Saima Raza
tel. +44 7742051245

London, United Kingdom

I am a committed humanitarian and activist who is creative, dedicated and multifaceted. A professional with over 10 years of experience in the non-profit sector with a passion for social and migrant justice. I have broad-ranging experience working with charities with human and migrant rights, environmental and social justice remit(s), my work in the sector ranges from working front-line with vulnerable individuals, researching key humanitarian issues, undertaking campaign work, developing projects from planning to fruition, engaging with communities and environmental education. I have extensive project management experience and a track record of leading and influencing with professionalism, compassion and integrity. I am dependable and detail orientated and have utilised my social research skills to develop quantitative and qualitative methodologies to engage with communities. More recently I have held Board level positions for several charities helping shape their strategic vision and helping to implement processes to ensure sustainability. I am a skilled leader with high level planning experience, a keen understanding when it comes to working to budgets and timelines and delivering projects to the highest standard.


University of London, Refugee Law Initiative  (01/2020 – 04/202)

Certificate: Refugees in the 21st Century

Exeter University (02/2011 – 07/2011)

Certificate: Archaeological Research    

Birkbeck, University of London (09/2009 – 08/2010)

Postgraduate Certificate: Colonial & African History

Thesis: Anti-Colonial Rebellion in North Africa: The al-Sanusi of Libya 1911-20 (12,000 words)  [Merit+]

Minster Centre, London  (04/2010 – 06/2010)

Certificate Counselling Skills   Level 1/3: Completed 30 hours of Counselling Skills Training

University of Sussex

Masters in Law: LLM International Law: Rights and Responsibilities  (10/2008 – 09/2009)

Thesis ‘Environmental Refugees and the utilisation of International Law’ (20,000 words) [Distinction]

Centre for Peace & Reconciliation Studies, Coventry

Postgraduate Certificate: Peace and Reconciliation Studies (Level 7)  (03/2008 – 09/2008)

Thesis: ‘Humanitarian Intervention & Hegemony in the 20th Century’ (15,000 words)  [Distinction]

Certified & Short Course

  • International Migration, Sciences Po, Paris (online)   03/2020 – 06/2020
  • Safeguarding Children Level 1, London, UK   05/2018 – 05/2018
  • Lobbying & Campaign Training, 350.ORG & Fossil Free UK   03/2018 – 03/2018
  • Campaigning Training, The Equality Trust   02/2018 – 02/2018

Planning and developing a campaign strategy, modes of influencing change, the law, delivery and impact

  • Volunteer Management Training  (11/2016 – 01/2017)

Project Leadership for Conservation Groups, The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)  (07/2016)

Professional Experience

Croydon Community Against Trafficking  –  Manager reporting directly to Board of Trustees   (April 2017 – April 2020)

  • Head of Programmes overseeing Intelligence Gathering, Community Engagement, Advocacy, Campaigning and Education. Directing the strategic development of a leading and award winning anti-trafficking campaigning charity in London, whose work has been recognised by the UK Anti-Slavery Commissioners Office.
  • Ensuring organisational and operational effectiveness. A proven leader and strategic thinker responsible for establishing a programme of work to develop CCAT’s agenda and influence, drawing on expertise in modern slavery and trafficking and maximizing efficiency of administrative process for the development of CCAT.
  • Experienced Board attendee, able to contribute persuasively in both written and verbal communication.
  • Advisory Role: provided advice, support and materials to 9 UK-based projects on developing a community engagement strategy for local anti-trafficking efforts.
  • Guide and support localities to develop multi-stakeholder partnerships involving the statutory and non-statutory sectors and affected communities. Leading the development and delivery of workshops, consultations and learning events for businesses, universities, activist and community groups.
  • Participating in appropriate policy, steering and working groups at local, regional and national levels including the Human Trafficking Foundation London Working Group, Anti-Slavery Monitoring and the Croydon Council Prevention of Modern Slavery Group. Writing engaging campaign communications including action guides/plans and letters to MPs. Supporting CCAT’S activist/supporter networks and working with demographically diverse audiences.
  • Key Achievements: Helped develop a geo-targeted social media campaign highlighting the rights of workers and signs of slavery in London. The social media campaign was widely disseminated in 4 key languages. Under my guidance CCAT was able to reach 3000 pupils as part of the Education Campaign, train over 4500 people on the issue of trafficking and slavery, unearth 300 dubious potential sites of exploitation, be featured in 6 media outlets, a BBC TV show, 7 Conferences, developed an original play on human trafficking shown across London theatres and worked with animator to develop a ‘spot the signs of slavery’ video. Developed the CCAT Community Campaigners network, one of the first of its kind in London and contributing to campaign strategy development.

The Co-operative – Pioneer Programme Coordinator  (September 2019 – March 2020)

  • Working with the largest Consumer Co-operative in the UK by helping develop the Co-op’s community engagement member pioneer programme, encouraging communities to engage around health, education and green spaces. Overseeing a team of 7 Member Pioneers across south and south-east London and 30 social justice causes focusing on well-being, learning and development and environment/outdoor spaces. Helped develop the food share partner scheme to eliminate food waste and ensure local causes have access to food items for vulnerable persons across all store in my area.

Center for Development Evaluation & Social Science Research, (Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina)  – Migration & Development Researcher    ( March 2019 – August 2019)

  • Based in Sarajevo undertaking quantitative and qualitative research including analysis of data sets pertaining to migration including human trafficking trends in Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Balkan region.
  • Authored a report with policy recommendations on the Western Balkans Route and prepared Country Briefings and analysis of trends
  • Focus on International Humanitarian Law and Principles and Refugee Law. Utilised the CHS Guidance and Indicators, SPHERE Standards and the DEC Accountability Framework as blueprints for responding to migration emergencies and when drafting concept notes and several institutional fundraising applications. Acquainted with DG ECHO and USAID frameworks. Adept at creating detailed work plans and logical frameworks for large-scale projects.
  • Helped develop Monitoring and Evaluation frameworks for two migration based projects and completed MEL formats for several international funders
  • Led on the development of a region-wide Migration Observatory: collection of data, researching themes and outcomes including arranging a workshop with Western Balkan regional partners focusing on irregular migration

 Local Trust – Big Local Project Manager   (August 2018 – March 2019)

  • Overseeing a £1 million fund for local residents of the Big Local Trust and the coordination, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of over 25 projects
  • Developing meaningful hands-on engagement and co–production model for locals to actively participate in project development. Working to actively build capacity of the community to be part of decision making processes and facilitate setting up social action projects in the locality ranging from combating homelessness, improving mental health outcomes, tackling knife crime and music therapy.
  • Project managing the development of a Community Hub. Undertaking mid-project monitoring and evaluation visits and completing MEL for end of projects.

Under One Sky (Calais, northern France) – Aid Convoy Organiser  (January 2019 – February 2019)

  • Helped organise, arrange and deliver donations of over 700 kg of clothing, bedding and essentials for refugees in northern France
  • Managed the logistics of collection and marketing to organise donations. Undertaking distributions and general aid work in Calais, France.

 Love146 – End Child Trafficking Practitioner (November 2016 – June 2017)

  • Working with social services to support and protect children and child refugees that have been identified as victims of trafficking and at risk of exploitation
  • Undertaking intervention plans, safety planning and advocating for victims. Working with Child Protection frameworks and attending LAC Reviews.
  • Undertaking Trafficking Assessments for local Council. Compiling emergency cards for clients.
  • Editing an Abolitionist Curriculum as a Campaign resource for UK Volunteer Teams to help eradicate child trafficking.

 Drop in the Ocean (Chios Island, Greece) – Aid Worker   (January 2017 – February 2017)

  • Working and providing support to adult and child refugees in camps in Chios, Greece
  • Food distribution, procuring essentials, children’s activities, hospital visits and documenting stories from those in camps
  • Helping refugee access healthcare and basic items as well as ensuring children’s welfare and protection are being upheld

 The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) – Projects Officer & Community Builder   (April 2016 – March 2018)

  • £1.8m Local People Programme Fund: engaging and supporting local communities identified as marginalized and isolated: working with them to identify projects that tackle health inequalities. To support the development and delivery of community action plans to ensure they thrive and become sustainable.
  • Utilizing ‘Theory of Change’ model for the purposes of planning, engaging, developing and evaluating projects.

Project Managing: undertaking initial stage of identification, planning, funding process and implementation in partnership with locals. Including undertaking

  • Community Development: by involving local people at each stage of the project cycle including setting up a Steering Group made up of community representatives
  • Project implementation: successful in expending the Local People’s Community Fund to 8 local projects ranging from a well-being group to a community garden project. Identifying new funding streams and undertaking research to source materials, equipment and expertise locally. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives by delivering monthly, quarterly and annual reporting outcomes for each programme that has been funded.

 Hestia & The Salvation Army Modern Slavery Response Team – Modern Slavery Specialist Caseworker   ( January 2015 – April 2016)

  • Providing specialist advocacy to male and female victims of trafficking, modern slavery, forced labour and domestic servitude. Working with victims trafficked from South Asia, Far East, West and East Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Weekly Case Management of upto 25 families/individuals. Undertaking detailed risk assessments and support planning for each client.
  • Liaising weekly with SC07 Police, Social Services, NRM Hub, specialist FGM services, Home Office, Helen Bamber Foundation to prepare medico-legal reports and Mental Health Teams. Excellent understanding of the Trafficking Convention and National Referral Mechanism (NRM) system as well an understanding of the asylum framework. Extensive experience working with victims from BAMER and LGBT communities. Tailored support for children and young persons/adults. Attending weekly meetings with charities, networking and forging links with the local community/organizations to facilitate access to activities for clients and children such as education, social activities and maternity care
  • Understanding of basic UK Asylum Law including S.4 and S.95 provisions
  • Ensuring victims are safe and aiding them in matters relating to the police, prosecution, healthcare, accommodation and the law.
  • Equality & Diversity Lead for 250+ clients and staff. Undertaking quantitative and qualitative research to determine best outcomes.
  • Meticulous report writing and financial record keeping and detailed support, safeguarding and risk management planning. Responsible for a budget of up to £10,000 per month.

 JAN Trust (London) – Projects & Campaign Officer  (June 2014 – January 2015)

  • Coordinating and developing training workshops: ‘Against Forced Marriage’ Campaign for Schools, Teachers, Social sector practitioners, Healthcare professionals, Midwives, Family & Parenting panels, Local Safeguarding Board staff, PREVENT officers, & Police across London, Surrey & Bedford.
  • Provided Training on Forced Marriage, Honour Based Crimes and FGM to over 800 professionals.
  • Against Forced Marriage and Honour based crimes Campaign work: compiling articles, press releases, awards submission, blogging and social media.
  • Developed and piloted FGM project: research and contributing towards Governmental and College of Policing consultations. Successful funding bid for FGM project from Department for Communities & Local Government, Home Office & Government Equalities Office. Responsible for FGM funding application, compiling presentation for schools, worksheets and organising FGM sessions across North London.
  • Undertaking Fundraising applications: Trusts, Foundations, Corporate fundraising and local businesses. Responding to press and media questions from across the world and submitting to local press. Undertaking public surveys, compiling reports (BAMER Communities & Isolation), collect and record statistics.
  • Creating presentations which are culturally sensitive and aimed at deconstructing myths on domestic abuse, honour based violence and forced marriage.
  • Forced marriage helpline: providing tailored advice to UK and international callers (victims, practitioners, friends, support workers and teachers).


Housing for Women – BAME Independent Domestic Violence Advisor   (September 2013 – May 2014)

  • Skilled support to BAME women providing risk management and safety planning, remaining calm in a crisis and in handling sensitive information on a daily basis. Directly working with survivors of domestic violence, of supporting individuals involved with Social Services and the Police and of working within safeguarding procedures and adopting and promoting a strong partnership approach to service provision.
  • Delivery of specialist training on violence and abuse that can occur within BAME communities such as ‘so called’ honour based violence, forced marriage and FGM. Excellent understanding of the criminal justice system, MARAC and safeguarding procedures and safety planning options available to survivors of domestic abuse. Development of an Internet Policy for users and organised an arts project for International Women’s Day.


Women’s Aid, South London – Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) Coordinator   (February 2011 – August 2013)

  • Overseeing the management of up to 25 families: providing emotional and practical support for homeless women/girls fleeing domestic abuse including FGM, honour based crimes, sexual exploitation and abuse, substance misuse and mental health concerns. Managing weekly rota of volunteers in various roles.
  • Advocacy: Worked with children centres in the Borough to provide support, training and information on DV and families. Compiled support letters, obtained access to social services, local rape and sexual health support services, counselling, translation, ESOL classes and welfare agencies. Risk assessments and made referrals to MARAC (and attended MARAC as required). Helped provide support for EEA nationals and women with no recourse to public funds. Aided in making DDV concessions, FLRO and communicated with UKBA over ILR applications and the local MP to advocate for survivors.
  • Case Management: overseeing five families in refuge accommodation such as liaising with housing, local council, MP’s, legal personnel, social services and support organisations. Conducted CAADA risk assessment, compiled risk management and support plans for each resident, undertook referrals for refuge, housing management, health and safety risks, compiled monthly, quarterly and yearly statistics reports (Supporting People and Board of Trustees). Helped residents to apply for injunctions, non-molestation orders and prohibitive steps orders, worked with solicitors to arrange child contact, divorce petitions and submit application around immigration concerns (such as British citizenships, ILR and asylum) and correspondence for legal aid applications.
  • Freedom Programme Co-Facilitator: Provided a 12 week domestic violence education programme’ and under took research around advertising, the entertainment industry and women, prepared power point presentations and role plays.


Gaia Foundation – Earth Jurisprudence Researcher  ( February 2010 –  December 2010)

  • Utilizing Cultural, Heritage, Archaeological laws and International rights instruments to protect environment indigenous lands
  • Researching and summarizing Latin America and South Africa legal systems and tribal rights
  • Focus on land rights, mining, agriculture and effects on land and cultural ecology in Africa.


Palestinian Solidarity Campaign – Parliamentary Researcher  ( March 2009 – December 2009)

  • Overview of Hansard Reports, Media check, summarizing reports

Migrant Help – Board of Trustees    ( August 2019 – current)

Overseeing the development of one of the largest migrant charities in the UK including front-line and anti-trafficking support services

Member of Modern Day Slavery Steering Group, Research Working Group and Safeguarding Lead

 Croydon New Communities & Refugee Forum – Co-Chair & Lead Community Organiser   (June 2019 – current)

Leading on the development of a newly formed forum for migrant voices, advocacy and policy engagement in the largest Borough in London

Managing engagement with 34 local groups and pre-planning for the ‘Borough of Sanctuary’ status

 Independent Advisory Group of the BME Mental Health Partnership Board – Board Member                (February 2018 – February 2019)

Advising on developing engagement techniques to encourage take up of mental health services by BAMER communities. Working with local CCG and mental health

initiatives on shortfalls in service and information.

 Stop Hate UK (working to challenge all forms of Hate Crime and discrimination) – Board of Trustees   (January 2018 – current)

Responsible for the strategic direction and development of the charity as well as ensuring financial viability, sustainability and upholding legal obligations.

 Friends of Lloyd Park, East Croydon – Founder & Chair of Board   ( June 2017 – current )

Founded community action group for 114 acres of woodland and park space to preserve green heritage and conservation work.

 Green Party Candidate (Fairfield Ward, Croydon) for Councillor positon in local government   (May 2014 & May)

Research and Campaign Roles

NGO Commeet (Netherlands) – Research Associate  (October 2019 – current)

  • Part of a collective of international academics and activists to develop a toolkit for integration for migrant groups and displaced persons

 Croydon New Communities & Refugee Forum – Lead Researcher   (September 2019 – current )

  • Undertaking quantitative and qualitative research into mapping services for migrants and victims of trafficking across the largest Borough in London
  • Research and survey design. Managing a team of researchers to collate data to be presented to regional government
  • Developing a survey for a ‘listening exercise’ to collect the views of migrant and refugee groups

 Sarajevo Times – Assistant Editor   (November 2018 – April 2019)

  • Editing articles pertaining to social issues for the leading English daily in Bosnia & Herzegovina Divest Parliament – Lobbying Trainer   (March 2018 – January 2019)

  • Training to communities, groups and local government on divestment pertaining to fossil fuels


Action Against Armed Violence – Researcher   ( July 2017 – November 2017 )

  • Compiling report(s) on human rights violations carried out by police and militaries in Qatar and Guinea-Bissau (2010 – 2017)


Your Community Against Trafficking – Modern Slavery Education Campaign Co-ordinator   (May 2016 – May 2017)

  • Development of campaign to end Trafficking and Modern Slavery, rolled out to over 40 schools.

Deliver sessions to schools, colleges and community groups across south London. Developing campaign materials, sourcing multi-media items and contacting local media. Compiling online campaign literature to encourage educational institutes to raise awareness.

The Green Party, United Kingdom – Campaigner  (October 2011- October 2012)

  • Researcher & Press work: energy, fuel poverty and climate change policy, writing to local newspapers

Women’s Environmental Network – Climate Change Researcher  (January 2011 – September 2011)

  • Research on Climate Change, Organic Farming and Food Security and their impact on gender roles specifically women
  • Ran WEN Climate Change and Gender workshop at WWF and in community based settings

 Redress – International Law Intern  (February 2008 – May 2008)

  • Writing tasks related to Torture & the UN Torture Convention and surveying international law and means to utilize it for prisoners
  • Research on Guantánamo Bay detainees (UK and European) and reparations/compensation

War Child – Intern  (February 2008 – May 2008)

  • Security and Stakeholder Reports on DRC & Iraq. International Child Rights & Education. Overseeing and summarizing press coverage

Women’s Health Foundation, Uganda – Development Officer   (June 2016 – November 2016)

  • Researching potential donors and funding opportunities specific to the areas of girls and women and providing a summary of results
  • Developing a project plan and designing a funding strategy including a tool to establish a long-term relationship with people who will support WHF’s work

Volunteer Partnerships West Africa, The Green Ghana Project- Environmental Consultant    (November 2012 – June 2013)

  • Nutritional and environmental value of the Moringa Oleifera plant. Agricultural practices and drought resistant plants.



  • Report: Balkanisation of the EU Migration Crisis (10,000 words), CREDI Sarajevo   ( May 2019)
  • Modern Slavery, Croydon Citizen   (August 2017)
  • Italian Colonization & Libyan Resistance: The Al-Sanusi of Cyrenaica 1911-22, Ogirisi, Journal of African Studies, 9, 1-43   (December 2013)
  • Environmental Protection, Conflict & Law, East African Journal of Peace & Human Rights, 18(1), 36    (Autumn 2012)
  • Climate Conflict: A Misnomer, Africa Resource   (April 2012)
  • The Coming Climate Challenge, Confluence Magazine    (January 2012)
  • Environment & Sustainable Development Booklet, Community Agriculture & Environmental Protection Association, Cameroon    (January  2012)
  • North Africa & Climate Change,     (December 2011)
  • A New Kind of Uprising, Egyptian Gazette  (August 2011)
  • The Coming Tide, Daily Times Pakistan     (August 2011)
  • Humanitarian Intervention & Hegemony, Confluence Magazine    (March 2010)

Training & Conference

  • Conference Speaker: “Social Integration: Refugees & Community Integration”, City Hall, London (February 2020)
  • Conference Speaker: “Overlaps between Honour Based Crimes and Human Trafficking”, Honour Based Violence Conference, London  (January 2020)
  • Consultant: In(visible), an original play premised on true stories of modern slavery survivors (shown across 5 theatres, London)   (December 2018 – June 2019)
  • Trainer: Trafficking and Modern Slavery, London   (May 2016 – February 2019)
  • Guest Lecturer: Modern Slavery & Trafficking, the Law & Processes, BA Criminology, Croydon College & Sussex University  (December 2018)
  • Trainer: Lobbying & Campaigning for Fossil Fuel Divestment, London & Sussex  (April 2018 – December 2018)
  • Conference Speaker: “Community based Strategies for Combating Slavery”, Modern Slavery Conference, London   (October 2018)
  • Conference Speaker: “Campaign and Advocacy Strategies for Combating Sex Trafficking Through Community Engagement, Education

and Intelligence Gathering” at The National Council for Women’s Societies (Nigeria) ‘Mobilising Women and the Diaspora Community Against

The Trafficking Of Nigerian Girls Into Europe For Prostitution’ London Conference  (July 2018)

  • Film Panel Member: Circus Kathmandu, A Story of Nepalese Child Trafficking   (April 2018)
  • Guest Lecturer: Human Trafficking Local & International Contexts, BA Social Work, London South Bank University  (October 2017)
  • Trainer: Against Forced Marriage training for practitioners and schools    (July 2014 – January 2015)
  • Conference Speaker: “FGM & Honour-Based Crimes” at GovKnow Policy Conference  (August 2014)
  • Trainer: The Freedom Programme, South London   (May 2012 – January 2013)
  • Trainer: Domestic Abuse & Families, Children’s Centres, Croydon   (May 2012 – December 2012)
  • Trainer: Maternal Health and South Asian States, London, UK   (September 2011)
  • Trainer: Gender & Climate Change, WWF, UK    (June 2011)
  • Trainer: Tower Hamlets Food Growing Network, Food Growing and Local Communities, London   (June 2011)
  • Trainer & Panel Member: Women, Environment, Food, London   (July 2010)