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.
Josie joined Kalayaan in July 2015. Her role is to provide direct advice and support to migrant domestic workers. Josie graduated with a BA in Geography from the University of Birmingham and an MA in Human Rights from University College London (UCL). She has over five years’ experience in providing advice and support to migrants and other vulnerable groups in the UK. Before working for Kalayaan, Josie worked as an Asylum Advisor for Migrant Help. Prior to this she has worked in advisor and advocacy roles with Refugee Action, Refugee Council and Victim Support.
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 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.
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.
Rob is a partner at a city law firm and has been involved in Kalayaan since 2012.
David retired in June 2006 as Director of Anti-Slavery International, for which he worked from 1991 as fundraiser, campaigner and Deputy Director. He is currently Chair of GoodWeave UK and Treasurer of ECPAT UK and of ECPAT International.
He has been closely involved with UK and international campaigning on issues of the commercial sexual exploitation of children and the use of bonded child labour in the hand knotted carpet industries of South Asia. He helped to establish ECPAT UK and GoodWeave UK to work on these issues. He was a member of the Board of the Ethical Trading Initiative and Chair of its NGO Caucus; a UK based group that brings together companies, trade unions and non governmental organisations to set common standards for companies trading in the South.
He is author of a chapter on “Trafficking and International Law” in the Political Economy of New Slavery published by Palgrave in 2004, and of a report on the Cocoa Industry in West Africa – A History of Exploitation published by Anti-Slavery International in 2004.
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.