legal personhood

Research Methodology: doctrinal approach



Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussels