top of page
Announcing ... (3).png

'Beyond the Mediterranean'

SolidariTee Refugee Week Conference
Saturday 19th June 2021

Themed 'Beyond the Mediterranean', our one-day 2021 Refugee Week Conference seeks to understand and explore forcible displacement outside of the Mediterranean, which all too often receives next to no coverage across the UK's mainstream media.

With a mixture of panel discussions and keynote talks, we will be covering displacement contexts ranging from Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar and internally displaced peoples worldwide, to the UK's own hostile environment. Confirmed speakers include Tun Khin, President of Burmese Rohingya Organisation, Colin Yeo, founder of Free Movement, and Professor Laura Hammond, from the SOAS department of Development Studies. As always, our overriding focus will be on creating open and inclusive dialogue which seeks sustainable, durable solutions to the injustices experienced by all those affected by forced displacement worldwide.

Tickets are available below, either free of charge or on a donation basis. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

Full schedule:

Conference Timetable.png

Speaker lineup includes:

Maryam Taher

Maryam is the Universities of Sanctuary programme Coordinator at City of Sanctuary - a charity that holds the vision that the UK will be a welcoming place of safety for all, and proud to offer sanctuary to people seeking protection in the UK. She is a member of the Equal Access Network at Student Action for Refugees (STAR) and a campaigner for Equal Access to Higher Education. She accessed university as an Asylum Seeker through a Sanctuary scholarship, and is now supporting universities with this vision.

Colin Yeo

Colin is the author of Welcome to Britain: Fixing Our Broken Immigration System, a book examining where we have gone wrong on immigration policy over the last twenty years and setting out some ideas for how to start putting things right.


He is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers in London, edits the Free Movement immigration law blog (, which he founded in 2007, and is a trustee of Asylos, a small charity dedicated to improving the information available to refugees. Before that Colin worked for two charities, the Immigration Advisory Service and Refugee Legal Service.

Shakiul Khan

Mr. Md Shakiul Alam Khan is a Humanitarian worker, Human Rights Activist and Advocate at Chittagong District Judge’s Court, Bangladesh. Currently, he has been working with Danish Refugee Council as a Protection Monitoring officer since February 2019. He holds an LLM in  International law from South Asian University, New Delhi, India with SAARC-Silver Jubilee Scholarship and Post-Graduate Diploma in International Human Rights, Refugee and Humanitarian Law from the Indian Academy of International Law, New Delhi, India. 

Mary Atkinson

Mary is a campaigner with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, a charity that provides immigration advice to people who would otherwise not have access to justice, and campaigns for a fair and just immigration system. Their vision is of a system in which the benefits of migration are celebrated and shared, with no community, migrant or non-migrant, left behind.

Laura Hammond

Laura Hammond is an anthropologist (PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison), her research interests include food security, conflict, forced migration and diasporas. She is Challenge Leader for Security, Protracted Conflict, Refugees and Forced Displacement for the Global Challenges Research Fund, Head of the London International Development Centre's Migration Leadership Team, and Team Leader for the Research and Evidence Facility (Horn of Africa Window) of the European Union Trust Fund for Africa.

Gimena Sanchez

Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli is the leading Colombia human rights advocate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Ms. Sánchez is an expert on peace and illegal armed groups, internally displaced persons, human rights and ethnic minority rights. Her work has shed light on the situation of Colombia’s more than seven million internally displaced persons—as well as help expose the links between Colombia’s government and drug-funded paramilitaries.  

Cecilia Jimenez-Damary

Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary is the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons at the UN Human Rights Council. She is a lawyer in human rights and international humanitarian law specialised in forced displacement and migration. She has over three decades of experience in NGO human rights advocacy for the Asia-Pacific region and teaching experience as an adjunct professor of international human rights and humanitarian law. 

Free Rohingya Coalition

Free Rohingya Coalition is an umbrella network of Rohingya refugees, their leading spokespersons, and international friends working together to end Myanmar genocide.

VOICES Network

Zeraslasie is a former asylum seeker from Eritrea, now works as the VOICES Participation Officer. The UK VOICES Network is an independent group of migrants, experts by experience on refugee and asylum issues. Members share their lived experience and insights to fluence minds, policies and practices. Zeraslasie also worked in the refugee sector for many years.

Khansaa by profession is a Pharmacist, originally from the Sudan, and has lived experience of asylum life in the UK. Khansaa also volunteers for many organisations in the North East, UK including volunteers with British Red Cross supporting migrants, Stockton Business Centre – Learner Forum, the North East Migration Project, and COVID Vaccination Campaign to support vaccine update in the migrant communities.

Micro Rainbow

Micro Rainbow’s vision is to create a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people are free from discrimination, persecution and have equal opportunities in life, including in accessing employment, training, education, financial services, healthcare, housing, places of faith, and public services. They do this by providing safe housing to LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees, facilitating access to employment, volunteering, training and education for LGBTQI refugees, and providing social inclusion activities. 

In addition to presentations from three of our own team members who have written academic dissertations:

Solidaritee team speakers (1).png

Isabella Ponsonby is a final year History, French and Politics student at Newcastle University. This year she has worked as Events Coordinator for the Newcastle branch of SolidariTee. As part of her final year research project, she interviewed volunteers working with refugee women to examine their continued exploitation. She hopes to support refugees in the future as a human rights barrister.

Louisa Cowell is a final year Politics and Philosophy student at the University of Bristol, and a member of the outreach team at SolidariTee. From September she will be studying for an MPhil in Political Theory at the University of Oxford, with a focus in theories of citizenship and nationality, and the ethics of migration. 

Rosie Richards is studying for an MA in Near and Middle Eastern with Intensive Arabic at SOAS having completed a BA at the University of Oxford in Theology and Religion. Having specialised in gender and Islam during her undergraduate, Rosie has turned her focus towards the political and social anthropology and diasporic media. She is a Director at SolidariTee and a fellow at the Balfour Project which aims to raise awareness of Britain’s complicity in the Palestine-Israel conflict. She hopes to pursue a career in humanitarian aid in Jordan after completing her dissertation in Palestinian hip hop.

bottom of page