Theonymfi Marianna Makrygiannaki
Marianna is currently reading for her LLM in General Law at Queen Mary with a focus on International Refugee Law. Her dissertation examines whether the law on access to healthcare of asylum seekers in Greece and the UK is compatible with international human rights law. She completed her Law degree (LLB) at the University of Sussex in 2017, where she took a module on Human Rights Law. During her undergraduate studies, she took part in several pro-bono schemes. Marianna is planning to pursue a career in refugee law upon completion of her LLM.
Morgane is currently doing an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. She is focusing on European asylum policies, particularly the ‘hotspot approach’ and its implications for international refugee law. Morgane has a background in political science and sociology, and has previously been conducting research on the Dublin Regulation and issues of hospitality in Calais. She has been engaged in work with detention support groups in the UK and has been a legal advisor in waiting zones at the French border as well as for asylum seekers subjected to the Dublin Regulation in Paris.
Fiona is currently reading for her MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours) from the University of Melbourne in 2012, where she also studied French and Arabic. Her degree was focused on political science, and included a thesis examining the 2011 foreign intervention in Libya through an analysis of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. Since completing these studies, she has worked as a policy officer for the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, where she advised on refugee and immigration policy, amongst other issues. Fiona has previously volunteered with Hagar Australia, which supports survivors of human trafficking in South East Asia and Afghanistan.
Lillie is currently reading for her masters in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. She is focusing on the possibility of isolating trauma's impact on refugees' abilities to process core integration services. Her background is in Anthropology with a focus on Gullah studies, and in Philosophy with a focus on ethics and law. Lillie has worked with immigrants throughout her college career as a mentor to international students, and then as an employment specialist via Americorps for refugees at the International Rescue Committee following her completion of undergraduate studies. She is fiercely committed to the pursuit of equal rights and self-sufficiency for individuals at any point in the flight or resettlement process.
Abeera Arif-Bashir trained as a lawyer in Lahore, Pakistan, participating in relief operations with the United Nations Association of Pakistan directed towards displaced peoples in earthquake-hit areas in 2005 and 2007. Soon after, she moved to London to pursue her Master of Laws from Queen Mary University of London, gaining varied professional and academic experience in matters related to refugee access to legal assistance and refugee agency in political and civic participation. Since graduating Abeera has undertaken professional training and internships to gain casework and field experience with Medical Justice, SOAS Detainee Support, and AVID, and regularly provides support to asylum claimants held at UK detention centres such as Yarl’s Wood, Campsfield House, Colnbrook, and Harmondsworth. Alongside her longstanding interest in cultures of procedural informality in the admittance and integration of refugees in Pakistan, her recent activities have led her to examine and explore the experience of refugees in transit across the Western Balkans. Her findings have been published on platforms such as OpenDemocracy and the Balkanist. Abeera joined the Rights in Exile Programme after undertaking the International Summer School on Refugee Law at the Centre for Refugee and IDP Studies (CESI) at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo. Abeera speaks Urdu, Punjabi, Saraiki, and English, and is fast becoming proficient in Arabic and Pashto.
Having originally graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in Modern History, Jonathan has recently completed an LLM in Immigration Law at Queen Mary University of London, where his dissertation focused on the topic of people smuggling and most particularly the debate over whether humanitarian action has been adversely impacted by legal offences designed to combat people smuggling. Jonathan spent over 20 years as a lawyer in the commercial sector prior to taking up his place on the LLM. Since redirecting his career he has also worked with a number of other organisations active in the refugee and migrant legal sector, with particular focus on assisting those in detention and at risk of deportation.
Sally recently completed an LLM in Human Rights Law LLM at Queen Mary University of London. For part of her studies, Sally focused on Refugee Law. Her dissertation focussed on the adequacy of regulation of the British press, with particular analysis of the rhetoric surrounding refugees and migrants propagated by the British press during EU Referendum and how this impacted both the vote and subsequent levels of hate crime in the UK. Sally is a Solicitor of England and Wales and, prior to embarking on her LLM, she worked as a lawyer in the City of London for a number of years. Sally is keen to progress her career in the field of human rights, and is particularly interested in the plight of refugees. For a number of years, Sally has provided pro bono assistance to various NGOs in the human rights arena, most recently to those concerned with refugees.
Louize Libeert completed her Bachelors in International Politics and Sociology at City University of London, where she focused on refugees and migration. Her dissertation, 'European Normative Power: The Effect on Turkish Asylum Policy', examines the extent accession negotiations shaped Turkey's asylum policy. She is fluent in English, French, and Spanish with basic knowledge of Flemish, and has lived in the United States, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.
Ana-Maria has completed her LL.M in Human Rights Law at Queen Mary University of London and her undergraduate degree in law at Humboldt University Berlin and the European University Viadrina. During her studies she focused on International Refugee and Migration Law, Comparative Social Justice and International Law on the Rights of the Child. Besides this, Ana-Maria has worked for various human rights organisations, including Amnesty International UK and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles. She is fluent in Romanian, English, German and Spanish and has basic knowledge of French language.
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.
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.
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 was a visiting researcher at the Centre for Refugee and IDP Studies (CESI), University of Sarajevo, and a Refugee Caseworker at the British Red Cross in London. Currently he is a refugee researcher in Thessaloniki, Greece. He edits the international affairs website Politike, editorial partner of OxPol, the University of Oxford politics blog.
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.