Tag Archives: Centre for Social Justice and Change

Event at UEL: The rights of women seeking asylum: The role of research and civic engagement in securing the rights of women to protection

MA in Refugee Studies
Feminist Research Group
Centre for Social Justice and Change
Seminar & Lecture Series

The rights of women seeking asylum:
The role of research and civic engagement in securing the rights of women to protection

Date: Monday, December 15, 2014
Time: 6 to 8 pm
Room: EB.G 07, Docklands Campus

All welcome!

Debora Singer MBE
Policy and Research Manager, Asylum Aid
Gabriella Bettiga
Immigration Solicitor, Lawrence Lupin Solicitors

This seminar engages with the question of how to secure the rights of women seeking asylum. In doing so, it examines why women’s experiences of persecution have tended to be excluded from the dominant interpretation of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and explores why women are often unable to benefit equitably from protection under the Refugee Convention. In the past decade, Asylum Aid has been working, lobbying and campaigning to secure the rights of women to protection under the Geneva Convention. Asylum Aid is a NGO based in London which provides free legal representation to asylum seekers and has a national profile in the UK.  Its Women’s Project, set up in 2000, aims to enable women fleeing serious human rights violations to gain protection in the UK through its casework, research, lobbying and campaigning. By discussing their work, the seminar will point to the way in which research and civic engagement can gradually bring the change and improve the lives of women seeking asylum.

Debora Singer is Policy and Research Manager at Asylum Aid where she has worked since May 2004.  She manages the Women’s Project and lobbies and campaigns on issues affecting women asylum seekers.  As part of this work, Debora launched the Charter of rights of women seeking asylum in 2008, to persuade the UK to adopt a gender sensitive asylum system.

Before joining Asylum Aid, Debora worked as Policy Manager at Victim Support focusing on issues of sexual violence, domestic violence and human rights as they affected victims of crime.  In 2006 she obtained a distinction for her Masters degree in Refugee Studies at University of East London. Asylum Aid published her MA Dissertation research on women asylum seekers and international human rights mechanisms, which has had an impact on various campaigns and policy documents. Debora has become well known for her persistence and enthusiasm in lobbying strategically and achieving long term impacts. A well-respected campaigner, responsible for a series of creative campaigns on the rights of women seeking asylum Debora was awarded an MBE for services to women in the 2012 New Year Honours List.

Her most recent publications include chapters in edited volumes: Gender in Refugee Law: From the Margins to the Centre, Arbel, E. et al. Eds. Routledge 2014; and Moving in the Shadows: Violence in the lives of minority women and children, Rehman, Y. et al. Eds. Ashgate 2013.

Gabriella Bettiga, is an Immigration Solicitor at Lawrence Lupin Solicitors since 2003. She is Head of the firm’s Supervisors, as well as Manager of the fast-track and detention scheme. She is in charge of the firm’s training programme and regularly delivers training courses.

Her private casework has included the points-based system as well as human rights, asylum and outside-the-rules applications. She also regularly deals with Judicial Reviews and Court of Appeal matters. Gabriella studied an LLM in Human Rights (in particular the rights of the child), Islamic law, Immigration and Asylum law at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Gabriella is a Trustee at Asylum Aid and a member of the Women’s Project Committee promoting the Women’s Asylum Charter. She has been involved with various NGOs in several projects and policy work in relation to gender issues in asylum claims and detention.


UEL Symposium – Young people: Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking

The Centre for Social Justice and Change, School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London, is pleased to announce the symposium:

Young People, Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking


Professor Jenny Pearce Director of the International Centre Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking, University of Bedfordshire
‘Young people, child sexual exploitation and trafficking: critical issues from research and practice’

Katriona Ogilvy-Webb Team Manager, Barnardo’s London Service for Sexually Exploited, Missing and Trafficked Children
‘Exploring the influences that impact on children’s and young people’s perceived normalization of Child Sexual Exploitation.’

Wednesday 30th April, 4-6pm
University of East London
University Square, I Salway Road, Stratford, E15 1NF
Room G20

Please find the detailed programme in attachment and feel free to circulate.
You are all warmly invited to attend.
If you have any enquiry please contact: Anna Marsden (marsden2@uel.ac.uk<mailto:marsden2@uel.ac.uk>)


Symposium: 21st Century London Outcasts Austerity and its Impact on Refugee Families Living in London (5 Feb. 2014)

Centre for Social Justice and Change
MA in Refugee Studies
School of Law and Social Sciences
University of East London
are pleased to announce the symposium

21st Century London Outcasts
Austerity and its Impact on Refugee Families Living in London

The symposium is organized in collaboration with: Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland, University of Edinburgh Department of Sociology, University of Leicester

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 2:30 – 5:15 pm
University of East London
Docklands Campus East Building,
Ground Floor Room EB.G16
[Downloadable Version:   21st century outcasts – UEL symposium]

In light of the findings of recent research project ‘Welfare Reforms and Their Impacts on Refugee Families Living in London’, this symposium will bring together academics, policy makers, practitioners and local activists to explore and debate the ways in which the current economic crisis and austerity measures are impacting on new refugee families in the United Kingdom. Recent changes to the welfare system have made welfare more inaccessible and exclusionary, leaving many refugee families without sufficient support to meet their basic living needs. Presenters will explore welfare reform’s implications for refugee families and examine grassroots efforts to mitigate the effects of austerity on migrant groups. Participants will be invited to consider what role third sector organisations can play in responding to austerity and how these agencies can be supported in their work with refugees and their families.
14.00 Registration

14.30 Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dr Maja Korac-Sanderson
Co-Director Centre for Social Justice and Change
Co-Leader MA in Refugee Studies

Plenary talks Chair:
Professor Hilary Sommerlad, University of Birmingham

14.45 Report on Findings from the Welfare Reforms and Their Impacts on Refugee Families Living in London research project
Ms Indira Kartallozi, Director, Chrysalis Family Futures

15.15 Austerity and Social Justice: A Critical Analysis
Dr. Akwugo Emejulu, University of Edinburgh and Dr. Leah Bassel, University of Leicester

15.30 Plenary Discussion
Chair: Professor Hilary Sommerlad, University of Birmingham 16.00 Coffee Break

16.15 Looking to the Future for Refugee Families: The Third Sector in Uncertain Times
Facilitator: Professor Hilary Sommerlad, University of Birmingham

17.00 Closing remarks
Professor Hilary Sommerlad, University of Birmingham Ms Indira Kartallozi, Director, Chrysalis Family Futures

17:15 Close

Please note spaces are limited. To book a place and for further information contact: Julia Layzell (j.layzell@uel.ac.uk)


Dr. Leah Bassel is a New Blood Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester. Her research interests include the political sociology of gender, migration, race and citizenship and intersectionality. She is the author of ‘Refugee Women: Beyond Gender versus Culture’ (2012) and her work has also been published in journals including Politics & Gender, Ethnicities, Government and Opposition, French Politics. She is an Assistant Editor of the journal of Citizenship Studies.

Dr. Akwugo Emejulu is a Lecturer at the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh and a Co-Director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland. Her primary research interests are in two areas: investigating racial and gender inequalities in a comparative perspective and exploring the dynamics of social welfare political mobilisations in Europe and America. Her monograph, ‘Community Development as Micropolitics: Comparing Theories, Policies and Politics in America and Britain’ will be published by Policy Press in 2015.

Ms Indira Kartallozi is Director of Chrysalis Family Futures, a social enterprise working in collaboration with charities and agencies to provide intensive support services to vulnerable families and children. Indira has 15 years experience as a senior advice worker on welfare rights, housing and immigration for homeless families, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. In 2012-13 Indira did a MA in Refugee Studies at the School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London. The ‘Welfare Reforms and Their Impacts on Refugee Families Living in London’ project was her MA Dissertation research, which she successfully completed in September 2013. Originally from Kosova, Indira arrived as a refugee in the UK in 1992.

Dr. Hilary Sommerlad is Professor of Law, Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research (CEPLER) at the University of Birmingham. She is Articles Editor of Legal Ethics, serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Law and Society and the International Journal of the Legal Profession, and is a member of several international research groups. She practised as a legal aid lawyer, and this experience is reflected in her research interests; these include the cultural practices of the professional workplace, diversity in the legal profession, and legal aid and access to justice. She has published widely on these issues; her most recent papers on legal aid are (with Sanderson, P) ‘Colonising Law for the poor: reconfiguring legal advice in the new regulatory state’ in V. Bryson & P. Fisher (eds) Redefining Social Justice: New Labour Rhetoric and Reality (Manchester, Manchester University Press 2011), and ‘Access to justice and the Big Society: rising need, individual responsibilization and the commercialisation of the voluntary sector’ Journal of Social Work and Family Law (forthcoming).