The team of Alignment for Dignity consists of the following members


Anssi is a Finnish 24-year-old student, studying his second year in the Master’s Programme of Human Security at Aarhus University, Denmark and currently conducting field research for his master’s thesis in Malta. He received his BA in international relations from the University of Lapland, Finland in 2013 writing his thesis about the securitization of migration in EU’s southern borders in the aftermath of Libya’s conflict in 2011. Anssi has been following migration-related discussion especially in Northern Europe for few years and now he is collecting first-hand experiences from the Mediterranean context. His current research interests include the realisation of refugees’ rights, migrants’ perceptions of security and integration. Anssi decided to join “Alignment for Dignity” as he thinks that migration discussion has been framed mainly with the voices of public authorities and perceptions although there should be more space for migrants’ own voices. He hopes that “Alignment for Dignity” could work out as a platform to raise awareness also of migrants’ side when discussing migration.


Ása is born in Iceland and currently a master student in a Erasmus Mundus program called Migration Studies and Intercultural Relations. She is interested in various topics related to migration in particular, forced migration, gender and migration, refugee and asylum policies in small nations and lastly, welfare policies and migration.


Cornelia’s interest for refugee and asylum issues has sparked during her European Voluntary Service in Athens. For her Bachelor thesis in International and European Law at the University of Groningen (NL), she assessed in more detail the EURODAC database and its possible availability to national law enforcement authorities and what this means for the right to data protection and asylum seekers. During my Master at Leiden University (NL) in European Law, she had the possibility to look more closely at the qualification directive for the status of refugees and subsidiary protection. She hopes to be able to research more in this field and to gain more practical experiences.


Dominik holds a pre-diploma in political science and currently studies international relations BA at the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Science. He further participated in the summer program of the Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies at the Galilee Institute in Israel in 2013. His major concern is the Middle East, specially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Egypt, and the situation in Syria and Iraq.


Irina is a Colombian-German contributor and member of Alignment for Dignity. After highschool she worked for a refugee project with unaccompanied minors in Munich. Since then she has been interested in the tensions between European Union law and international human rights law, particularly in the field of asylum. In 2014 she finished her LLB (Hons) in International and European Law at the University of Groningen. Starting in October, she will be working as a volunteer in a refugee centre in Athens. From there she will be reporting about the situation of refugee rights in Greece.


James first became concerned with the plight of Sudanese refugees settled in Australia while completing a BA International Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne. Abhorred by the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees by successive governments his native Australia, James recently completed a MA Public Policy at King’s College London where he studied the externalisation and privatisation of asylum control mechanisms. Having been involved with various asylum seeker groups, James is inspired by grass roots refugee and asylum seeker welfare and advocacy organisations and is interested in the political and social factors which shape different governments’ approach to asylum seeker processing and resettlement.


Leonie is interested in asylum and refugee policy since her work in an asylum detention center in France, 2009. From then on she has been involved with the issue in different ways, both as an academic and activist. She has been conducting research on migrant movements in Morocco, participating in a variety of groups and summer schools. This summer she obtained her BA International Relations and Organisation from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


Lily started to be concerned about the topic of refugee and asylum when the European Union’s policy on the matter turned increasingly more security-based and conclusively resulted in a vast increase of human rights violation for refugee and asylum seekers. She has attended various courses on European Union law, Human Rights Law as well as Refugee and Asylum Law. Lily holds a LLB (Hons) International and European Law and LLM Criminal Law and Criminal Law and Criminology from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Currently she is a PhD Candidate at Middlesex University London.


Lukas is a student of Global Refugee Studies MA in Copenhagen. His interest and passion for this subject arose mainly after finishing his Bachelor in International Relations and working in the field of migration and human trafficking for a year. Besides grass-root activism, mainly his work for the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation and the German NGO Network against trafficking in Human Beings had a strong impression on him and added valuable experiences and skills to his understanding of international migration and refugee studies. His research focusses mainly on the EU border regime and international as well as German asylum law.


Mehari has been working with refugee community in Ireland since 2005. Previously, he also worked with Labour Coordinating Council, Ireland drafting policy and advocating the rights and protection of asylum seekers and refugees and for Benjamin N. CARDOZO school of Law, New York. Mehari holds a LLB (Law and European Studies, University of Limerick, Ireland) as well as a variety of Master degrees, including a MA in International Development Practice (Mary Immaculate College, Ireland), MA in Peacebuilding (Coventry University, England), MSc in Sociology of Law and European Law (Lund University, Sweden), MA in Criminal Justice, Governance and Police Science (Bochum University, Germany), MA in Governance and Political Transformation (University of Free State, South Africa) and Masters in European Studies (CCITABEL and University of Louvain, Belgium). Mehari was motivated to be part of the group because he believes that the Refugee crisis in Europe is something that needs a serious consideration in the European parliament and beyond. Moreover, he hopes that as a group that we can also lobby to the European Commission for more humanitarian assistance granted to genuine refugees in the European Union.


Mogos holds a LLB from Asmara University, Eritrea and a LLM Criminal Law and Criminology from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He served as National Coordinator of Community Courts in Eritrea. His areas of interest include human rights, criminal law, migration and refugees.


Nadine is interested in this network because she strives for equality for all people, no matter who they are, where they come from, what they dream of etc. In her opinion everyone deserves respect because respect (or lets call it even dignity or, in broader terms, empathy) is connected to the human condition. She studied international and human rights law and now she is very motivated to apply her knowledge into practice.


Paul is 22 years old and currently writing his bachelor thesis in political science at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. His initial connection with the subject of migration is coming through emotional experiences of injustice. Wherever he has been, be it in the refugee movement in Berlin or on the border of Ceuta, he saw the injustice and racism which refugees suffered from. These experiences were enriched by his studies in political science, which gave his emotional concern an scientific foundation. Mainly through his obsession with photography, media and politics he tries to raise awareness and he views “Alignment for Dignity” as an useful platform to do this.


Phil is  22 years old and currently studying International Relations and Organisation at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
Migration and refugee policy is a field he is very interested in because he views it as a subject, which is highly contemporary. It is one of his goals to return the topic within the public debate particularly in the Netherlands. In his opinion, most of the debates regarding migration or asylum policy are based on bias, wrong information and stereo types. Networks like “Alignment for Dignity” contribute to greater awareness and a more objective debate.  That is the reason why he decided to join this international information network.


Sebastian is specializing in politics and religion in Middle Eastern societies, with a focus on issues relating to power and legitimacy. He holds a B.A. in Asian Studies and an M.A. in Religions and Art in Asian Cultures. Since his graduation, he has been working in the field of development cooperation. Among other reasons, he joined Alignment for Dignity out of concern over the hostile discourse on migrants and refugees in many Western societies.


Sofie is a student of Middle Eastern Society and Language (Arabic) at University of Copenhagen, Denmark with a great interest in asylum, migration and integration in a European context. She is currently doing an internship with the Danish Red Cross Youth assisting on the DRCY MENA-programme. Further she wishes to combine her knowledge of Middle Eastern society, culture and language with a degree in international migration in order to work with Arabic-speaking refugees in Europe.


Valeria is a Master of Public Policy Candidate from Berlin. She has a strong academic interest in migration policies in Europe, particularly concerning the Western Balkans. She has worked with various actvist groups supporting refugees in Berlin.


After finishing his Licentiate’s Degree in Law at the University of Valladolid, Víctor obtained the Postgraduate Certificate in Education, since teaching is one of his passions.  In 2011, he decided to complete his higher education by undertaking a LLM in International Law and the Law of International Organizations at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands). In that period, he became a friend of a gay refugee from Uganda, who had just been rejected asylum protection by the Netherlands. He had already decided to write his thesis in the field of refugee and asylum law. Personal experience made him continuously brought him back to the problems of refugees for reason of their sexual orientation, which also ended up being the topic for his LLM thesis. Back in Spain, he co-founded the first LGBT association in his city, “Chiguitxs LGTB+” and he is the Legal Affairs Manager of “Podemos Palencia”, a new political party, and member of its Executive Concil. His sole purpose is to build a more humane society.