H.M. Queen Silvia together with the 2012 prize winner Jan van Dijk (photography by Pernille Tofte)
H.M. Queen Silvia together with the 2012 prize winner Jan van Dijk. Photography: Pernille Tofte.
Jan van Dijk (1947) of Tilburg University has a degree in law from Leiden University (1970) and a PhD in criminology from the University of Nijmegen (1977). He currently holds the Pieter van Vollenhoven Chair in Victimology and Human Security at the University of Tilburg, The Netherlands (International Victimology Institute Tilburg). He is a member of the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and of the Dutch Commission on Compensation for Victims of Crimes of Violence.

Crime prevention and victim assistance

Jan van Dijk joined the Research and Documentation Centre of the Dutch Ministry of Justice in 1975 where he later acted as Director (1982 to 1989). Under his leadership annual national victimization surveys and research programs on crime prevention and victim assistance were launched. These newly emerging policy trends at the Ministry were consolidated by a newly established Directorate on Crime Prevention of which Van Dijk became the first director. He later became director of Strategic Policy Planning at the same ministry. He combined his administrative positions at the Ministry with a part time professorship in criminology at the University of Leiden (1990-2000).

Work in the United Nations

In 1998 Van Dijk joined the United Nations as officer in charge of the United Nations Centre for International Crime Prevention in Vienna. His responsibilities included the secretarial support of the negotiations on the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols, adopted in 2000 (the Palermo Convention). He launched the journal Forum on Crime and Society, published in the five UN languages, and co-authored a report on Trends in Crime in Justice, submitted to the United Nations Crime Congress in Bangkok in 2005.

Van Dijk was the co-founder and first chairperson of Victim Support Netherlands (1984-1989). He was president of the World Society of Victimology (1997-2000), and symposium president of the Ninth International World Symposium on Victimology held in Amsterdam in 1997.

In 1987 he initiated, with the assistance of Pat Mayhew and Martin Killias, the International Crime Victims Survey. He supervised the ICVS' s five subsequent rounds of implementation, covering over 80 countries in all world regions. The latest full report on the surveys was published in 2008 (Van Dijk et al.). He is currently involved in the conduct of the ICVS in a selection of countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia and acts as consultant of Eurostat in the design of the future European Safety Survey (SASU).

Jan van Dijk has received many international awards for his achievements and an honorary doctoral degree of Tirunelveli University, India. He has over the years published hundred or more articles on crime statistics, the prevention of crime and victim assistance in peer reviewed journals and books. He has also published extensively in professional magazines and the popular press.

Please see www.tilburguniversity.edu for information about books, journal articles, book chapters etc. published by Jan van Dijk (click on Publicaties/Tilburg University Repository).