DESK & FIELD RESEARCHERS
Refugee Rights Europe's pool of researchers supports the work of the organisation on an ad hoc basis. Our researchers are deployed to the field, conduct desk research for reports and advocacy activities, and/or support the successful coordination of research studies on the ground.
Miriam holds a degree in Development Studies from the University of Vienna. She is currently working as a TV-journalist in Austria covering issues of international conflict, migration and asylum in different contexts. Both as a researcher and journalist, Miriam has been dealing with refugee issues over the past few years. She is specialized in the Afghan diaspora and, in this context, especially interested in questions of identity and gender. Miriam is fluent in German, English and Dari.
Christy's background lies primarily in public health research and social inclusion in a non-profit context. As a PhD candidate at University of Sheffield working on access to health services for migrant and minority ethnic populations in Europe, she is trained in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Having previously contributed towards research on the practice of female genital mutilation amongst African migrants in Belgium, she has also volunteered and worked in frontline health services and served vulnerable patients such as refugees, the homeless and those in poor mental health. She holds a master’s degree in Public Health from Imperial College London and an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science from King’s College London.
Cristina Cardarelli has a strong background in International Relations, with a focus on human rights, an MSc in International Relations Theory from LSE and a MA in Human rights and Democracy in the MENA region from EIUC. In the past years, she has collaborated with different NGOs in South Asia and worked as trainee at the European Parliament, DG EPRS. She has also worked as Assistant Campaigns Coordinator in a NGO based in Paris, helping the coordination of international human rights campaigns. As a human right researcher, she has worked in Palestine, in collaboration with Birzeit University, and in Jordan, where she focused on the refugee crisis. She has been with Refugee Rights Europe since the beginning of the organisation, working as a field researcher in France and Greece. She is currently working as Project and Communication Officer at the Italian Cooperation Office in Burkina Faso, as part of the UN Fellowship Program.
Karen Diop is a French researcher currently based in Dakar, Senegal and working within the World Food Programme (WFP). She holds a Bachelor degree in Economics and Political Science, a postgraduate diploma in Management and recently graduated with an MSc in Leadership and Development from King's College London. Her interest in gender and migration issues led her to work with Refugee Rights Europe in 2016 during its pilot phase, in the Calais refugee camp. As part of her work with WFP, Karen is now developing her expertise and understanding of food security, nutrition and challenges faced by displaced people.
Sandra El Gemayel
Sandra is a PhD Candidate at UCL, Institute of Education in London. Her research focuses on the impact of armed conflict and displacement on the childhood and play of young Iraqi and Syrian child refugees in Lebanon. With an MA in Early Years Education and experience volunteering with refugees and internally displaced persons, Sandra is interested in work and research related to children’s rights, constructions of childhood, and the understanding of play in the early years, specifically in refugee populations, helping to make young refugee children’s voices heard.
Giulia Fagotto is Junior Programme Officer for the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in Brussels. She holds a Masters in International Relations and Democratic Governance with a major in Human Rights in the MENA region. Her passion for travelling took her around the Mediterranean where she worked in governmental, non-governmental and consultancy organisations engaged in human rights protection and migration issues.
Musashi is originally from Japan but currently based in Jordan where he's supporting an NGO project providing safe play and learning spaces for children in a refugee camp. He has a solid background working with children, both as a practitioner and a researcher - he completed several research projects focusing on the meaning of play in childhood in Japan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and France. He has worked with Refugee Rights Europe as a volunteer coordinator and a field researcher in France and Greece. He holds an MA in Education and International Development from UCL, Institute of Education.
Smret is a soon to be MSc student in Ethnic and Migrations Studies at the Linköping university (LiU) Sweden. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Eritrea Institute of Technology majoring in History. She held several positions in governmental and non governmental sectors and joined Refugee Rights Europe as a field researcher and translator in 2018.
Candace is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology and Development Studies at SOAS in London. She has been a key member of the Refugee Rights Europe team since 2016, being involved in crucial work such as interpretation, translation and field research.
Gemma is a current research intern at both the British Red Cross and the Institute for Research into Superdiversity, based at the University of Birmingham. She holds an LLB from the University of Edinburgh, and an MSc from UCL’s School of Public Policy, during which she conducted research on the experiences of resettled Syrian refugees in the UK. Gemma previously worked at the Refugee Council as a project worker for the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme.
Lizzie is about to begin an MA at King’s College London in Conflict, Security and Development. She has just finished her degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Exeter where she wrote her dissertation exploring how the militarisation of aid in Afghanistan impacted communication between humanitarian actors and non-state armed groups. She has worked in the development sector in Thailand and has worked across India as a Field Evaluator for GlobalGiving.
Until 2003, Luke was working as a mathematician, teaching subject matters such as statistics for business and history of mathematics, mainly at King's College London. He published a textbook for Oxford University Press in 2005, and subsequently completed an LLM in Human Rights at Birkbeck in 2010-2012. In 2015 and 2016, Luke was part of a group that travelled to Calais, bringing supplies, raising money and holding the conferences in solidarity with the camp residents. Luke continues to write and advocate in support of refugee rights, and does voluntary work for the Islington Law Centre and for Safe Passage.
Salma gained ample experience volunteering in refugee contexts in Greece in 2016, where she provided communication services in Arabic to help disseminate information and provide advice. She communicated effectively with women who had been widowed, who were survivors of shipwrecks or explosions, and with unaccompanied minors. She has moreover supported Refugee Rights Europe with translation work since March 2016, and was a researcher during the study relating to women in displacement in November 2017.
Huruy J. Kidane
Huruy holds a MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a BA in Development Studies and International Relations from the University of Westminster. He is also a Masters candidate at the University of Oxford for the coming academic year. His interests lie in state building, migration and ethnicity in the Horn of Africa. Huruy has worked with minorities in the UK, from Fundraising for the Hornsey Trust to working with refugees and translating for local councils. He currently hold an Employment and Integration Advisor position with Breaking Barriers.
Lauren is a doctor with a strong interest in human rights, particularly related to refugees and asylum-seekers. Throughout university, she has been involved in developing volunteering schemes for refugees and working on research to improve support for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the UK. She has previously worked with NGOs in France and Greece to provide healthcare in refugee camps and is currently involved in starting up a charity to increase youth advocacy for refugee-related issues. Lauren is particularly interested in research examining existing frameworks for refugees and assessing areas that may require more support. She is fluent in French and English.
Phoebe Ramsay holds a BA in Anthropology and has a background in ethnographic and archaeological consulting. She has been committed to the grassroots humanitarian response in Greece since 2015. As independent volunteer coordinator at Idomeni in 2016 she played a critical role in supporting the grassroots emergency response to the humanitarian crisis in Northern Greece caused by the closure of the Balkan Route, and in 2017 she was funded by UK charity HelpRefugees to lead the development of humanitarian aid and community development projects in Koutsochero refugee camp in Central Greece, as the field coordinator for a small volunteer organization, Intervolve. She is currently based in Canada, working as a research associate for the University of Victoria, and continues to organize around refugee and migrant justice issues.
Rita has been working with Refugee Rights Europe since spring 2017. Her family were refugees themselves - they fled to Finland shortly after the Gulf War. She then moved to England, and studied a first-class Bachelor's degree in International Relations and has thereafter completed a Graduate Diploma in Law. In 2015, she started working in the Refugee Council as a volunteer administrator, and after a year she moved on to a volunteer adviser role at the Notre Dame Refugee Centre. She has helped organisations like Safe Passage, Help Refugees and most lately Lawyers in Lesvos with translation into Sorani Kurdish. Rita speaks fluent English, Finnish, Kurdish and now Spanish after volunteering in the Dominican Republic since February 2018.
Mouska was born in Afghanistan, but grew up in the Netherlands where she is still living. She is currently studying a Master in International Migration and Refugee law as well as a Master in Dutch Governance Law. Next to that she is working as a legal advisor in an NGO for undocumented migrants. Mouska has been part of the Refugee Rights Europe team since 2016, where she contributed in field studies in Greece and Paris.
Elisa has a BA in Social Anthropology from SOAS and an MA in Anthropology of Development from the University of Sussex. She has worked as a research consultant on a variety of evaluations and research projects for DFID, the Norwegian Refugee Council, UNICEF, WFP, Mekong Migration Network, Sport England and the University of Sussex. She also volunteered in Calais between 2015 and 2016 with the Hummingbird Project and she is now a trustee of the charity. She has published her independent research on volunteers in Calais on peer reviewed journals, and she is hoping to continue this research in the future.
Londeka Mthethwa is a researcher based in Washington, D.C. She majored in Foreign Affairs with a concentration in the Middle East and North Africa and graduated with a B.A. from the University of Virginia. She is interested in international issues of human rights related to asylum seekers and refugees. She writes reports related to European and international standards applicable to asylum in Europe. For the past three years, she's periodically volunteered and conducted field research in Italy, Germany, and France.
Helena Eynon holds a masters’ degree in international law and human rights from the University of Westminster. She has a strong background in development and now works in communications for a leading law firm based in central London. Helena is also a freelance writer, editor and researcher, with a special interest in law, human rights and the health of displaced and vulnerable populations.
Luning is a listener, traveller, and an advocate for free speech, peace, and human rights. She holds a Bachelor in Media Studies at University of California, Berkeley, and a Master in International Peace Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. She finishes her Master dissertation with first-class honors exploring how the practice of propaganda art narrated the basic rationale of the government’s Utopian visions towards its culturally-based human rights practice in China. She’s been working in the Communications field at an NGO that works to provide long term support to women and their children in developing countries. She’s passionate about social justice and universal human rights for all, regardless of race, gender, and social status. She hopes to listen to people’s voice, and has a voice that people listen to.
Isabella Kirwan is a London-based researcher and holds an LLB Law degree and an LLM Masters degree in Public International Law. She works for the Public Law/Human Rights Department of a law firm in London, where she brings legal challenges against the UK Government's immigration policies in relation to refugee and displaced peoples rights. Isabella has worked with the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva (OHCHR), at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and the Refugee Legal Protection Team at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) in London. Isabella has also worked for several charities and NGOs in the UK and abroad.