Rita has an M.Sc. in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh. She has been Director at Kalayaan since 2005. Her role includes management, fundraising, and direct support and advice to migrant domestic workers in the UK. Prior to working at Kalayaan, Rita worked in the campaign department of another NGO, supporting the land rights of indigenous people.
Avril graduated with a law degree from the University of Kent. She originally trained as an immigration lawyer at Wilson Solicitors, specialising in representing victims of trafficking, torture and gender based persecution. Avril worked on challenges to decisions relying on incorrect application of Home Office policies including the case of Mutesi v SSHD. Avril moved to the Poppy Project in 2015 where she was part of the legal team helping the charity act as intervenor in the Detained Fast Track litigation. Avril joined Kalayaan in May 2016 as a level 3 OISC advisor providing direct advice and support to domestic workers. She is also leading on Kalayaan’s policy and campaign work to better improve the conditions and protections of domestic workers in the UK.
Marta graduated with a Masters Degree in Law from University of Wroclaw in Poland. Subsequently she completed Graduated Diploma in Law in South Bank University and Legal Practice Course in the University of West England. Marta trained in immigration law in Immigration Advisory Service after she became LSC Level 2 accredited in 2008. Further Marta trained in immigration and public law in Duncan Lewis Solicitors where she qualified as a solicitor in 2015. Her focus was on representing victims of human trafficking in both applications for being recognised as victims of human trafficking and for international protection. She represented a lead claimant who was a victim of trafficking in a group litigation challenge to the Detained Asylum Casework system. She took a part in a challenge of removals to Poland under Dublin III Convention which included a fact finding mission in Poland.
Alex graduated with an MA in Modern History from St. Hilda’s College Oxford and then qualified as a barrister. She practised in family, criminal and employment law before joining the Government Legal Service where she worked at the Court of Appeal and later at DEFRA. She spent 16 years in Hong Kong where she worked at and later chaired a charity that provided legal advice for migrant domestic workers, chiefly in employment and immigration law. She has also provided support to prisoners’ families and the homeless in volunteer roles.
Dominic has been a contractor for Kalayaan since 2015. He oversees the provision of the English classes for our service users. He previously taught English to migrant domestic workers on Sundays with the Workers’ Educational Association. He has over 10 years experience of teaching ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages – publicly funded classes) to refugees and immigrants in community settings throughout London. He holds an Advanced Diploma in Education (Applied Linguistics) from the Open University. In addition, he has supported asylum seekers and has a particular interest in issues around immigration detention.
Virginia Mantouvalou is Reader in Human Rights and Labour Law at University College London (UCL) and Co-Director of the UCL Institute for Human Rights. She is also joint editor of Current Legal Problems. Before joining UCL, she taught at the University of Leicester and the London School of Economics. She has also been Dean’s Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University Law Centre in Washington DC.
Virginia conducts research on human rights, labour law and European law, and has published extensively on the exploitation and the rights of domestic workers. She completed her PhD in Law at the London School of Economics. She has received several scholarships and awards for her research, including an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant to work on theoretical aspects of social and labour rights. Virginia has also worked as a consultant for projects of the International Labour Organisation. She is on the management board of Kalayaan and of the Equal Rights Trust. For further information on her research on domestic labour and other related issues, see here.
Alison Harvey has returned to practice from the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association where she was General Secretary, then Legal Director.
She trains, lectures and writes widely on immigration, asylum, nationality and human rights law. She is a contributor to Fransman’s British Nationality Law and to Macdonald’s Immigration law and Practice.
She has worked in the UK and overseas, representing clients before the Home Office, tribunals and courts, including working at the Refugee Legal Centre, Asylum Aid, and South West Law. She has worked with refugees, the internally displaced and the trafficked for the UN in West Africa, Darfur and Azerbaijan. She has worked extensively on the development of immigration law and policy in the UK, advising those lobbying on, and challenging, a total of nine immigration Acts (to date) as well as on the development of the points-based system and the immigration aspects of Brexit. Recent training credits include ‘The Immigration Act 2016’, ‘Nationality Law is Fun’ and ‘Advanced Naturalisation’ for the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association and ‘Trafficking: identifying and assisting victims’ for Free Movement.
Alison is co-chair of the Trustees of Kalayaan and led in its work with its legal team for its intervention in the Supreme Court in the Reyes case.
Alison has been appointed Special Advisor to the Joint Committee on Human Rights for its enquiry Detention of Windrush Generation.
Myriam Cherti is a National Officer at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) of the United Nations. Prior to that a she was a Senior Researcher at Oxford University’s COMPAS, where she worked four years. Her areas of expertise include irregular migration, migrant integration, diaspora politics and Moroccan migration. From 2009 to 2013, Myriam was Senior Researcher at the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IPPR) where she led several projects, including “Beyond Irregularity,” a major research program on irregular migration. Before that, she worked as a project coordinator at the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum, where she led a project on the oral history of the Moroccan diaspora in the UK. Myriam has also worked as a consultant and researcher on a number of European projects on the integration of ethnic minorities. Myriam holds a Master’s degree in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences and a PhD in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex.
Nuldia Abdurahim was born in the Philippines and has a bachelor degree in nursing. She came to the UK as a domestic worker on the original Overseas Domestic Worker visa and currently works as a carer.