Past volunteers

 Emilia Truluck

Emilia is currently reading for an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. Prior to this, she spent a year living in Jordan conducting research on street harassment. She graduated in 2016 from Emory University with a BA in Middle Eastern Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She hopes to spend this year focusing on the rights of LGBT refugees and refugees in states of protracted exile.

Angela Remus

Angela is currently pursuing a MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. Previously, she worked as a Department of Justice-accredited legal representative with the International Rescue Committee in Abilene, Texas, USA. In this role, Angela worked primarily with refugees and other immigrants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Burma, Iraq, Cuba, and Mexico.  She has also worked with asylum seekers at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago; on a rule of law project carried out by the Carter Center in Liberia; and with Measures for Justice, a non-profit analyzing the US criminal justice system. She is interested in the application of refugee law to situations of generalized violence, particularly in Central and South America. Angela obtained her B.A. from the University of Rochester in International Relations and Spanish. She is originally from Chicago.

Hannah Markay

Hannah is currently reading for her MSc. in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. She completed her MA in Social Anthropology and Politics at the University of Edinburgh in 2017. Her course included an academic exchange with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in Santiago, Chile. During her time at university, she volunteered with Casa Rahab, a rehabilitation centre for young female victims of the sex trade in Granada, Nicaragua; interned at the Office of Migrants and Refugees at Quilicura, Santiago (OMMR); and co-founded STREET, a tutoring initiative pairing university students with Syrian teenagers struggling in certain academic areas. Most recently, she interned with an Italian observatory on migration called Mediterranean Hope on the island of Lampedusa. She is currently an external consultant for a Human Rights for Migrants and Refugees start-up called Consultora Rév in Quilicura, Chile. She hopes to conduct further research on Mediterranean Hope’s pilot project of humanitarian corridors between Lebanon and Italy to explore the feasibility of its replication elsewhere.

Tamara van Doorn

Tamara holds a M.Sc. in Cultural Anthropology & Development Studies from Radboud University, Netherlands, where she focused on migration, specifically pilgrimage in Northern India, spending several months in Asia and the Middle East. At the Rights in Exile Programme, she assists with the Post-Deportation Monitoring Network and the Sexual Orientation and Identity (LGBTI)  programme. Tamara has spent significant time with refugee organizations in Israel, and hopes to continue working and learning about refugee law through IRRI. She speaks Dutch and English.

Aurora Lofton

Aurora Lofton recently completed her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Virginia where she had a special interest in refugees studies and conflict resolution. During her time at the University, she studied abroad in London twice and in Paris. In the summer of 2016, she worked as the primary investigator in a global sustainability project through the Center of Global Health. Specifically, the project was to aid indigenous communities on the Lake Atitlan basin with achieving potable drinkable water and livable life conditions. She is fluent in English, speaks Spanish, and she has studied French for three years. She has been accepted into a Masters of European Studies program at the University of Virginia, however she is uncertain of what her future endeavors will be at this point in time.  

Fadumo Mohamed Isse

Fadumo M. Isse completed her Law Degree and Masters in International Human Rights Law at Oxford Brookes University. Her dissertation concentrated on Somali minorities’ under international human rights law. In addition, she has been a full time mother and has engaged in volunteer work, including with Oxfordshire Advocacy where she assisted people with mental health issues.  Fadumo has an understanding of refugees’ life situations; most of her extended family are refugees all over the world. She speaks Somali, English, and Italian.

Natalia Muñoz

Natalia completed her MA in Immigration Management at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Previously, she pursued a Bachelors Degree in Translation and Interpreting Studies. During her studies, Natalia volunteered at the La Pedrera Foundation, where she worked on integration dynamics for inmigrant children in Barcelona. At the Rights in Exile Programme, she regularly visits asylum seekers at Campsfield Detention Center. She also provides support to refugees during the asylum process and attends interviews and court hearings.  

Andreea Bodea 

Andreea completed her Bachelors in Political Science and Administration at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) in 2015. Through internship experience at SOS Racism in Barcelona, she familiarized herself with the challenges ethnic communities face in inclusion. During her participation with the Citizens Beyond Walls Project in Serbia, she did fieldwork concerning racism and neo-Nazis movements. Both experiences inspired her to pursue a Master’s degree in Immigration Management, which she completed in September 2016. Her master thesis focuses on the main assumptions and approaches that sustain the exclusion of refugee socio-economic claims and therefore the narrow definitions of ‘refugee’ and ‘persecution’. She plans to pursue her interest in migrant and refugee law through a law conversion course.

Maria Assaf

Maria is a Colombian-Canadian freelance reporter who writes for immigrant community media outlets in Toronto. She has reported for Latin American, Filipino and West Indian newspapers in Canada for over four years. Maria has also written for the National Post’s world section and interned at CTV News Toronto. She completed her bachelor degree in journalism at Ryerson University in Canada. Maria is currently fulfilling an MA in Development and Emergency Practice at Oxford Brookes University, where she is researching refugee media outlets in Turkey. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and has basic French knowledge. Her goal is to report on development, politics and human rights issues. In addition to this, Maria works as a translator and interpreter for researchers, reporters and development practitioners. In 2015, she travelled through Colombia’s conflict areas as a research assistant and interpreter to help set up a project on symbolic violence and conflict transformation with vulnerable communities in the Valle del Cauca and Tolima regions. Her Twitter handle is @MariaAssaf and samples of her work can be viewed at: 

Fatima Hashmi

Fatima completed her MA in Development and Emergency Practice from Oxford Brookes University in 2016, with a special focus on refugee studies and conflict. Her thesis entitled, ‘Forced Migration: An understanding of coping, adaptation and resilience strategies of the Hazara community in Oxford’. Fatima speaks Dari, Urdu and English. At the Rights in Exile Programme, she works as a Programme Developer Volunteer for the Sexual Orientation and Identity (LGBTI) programme. She has worked in Pakistan for USAID and currently works part time for CERAR (Centre for Studies and Research-Actions on Resilience) as a Field Research Officer on the‘Observatory of Symbolic Violence’, an action research project in Colombia. Her recent blog can be viewed at: 

Helena Spector

Helena completed her BA at the University of Cambridge on Social Anthropology in 2016, specialising in East and Southern African politics. She has carried out fieldwork in Tanzania and South Africa, and has spent the last six months working with migrant and refugee communities in Cape Town, attempting to procure stable employment opportunities for individuals and carrying out skills training in order to achieve holistic social integration. Helena has managed a research project into Angolan migration to and from South Africa with the Institute for Human Mobility in Africa, gaining insight into the interdependencies between mobility, agency and institutional participation, particularly concerning academia. Prior to this, Helena gained legal experience volunteering at the Colorado Lawyers Committee, a network of pro-bono lawyers advocating and litigating for under-served groups across Colorado, and has campaigned with One Colorado, an LGBTQ advocacy group for Coloradan national and non-national communities alike. She speaks basic French, Swahili and Setswana. 

Emma Middleton

Emma is studying for her undergraduate degree in International Relations and Arabic at the University of St Andrews. In 2015, she was selected as a participant for the Clinton Global Initiative University and received a grant to help Sierra Leonians affected by Ebola develop community-run sustainable agricultural practices. Emma is the Director of Content for Protocol Magazine, a student-run human rights publication based in St Andrews, and has also interned at a risk consultancy and the World Affairs Council. She speaks French and intermediate Arabic.

Michael Boyle

Michael is studying for an MA in Migration Studies at the University of Sussex, and has a particular interest in supporting social marginalised migrant groups in the UK. He is a co-founder and coordinator of a drop-in centre that offers companionship, solidarity and a range of classes and activities to refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants (, and a qualified adult educator who teaches ESOL and community integration classes for ELATT, a charitable training provider. Michael was previously the Casework and Advocacy Intern at the Hackney Migrant Centre and a volunteer at the Cambridge City Foodbank. Prior to that, he completed a BA in History and Economics at the University of Oxford, during which he specialised in industrialisation and development.

Elisa Vari

Elisa completed her BA in International Affairs at John Cabot University in Rome. Her senior thesis addressed immigration detention in Italy and alternatives to detention, her main areas of interest. She volunteered for three years at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center teaching Italian and English to political refugees coming from Ghana, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Starting from next fall, Elisa will be a J.D. candidate, with a concentration in International Law and focusing on Refugee Rights. She speaks English, Italian, and French.

Elspeth Black

Elspeth completed an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS in 2012. Since then she has undertaken an internship at UNHCR, Cairo and worked at St Andrews Refugee Services under the directorship of Chris Eades, as a legal advisor for the Refugee Legal Aid Program. She speaks Arabic, Italian and French. 

Valentina Grillo

Valentina completed a BA in International Relations and Diplomacy in Gorizia, University of Trieste. She attended courses on migration and refugee conditions in Lampedusa and Brussels, and studied politics, history, international law and languages – improving her English, learning French and beginning German, graduating with high marks. Her thesis was on the condition of refugees and IDPs in Serbia. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology, focusing on her empirical research in Vienna, Namibia, and Tunisia. Her MA thesis, currently in drafting, is about forms of refugee resistance in Tunisia.

Philippa Quested

Philippa graduated with a degree in Human Geography from the University of Leeds in July 2015. She spent a year studying abroad in Grenoble, France, where she carried out qualitative research for her dissertation, which compared voluntary and charitable activity among French and British students. During her final year back in Leeds she studied a module on the ‘geographies of migration’ which enabled her to gain an increased awareness of the issues faced by asylum seekers and refugees in the UK and abroad. This inspired her to volunteer at Leeds Refugee Forum, providing support for school aged refugees and asylum seekers and administrative assistance at a weekly homework club. She plans to pursue her interest in migrant and refugee rights through a masters or law conversion course from next September. 

Takashi Usami

Takashi completed his Bachelors in Civil Engineering at the University of Tokyo in Japan. He has engaged in volunteer activities in tsunami-affected regions in Japan, and has undertaken an internship at CARE International Japan. He is currently pursuing an MA in Development and Emergency Practice from Oxford Brookes University, drafting his MA thesis. He is fluent in Japanese and English.

M. Sevda Tunaboylu

Sevda completed MSc degree on Social Development Practice at UCL, and her BSc degree on Political Science and International Relations at Bogazici University, Istanbul. She wrote her thesis on rethinking political membership in the age of migration with a case study analyzing migration and asylum laws of successive Turkish governments in line with the national identity building processes. She has special interest on human rights, migration studies, securitization and foreign policy theories. She has previously worked at Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly, Refugee Advocacy and Aid Programme as a legal intern and assisted refugees in their asylum application and/or appeal processes. She wishes to pursue a career as an advocate for refugee rights.

Nina Egger

Nina wrote her final high school thesis on Cultural Evolution and Hybridization, influencing her to choose anthropology as her area of study. In 2009, she began studying Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Vienna, devotiong extracurricular time to theater. In 2013, she had her first encounter with Hidden Theater/teatro di nascosto, a group that uses the stage as a means to advocate and lobby around human rights issues. In 2014, Nina began studying Advanced Migration Studies at the University of Copenhagen. Nina has an inter-disciplinary background in theoretical and applied knowledge on issues surrounding cultural diversity and community conceptions. Her research interests are: the Middle East, Intercultural Hermeneutics, Identity Politics, Community Conceptions, and Refugee Rights.

Csaba Tasner

Csaba is completing his BA in the field of social studies at Pázmány Péter Catholic University. He previously worked in educational projects in India for children in slums and participated in similar projects for underprivileged children in Hungary. Having won an award in cultural diplomacy at a national competition, he also completed an internship at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His research focuses on refugee children, discussing whether the Hungarian education system is prepared – and if yes, to what extent – for refugees. 

Maja Zarkovic

Maja is currently completing her LLM at Queen Mary, University of London with a specialization in Immigration Law. She also has a LLB from Queen Mary and a BA in Political Science from McGill University. Her main area of interest is international refugee law. More specifically, her research interests include the special protection regime set out for Palestinian refugees under international refugee law and the (mis-)interpretation of Article 1D of the 1951 Refugee Convention. She is also currently writing a dissertation examining why women should constitute particular social group per se. Originally from the Former Yugoslavia, Maja immigrated to Canada at the age of seven due to the ethnic conflicts in the region. She currently holds American, Serbian, and Canadian citizenship. In the future, she plans to provide skilled legal aid to refugees.

Ziyad Hayatli

Ziyad is currently studying a for a Master of Laws LLM in International Law at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, and holds a combined BA in Journalism and Philosophy. He is a dual citizen of the UK and Palestine, and has lived most of his life in Oxford. He has previous experience as an assistant editor at Philosophy Now magazine and an extensive interest in Middle Eastern politics and conflict in general, and Israel and Palestine in particular.

Kevin Fender

Kevin is currently studying for his undergraduate degree in Sociology with an emphasis on Law, Justice, and Social Control with minors in Political Science and Arabic at Chapman University in Orange, California. In Fall 2014, he was in Amman, Jordan conducting research for his senior thesis on the current conditions of human trafficking in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He speaks English and Arabic.

Andrew Kerr 

Andrew completed his BA in History at Somerville College, Oxford, in 2013. Since then he has studied the Graduate Diploma in Law at Oxford Brookes and is now studying the LLM Legal Practice Course in London. Andrew has taught in China and rural Western Sahara. 

Mel Moeinvaziri

Mel is currently pursuing an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford.  She holds an Honors BA in Political Science and a BA in International Studies from the University of Utah. Her master’s thesis is focused on the post-deportation monitoring of rejected asylum seekers, states legal and moral obligrations to them, and the action of civil society to fill the protection gap left by states in regards to deportees. Upon completion of her MSc, she plans to return to the US to pursue a Juris Doctor and become an advocate for refugee’s legal rights. 

Tiffany Shakespeare 

Tiffany is a 4th year BSc Anthropology student at University College London (UCL). She spent a year abroad at Sciences Po Paris, where she conducted research for her thesis on conflict-induced forced migration and refugee involvement in homeland politics. She has been Campaigns Officer for UCL Student Action for Refugees (StAR), winning the Equal Access Campaign, an intern at Syrian refugee centre Association Revivre, Paris, and has worked in a small NGO in rural Uganda.

Alessandra Di Cataldo 

Alessandra is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Edinburgh, studying towards a degree in Arabic and Politics. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Italy, and grew up in Baltimore, USA, while her family currently lives in Rome. She has just finished her year abroad in Amman, Jordan, where she studied Arabic language and Middle Eastern culture, media, and literature at the Institut Français du Proche-Orient. Alessandra plans to pursue a master’s degree in refugee studies after graduating next year, and will hopefully go on to work at an NGO which deals with refugees in the future.

Adrian Henderson

Adrian has a professional background in further education and domestic human rights work in education and training as well as campaigning for a number of organisations including Amnesty International UK and Refugee Resource. In 2012 he retrained as a lawyer working in public law and has been the co-ordinator of the Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network since 2013

Carina Belle Jensen

Carina Belle Jensen is currently pursuing her MSc in Global Refugee Studies at Aalborg University in Denmark. Her undergraduate study was at the University of Copenhagen in the Faculty of Humanities specialising in Indigenous peoples of the Americas and minority studies, as well as the topics of hate crimes, construction of identity and nationalism. She is interested in the consequences of asylum policies and refugee law, as well as development and international political economy.

Tabea Schaarschmidt  

Tabea is currently studying for her undergraduate degree in International Relations and Management at the University of Applied Science Regensburg in Germany. She spent her last semester at Science Po Toulouse in France. Before her studies she volunteered for one year in Cambodia with a local NGO. She speaks English, German and some French.

Maja Grundler

Maja is studying for her graduate degree in British Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin and is going to write her thesis on refugee rights in the UK. She is working for the Rights in Exile Programme until February 2015, on an Erasmus grant. She speaks English and German, as well as a little French, Russian, and Turkish. When not at IRRI, Maja works in Berlin with people in detention facing deportation.

Tamara van Doorn

Tamara holds a M.Sc. in Cultural Anthropology & Development Studies from Radboud University, Netherlands, where she focused on migration, specifically pilgrimage in Northern India, spending several months in Asia and the Middle East. At the Rights in Exile Programme, she assists with the Post-Deportation Monitoring Network and the Sexual Orientation and Identity (LGBTI)  programme. Tamara has spent significant time with refugee organizations in Israel, and hopes to continue working and learning about refugee law through IRRI. She speaks Dutch and English. 

Lara Strangways

Lara is currently studying for her undergraduate degree in International Relations at Durham University, graduating in 2015. She is currently researching for her dissertation on the displacement of Palestinians and the protection gap they face, within the Syrian refugee crisis. Lara is hoping to pursue a career in law, particularly in the refugee and human rights field. She speaks English and Italian. 

Cassidy Rappaport

Cassidy is currently studying for her undergraduate degree in refugee studies, human rights, cultural anthropology and law at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Cassidy graduated early from high school and volunteered in Burma and Thailand. It was there that she began learning about refugee issues in the region. Cassidy studied Burmese language at the Southeast Asian Summer Studies Institute under the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship. She has volunteered at multiple refugee resettlement organizations in Chicago as an in-home tutor, office assistant, and camp counselor. Cassidy currently volunteers at a refugee resettlement organization in Springfield, Massachusetts and is starting up a youth program for teen refugees in the area. Cassidy is interested in pursuing refugee law.

Clare Bakhtiar

Clare is a writer and a Ph.D. Candidate in English and Psychiatry at the University of Southampton. Her interests and research lie in creativity and mood disorders, trauma and narrative, and how mental health affects the asylum process. She is a co-editor of the Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter, and editor and programme coordinator for the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (LGBTI) legal resource page. 

Agathe Faure

After obtaining a Bachelor in political sciences from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, Agathe Faure completed an Msc in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. She wrote her final dissertation on torture as a fundamental challenge for Western humanitarian and human rights culture, specifically through the study of Western conception of pain and suffering (distinction). She speaks French and English.

Ali Afzal-Khan 

Ali Afzal-Khan graduated from Exeter University, reading Law, in 2011. In 2012 he successfully completed his M.A. in International Law and International Relations at Oxford Brookes University. He recently completed his L.L.M. (in International Trade and Commercial Law), also from Oxford Brookes University. His M.A. thesis evaluated the global nature of hip hop, and its use as a tool for global social activism. He speaks English, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi.

Hesham Elhalabi

Hesham holds a BA in English language from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. He has been involved with the issues surrounding, and repercussions of, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Palestinian refugees and stateless Palestinians (especially Palestinians living in Egypt), and most recently, the Syrian civil war and Syrian refugees in Turkey and Egypt. He joined Fahamu in November 2013.

Kate Schofield

Kate Schofield is currently reading for the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. She recently graduated from the University of St. Andrews with an MA(Hons) in International Relations and Modern History where she focused her undergraduate dissertation on British arms deals as a means of maintaining colonial privileges in former African colonies. She has experience of running human rights based student groups, and has interned with genocide prevention NGOs and women’s empowerment NGOs based in Rwanda. She is interested in the history, governance and security of the African Great Lakes region. On completion of her Masters course Kate hopes to train in law, with a focus on refugee and human rights law.

Christina Kovacs

Christina Kovacs graduated from Brown University in 2011 with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. She is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at Oxford, where her research is focused on refugee resettlement in the U.S. and LGBT asylum claims in the UK. Prior to coming to Oxford, Christina worked with a number of NGOs in the U.S., including the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia, and the International Rescue Committee in New York. 

Minos Mouzourakis

Minos Mouzourakis completed a double law degree at University College London and Université Paul Cézanne (Aix-Marseille III). He has interned with the Legal Assistance Unit of the Greek Council for Refugees in Athens and has undertaken traineeships at the Permanent Representation of Cyprus to the EU and the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU in Brussels, where he participated in the negotiations for the conclusion of the second-phase legislative instruments of the Common European Asylum System. Minos is currently reading for the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration at the University of Oxford and is focusing his thesis research on the EU’s Dublin system.

Kristian Foged

Kristian Foged recently graduated from the University of Southampton with a Bachelors in Law. He has a strong interest in international relations and the law surrounding it, particularly those concerning the international protection of human rights. Kristian grew up in Uganda, Denmark and Greenland before moving to England to commence his studies. In his years growing up in Uganda he heard testimonies of both refugees and Internally Displace People, which sparked his interest in and concern for this area. He speaks Danish and English. 

Alice Crocker

Alice Crocker graduated from Oxford university with a BA in European and Middle Eastern Languages (French and Arabic). She spent her year abroad studying at the French Institute in Damascus (IFPO), and later moved to Cairo after the beginning of the Syrian revolution. She has also worked with a refugee rights group in Brussels, visiting and negotiating on behalf of refugees in the detention centre. Her interests are writing, travelling, teaching and psychology. In addition to French and Arabic she also speaks basic German.

Violeta Barrera

After graduating from the University of Warwick with a Law and Sociology degree, Violeta completed an MA in Legal and Political Theory at University College London, writing a thesis exploring the role of deeply held convictions in a liberal state. Her interests include the philosophy of Human Rights and (global) distributional justice. Violeta has worked with the Coventry Law Centre providing legal advice to welfare benefit claimants and at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

Wiebke Vetter

Wiebke studies Political Sciences and Sociology at the Universität Bielefeld, Germany. She studied and worked in Lithuania and Scotland. She is currently working on her final BA thesis on the Denial of Genocide in Rwanda by the International Community in 1994 and the RPF after 1994. Wiebke will finish her studies in April 2014 and hopes to start a Master in Conflict and Peace Studies afterwards. She speaks German, English and some French.

Ceridwen Lewis

Ceridwen has just completed her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Development studies at the University of Sussex, England. She wrote her final dissertation on the structural violence within the Refugee Status Determination process in refugee camps. She has worked in Refugee Camps in Tunisia and is currently concerned by the dissemination of refugees from the closure of the Choucha refugee camp. She speaks English, Welsh and some French.  

Jessica MacLean

Jessica completed an undergraduate degree in Development Studies and Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies. She is the Co-President and a teacher at the SOAS Saturday Club. She worked with the SOAS Detainee Support Group. She has also worked with refugee students in a mentorship programme. She speaks English, French and Swahili.

Victoria Smythies

Victoria holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama and an LL.M. in International Law from the University of Vienna with Distinction. She wrote her LL.M. thesis on finding harmony between the traditional retributive justice used in the International Criminal Court and the restorative justice methods used in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions.

Lara Ramazzotti

Lara holds an MA in Political Science from Milan University. She wrote her MA thesis on mafia infiltrations into commerce in Milan. She currently collaborates with an Italian online newspaper, writing articles about mafia issues. Lara is especially interested in asylum access. She speaks Italian, English and French.

Stuart Thomas

Stuart holds an MA Development Studies with Distinction, and BSc Psychology First Class. He has worked with refugees in Egypt and IDPs in Colombia and has further expereince within international development. Currently he carries out research and analyses for the public sector in the UK.

John Cacharani 

John is completing his MA in Migration and Intercultural Relations through the EMMIR programme – an African-European course in Migration Studies, and holds a BA in Political Science from Northwestern University. John has previously worked with NGOs in Uganda providing refugee services and support, and protecting human rights defenders. John’s research interests include politics and protracted refugee crises in the Great Lakes Region. 

Zanij Noruzi

After completing a B.A. in Law from Tehran University in Iran, Zanij completed a M.A. International Relations and Law at Oxford Brookes University in 2011. Since he graduated from Oxford Brookes, he has worked in a number of different NGOs, including Article 19, Asylum Welcome and the Universal Tolerance Organization. Zanij will begin a Graduate Diploma Law course at Oxford Brookes University from September 2013. He has experience in research on Human Rights in the Middle East, and speaks Arabic, Persian, Azeri, and Turkish. 

Jeannine Hollaus

Jeannine is currently enrolled in the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at Oxford University, holds a BA degree in International Relations with a focus in History from Wellesley College, USA. Jeannine has recently completed an MA programme in African Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. Jeannine’s interest in Refugee Studies and refugee related work stems from her experience living and working with refugees and asylum seekers in Austria, and conducting research in Buduburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana, where she studied the ongoing preparations for the repatriation of Liberian refugees.

Elisabeth Kühn

Elisabeth is currently pursuing an M.Sc. in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. She studied Political Science as an undergraduate in Germany and holds an M.A. degree in Politics and International Relations from Durham University, UK. She worked as an intern at the European Forum for Migration Studies and at the European Centre for Minority Issues. Her interest in the context of refugees and forced migrants is focused on citizenship and identity issues, and concerning legal aid on the matter of the cessation and exclusion clauses.

Amber Stechman

Since first volunteering as a language teacher for undocumented migrants in Switzerland in 2002, Amber has pursued her interest in migration and asylum both academically and professionally. She holds an MPhil in Migration Studies from Oxford University and since early 2009 has worked in the refugee sector in Kenya and the UK. 

Nath Gbikpi

Nath is pursuing an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, and holds a BA in Development Studies and Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies.  She has work experience in Cairo and in Burundi. She has also visited, and coordinated visits to, the women detention centre of Yarl’s Wood (UK). Her research interests include the relation between North Africa and Europe; forced migration in Burundi and the Great Lake Region, the politics of refugee and human rights law, trafficking. Nath is fluent in French, Italian, English and Spanish.

Diletta Lauro

Diletta is undertaking an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford after having completed her MA degree in International Relations at St Andrews University. In 2011, Diletta interned at the Training Centre of the International Labour Organization contributing to the organization of the two week seminar ‘Labour Migration Academy’. Over the last four years, Diletta has had experience in different law firms in London where she carried legal research and drafted documents. Diletta is particulalry interested in the notion of membership in states’ social and political community and in the issues of deportation, statelessness and refugees’ attainment of citizenship rights in receiving countries. Diletta is fluent in English and Italian.

Katherine Rehberg

Katherine has worked with refugees and displaced communities in Egypt, Kenya, Malaysia, Thailand, Uganda and the United States. She is interested in the politics of humanitarian programming and gaps in legal and social protection mechanisms for refugees and migrants, particularly in the global South. Katherine holds a BA in International Affairs with concentrations in public health and international economics from The George Washington University, and an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford.

Friederike Vetter

Friederike completed an undergraduate degree in Political and Administrative Science at the University of Konstanz, Germany and a MSc in Migration, Mobility and Development at SOAS. She wrote her bachelor’s thesis on asylum and immigration policies in Iran and Tanzania and her master’s thesis on securitization of migration in the EU. Friederike has studied and worked in South Africa, Turkey, Germany and the UK. She is especially interested in immigration policy making and asylum access and hopes to influence immigration policy making in the future. She is presently a full-time graduate intern at the Rights in Exile Programme.

Eliana Barrera

Eliana is currently completing an LLM in International Development Law and Human Rights at the University of Warwick, where she has learnt about the importance of placing law in its social and political context. She is also completing a Law Degree at the University of Chile. She has trained and worked as a volunteer Gateway Assessor at the Citizens Advice Bureau over the last year. She has also volunteered at the Coventry Law Centre in the area of Immigration and Asylum, having directly observed the hardships of persecution. Her interests lie in the interaction between Human Rights, Law and Social Justice. Eliana is fluent in English and Spanish. 

Evi Kyprioti

After having obtained an undergraduate degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Contemporary Aspects of Civil Law, Evi gained professional experience as a lawyer in Greece, where she became familiar with legal and practical aspects of RSD procedures and Refugee Law. She is currently completing a Joint European Master’s in International Humanitarian Action (NOHA) and interning with the Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Programme. In the future, she aims to work in the field of provision of legal aid to refugees.

Clare Roberts

Clare is a final year Arabic student at Pembroke College, Oxford. She spent her year abroad studying at the French Institute in Damascus (IFPO), and the summer months of 2011 in Cairo, travelling, studying and working as a volunteer. She has been awarded a scholarship to study Arabic in Oman for a month at the end of this summer.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca completed her undergraduate degree in French and Politics at the University of Birmingham this summer. She spent a year living in Strasbourg, where she studied at Science Po to obtain her Certificat d’Etudes Politiques Europeennes and worked as an Assistant to an MEP in the European Parliament. Throughout her degree, Rebecca wrote various assignments on refugee rights and asylum policy in the UK, which opened her eyes to a need to fight for justice and dignity for refugees. She volunteered at the Refugee Council, Birmingham, where she ran an advice service for asylum seekers. She wishes to invest her career in fighting for social justice and influencing policy making.

Lily Parrott

Lily completed an undergraduate in Philosophy & Psychology at the University of St Andrews and will begin an MSc in Migration, Mobility & Development at SOAS this autumn. She took a break between degrees and spent time as an inner city youth worker and tutor for autistic children in Glasgow. She has interned with Barnardos Scotland, Mary’s Meals, and Rural Women Development Association in Tanzania. She returned from India shortly before starting with Rights in Exile Programme. After studying, she hopes to work in South America or Africa in the field of refugee aid or human trafficking.

Leana Podeszfa

Leana Podeszfa is an MPhil Candidate in Development Studies at the Oxford Department for International Development. She wrote her thesis on the naturalisation of Burundian Refugees in Tanzania. She has previously worked at the International Tracing and Message Service of the British Red Cross and advised refugees and asylum seekers for Amnesty International in Germany. She is currently a graduate intern of the Rights in Exile Programme setting up a network to monitor what happens to failed asylum seekers after they have been deported. After graduation she would like to work internationally focusing on the protection of refugees and forced migrants.

Melanie Armstrong 

Melanie Armstrong is working toward the Graduate Diploma In Law at Oxford Brookes University to graduate in 2013. She is a graduate of Westminster College Oxford with a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Literature. Melanie is a Homeless Prevention Officer at Oxford City Council and has worked as a advisor at Oxford’s Citizens Advice Bureaux.

Nikki West

Nicola Kate Sigrist West gained her undergraduate degree at the University of Sussex in American History and Spanish. She has studied Anthropology and History in Universidad Pontificia Catolica de Chile and taught English in Apollo – International House Language School in Hanoi, Vietnam. She is currently doing a Masters at Oxford Brookes University in Development and Emergency Practice.

Karel Kingsley

Karel is currently pursuing a bachelor degree in Law and Sociology at Oxford Brookes University (UK). She also studied Integrated Social Sciences at Jacobs University Bremen (GER). Karel is new to the legal field and exploring the many aspects of law through a sociological lens. She aspires to have a legal career and use her skills to help those that would benefit from it the most.

Esther Carillo

Esther Heredia is a graduate from Spain in Advertising and Public Relations. She also has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the University Francisco de Vitoria (Spain) and she has worked for Mèdicins sans Frontières and the UNHCR Spanish Committe as Head of Fundraising within the F2F Fundraising Programmes. She is currently pursuing an LLM in International Human Rights at Brookes University (UK) and her aim is to develop a career within the non-profit sector where she can put into practice the skills and knowledge gained over her academic career and working experience.

Edward Mundy

Edward has a BA in Drama and Politics and is currently studying on the Graduate Diploma in Law course at Oxford Brookes University. He has worked with the Rights in Exile Programme since March 2011 and has organised a new team of interns from students in the law department at Oxford Brookes since October 2011. Edward represented the Rights in Exile Programme at the UNHCR Annual Consultations in June 2011.

Maimuna Mohamud

Prior to coming to Oxford, Maimuna has worked on refugee advocacy issues in Western New York. Her experience has mainly focused on volunteering to assist refugees with resettlement in the U.S. Additionally, she worked with the Somali youth groups on community mobilization in Buffalo, New York. Maimuna’s previous academic work has taken her to Toronto and Nairobi where she conducted in-depth interviews with Somali women and examined their civil society organizations in the diaspora. Currently, she is reading for an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. Born in Rome, and having lived in Mogadishu, Cairo and Buffalo, Maimuna believes that the search for ‘home’ is really a quest to find a community united through similar experiences and interests in forced displacement.

Guillaume Cliche-Rivard

Guillaume Cliche-Rivardgained his undergrad in International Law and International Relations at the Quebec University in Montreal (UQAM) in 2011. He is presently a master’s candidate in Development and Emergency Practice (DEP) at the Oxford Brookes University. Guillaume has research experience in international trade law, sustainable development, human rights and more. He has work experience in Canada, Syria and the UK. He speaks French, English, Arabic and Spanish.

Christina Haneef

Christina Haneef completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Sussex in 2009. She has since worked on establishing sustainable educational partnerships between Zambia and the U.K. Whilst in Zambia she launched a social enterprise business and worked on the monitoring and evaluation of HIV/Aids home-based care programmes. She has spent time working with street children in rehabilitabtion centres in Lima, Peru and is currently studying a MA in Development and Emergency Practice at Oxford Brookes.