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Rita Gava

Chief Executive Officer

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.

Alex Millbrook

Immigration Lawyer

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.

Avril Sharp

Immigration Lawyer and Policy Officer

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 reported 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 an 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 Bratek

Immigration Solicitor

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.

Dipa Haria

Immigration Lawyer

Dipa graduated with a law degree from the University of Hertfordshire and is OISC Level 2 registered to provide Immigration advice. She practiced as a commercial lawyer for a few years in Kenya before moving back to the UK. She has worked for various charities over the past 20 years as an Immigration caseworker and has managed a community centre as well. She has led a project dealing with women suffering from domestic violence. Apart from dealing with Immigration law, Dipa has considerable knowledge on social welfare law.

Sophie Levack

Immigration Lawyer and Policy Officer

Sophie graduated with an MA in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. She trained and worked as a Dispute Resolution associate at Baker McKenzie in London. In 2019, she left corporate law to pursue a career in human rights and humanitarian work. Before joining Kalayaan, Sophie studied an LLM in Public International Law at the University of London, volunteered for European Lawyers in Lesvos as an Asylum Lawyer, and worked for the United Nations’ Office of the Victims’ Rights Advocate in New York. At Kalayaan, Sophie provides legal advice and support to domestic workers, and contributes to Kalayaan’s policy work.

Rebecca Hirst

Community Engagement Lead

Rebecca has a BA in English from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies from SOAS, University of London, where she also studied intermediate Urdu. She was a caseworker at Kalayaan for 2 years before taking up this role. She has previously worked as a caseworker for Mind in the borough of Wandsworth and, in voluntary and freelance capacities, with Migrants Organise and Football Beyond Borders. Outside of the charity sector, she has worked as an intervention teaching assistant and a copyeditor at Hurst Publishers.

Dominic Clarke

Freelance English Classes Coordinator

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.


Dr Virginia Mantouvalou


Virginia Mantouvalou is Professor of Human Rights and Labour Law at University College London (UCL). She works on legal and philosophical aspects of labour rights and other human rights. She has published extensively on the rights of domestic workers, workers’ exploitation, structural injustice, capabilities theory, privacy and free speech at work, protection from unfair dismissal, the right to work, the rights of undocumented workers, modern slavery. She is on the editorial board of the Stanford Studies in Human Rights, articles co-editor of the Modern Law Review, co-editor of the UK Labour Law Blog and the Studies in Law and Social Justice and was joint editor of Current Legal Problems. She has held visiting positions at Georgetown University Law Centre in Washington DC and the Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

Her most recent co-edited book on the Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law (with Hugh Collins and Gillian Lester) was published by OUP in 2018. For her research, she has been funded through various awards, such as an AHRC grant and a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. She has also received the UCL Provost Public Engagement Award for her research with Kalayaan. She has worked as specialist advisor to the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights and as consultant for the ILO and the Council of Europe.

Alison Harvey


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.

Silvia Hill


Gabriel Ephraim


Myriam Cherti


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.

Natalie Sedacca


Dr Natalie Sedacca is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Exeter. Natalie’s PhD, completed in 2021 at University College London (UCL), analyses the legal position of domestic workers and their frequent exclusion from protective labour law legislation, criticising this exclusion based on human
rights standards. Her PhD includes case studies on Chile and the UK with empirical work in each.
Prior to joining Exeter, Natalie worked as a Teaching Fellow at UCL and Queen Mary University of London. Natalie has also been a Research Volunteer for Kalayaan, conducting interviews with domestic workers and co-writing the 2019 report Dignity, Not Destitution: The Impact of Differential Rights to Work for Migrant Domestic Workers’ with Avril Sharp. Before entering academia, Natalie spent nine years in legal ractice, including seven as a qualified solicitor, specialising in claims against the police and public authorities.

Pauline Uwins


Pauline Uwins is an experienced Compliance Officer and Auditor within the financial services sector having worked at three of the largest Global and European banks . Her main areas of focus include mitigating conduct risk, promoting fair customer outcomes and identifying and investigating financial market abuse and money laundering. Her career has included managing operational and governance risk and she has prepared papers for Board and Audit Committees.

Hugh Collins


Hugh Collins is the Cassel Professor of Commercial Law at the London School of Economics. Formerly he was the Vinerian Professor of English Law at All Souls College, University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple. He studied law at the University of Oxford and Harvard Law School. One of his main areas of research and teaching is employment law. He has published several books in the field, including Employment Law 2nd edn (Oxford University Press), Labour Law 2nd edn (with KD Ewing and A. McColgan) (Cambridge University Press) and Justice in Dismissal (Oxford University Press). His most recent research has focussed on the law of indirect discrimination and also the impact of human rights law on the content and enforcement of employment law rights of workers.

Julieta Gadayan


Julieta is a migrant domestic worker. Originally from the Philippines, she migrated abroad in order to support her family. She has experience in domestic work, including childcare, fashion and textiles, as well as retail experience at the Co-op. Julieta is currently working as a carer to a family in North London. She is keen to make sure Kalayaan is centring the experiences and needs of migrant domestic workers across their work and strategic objectives.

Contact Us

St Francis of Assisi Community Centre
13 Hippodrome Place London W11 4SF

T 0207 243 2942

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About Us

Kalayaan was established in 1987 to provide advice, advocacy and support services in the UK for migrant domestic workers. We are NOT involved in helping people to come to the UK from another country. Migrant domestic workers are people who have entered the UK legally with an employer on a domestic worker visa to work in a private household.

The information in this website is for general guidance on your rights and responsibilities as a domestic worker in the UK and is not intended as legal advice on specific situations and should not be relied on as a source of legal advice. If you need more details on your rights or legal advice about what action to take, please contact Kalayaan or a solicitor.

Kalayaan endeavours to ensure the content of this website is accurate and up to date but does not accept any liability any loss, damage or inconvenience arising as a consequence of any use of or the inability to use any information on this website.

Kalayaan accepts no responsibility for the contents of linked websites. Links should not be taken as endorsement of any kind. Kalayaan has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

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