Oxford based

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. 

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. She is planning on attending Law School to earn a J.D. degree with a concentration in International Law and focusing on Migrant and 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. 


Based remotely

Jill Alpes

Post-Deportation Monitoring Network Coordinator

Jill is a legal anthropologist and postdoc researcher at the migration law section VU Amsterdam and the CERI at Sciences Po Paris. Her current research is focused on return related risks for non-admitted migrants and the criminalisation of emigration. Jill holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam, an MA in development studies from Sciences Po Paris, and a BA in history and politics from the University of Sheffield. She is an experienced fieldwork researcher with a variety of sensitive state and non-state actors (e.g. consulate offices, airports, prisons, police posts and migration brokers). She has conducted missions in rural and urban Africa and Asia and has been teaching on human trafficking, development and international politics and migration law. She has been working on vulnerabilities and protection mechanisms for migrants, women and children in collaboration with UNESCO, the IOM, the Samu Social, and PICUM.

Kate Ravin

Kate is working as a consultant in Oxford, evaluating the Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network (SRLAN). Kate Ravin holds a Master of Arts in International Studies from the Korbel School for International Studies (University of Denver) and speaks English and French. While in graduate school, Kate completed an internship at the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and volunteered for a Denver-based NGO that provided pro bono legal services to asylum-seekers. She has over four and a half years of experience in refugee resettlement working with Church World  Service and UNHCR (Uganda, Namibia, Malawi), and has extensive experience working with persons from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Somalia. While at RSC Africa, Kate also accompanied adjudicating officers from United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) on field missions, and reviewed their case decisions. 

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.

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. 

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.


For a list of our past volunteers, please see this list.