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.

Gabriel Bonis

Gabriel Bonis completed his MA in International Relations from Queen Mary, University of London in 2014. In his dissertation, he analysed if the 2008 financial crisis led France and Germany to reduce their average asylum recognition rates between 2008 and 2013. He also holds a Honors Postgraduate degree in Politics and International Relations from the Foundation School of Sociology and Politics of Sao Paulo and a Honors BA in Social Communications/Journalism. He edits a blog of international affairs at CartaCapital magazine, one of the most prominent publications of Brazil, and is a Refugee Caseworker at the British Red Cross in London. Speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish.

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. 

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. 

Vera Wriedt

Vera completed her BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University in 2014. She works as an intern for the Sexual Orientation and Identity (LGBTI) programme and is coordinating Oxford Migrant Solidarity, a group visiting detainees in Campsfield IRC near Oxford. Vera is fluent in English, German, and Spanish, and has good oral and written knowledge of French. Seeking to expand her academic and practical engagement with refugee rights, Vera plans to pursue an LLM in Human Rights with specific focus on refugees next year. 

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. 

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. 

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.