Anette Sikka

Dr. Anette SikkaLLD, University of Ottawa
JD, Dalhousie University

Assistant Professor

University of Illinois at Springfield
Legal Studies
Phone: 217-206-7878
Office: PAC 330



Dr. Anette Sikka teaches primarily in the fields of Immigration, Constitutional and International law, including Human Rights, International Criminal and International Armed Conflict. She completed her J.D. at Dalhousie University in Canada in 2001 and her LLM/LLD from the University of Ottawa in 2014. Her current research focuses on immigration reform and criminal justice, comparative constitutional law approaches to equality and international rule of law programming. She works with students on a number of immigration-related projects, including community-based research, campus and civic events.In the Summer of 2019, she and professor Anthony arranged a week-long trip to Dilley Detention Center with 6 UIS students to provide legal representation to detained mothers and children seeking asylum at the border.​ She also helped establish and served as the first Vice Chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Immigration.

Dr. Sikka worked for the United Nations in Bosnia and Kosovo for several years in the post-conflict period of the Balkan wars, training police, judges and social service personnel on gender and operational policy.  Since 2007 she has been working as an international consultant providing research and training on police operational policy, gender, and migration in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the U.S.  Prior to arriving at the UIS Legal Studies Department Dr. Sikka taught at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and the University of Alabama Law School. She is licensed in the state of Alabama and continues to serve of counsel at an immigration law firm in Birmingham, where she primarily serves clients in removal proceedings seeking asylum.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Recent and Upcoming Presentations

  • Public and Private Harms: Asylum, Gender and Gang Violence, International Speaker Series, Illinois State University, Oct. 2018
  • Criminal Justice Policy Reform and Innocence Work, Legal Implications of Wrongful Convictions and the Death Penalty, NIU College of Law, Law Review Symposium, Nov. 2017.
  • Legal Transplantation and Anti-Trafficking in Post-Conflict Rule of Law Programs, American Society for International Law, National Research Forum, Seattle Washington, Nov. 2016
  • ‘Being’ Illegal: Manifest Destiny, Hyperincarceration and the Criminalization of Racialized Spaces, Law and Society Annual Conference, New Orelans, LA, 2016
  • Trafficking of Aboriginal Women, Wahkotowin: A Knowledge Exchange Forum on Trafficking in Persons and Sexual Exploitation of Aboriginal Peoples, Ottawa, Canada, 2012 (invited speaker)
  • The Customer is Always Right – or is he?  Sexual harassment and occupational health and safety in the hospitality industry, Canadian Institute on Gender and Health Research – North/South conference, Santiago, Chile, 2012

Selected Academic and Commissioned Publications

  • Trafficking in Persons: How America Exploited the Narrative of Exploitation, 55 Texas International Law Journal (Forthcoming 2020)
  • Policy Brief: Labour Trafficking: Investigative Methods, Ministry of Public Safety Canada, (2013)
  • The Right to Health Care and Workers’ Compensation for Precarious Migrants in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, 5(2) McGill Journal of Law and Health 203 (2011) (co-authored)
  • Trafficking of Aboriginal Women and Girls in Canada, in Aboriginal Policy Research VIII, Exploring the Urban Landscape (Jerry White and Jody Bruhn eds., 2010)
  • Access to Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Other Legal Protections for Work-Related Mental Health Problems, 101 Canadian Journal of Public Health S16 (2010) (co-authored)

Current Research Studies

  • Trafficking and Human Rights: Telling the Story of SovereigntyThis work investigates U.S.-led rule of law programs, many of which Dr. Sikka herself was a part. Given the historical development of structures for the recognition of Westphalian sovereignty, non-Europeans have from the very beginning been cast as “outsider” in the story of statehood.  Anti-trafficking initiatives couched in rule of law programming have had a tendency to recreate those old structures by promoting restrictive criminal and anti-immigration solutions to complex global problems. The aim of this work is to move human rights discourse towards reconceptualizing sovereignty in ways that more fully recognize the participation of individuals from formerly colonized or non-Western countries.  The work will include qualitative interviews with former colleagues and current practitioners in Iraq, New York, and Kosovo.