Relation to Future Worlds Center
Irini Anastassiou started working with Future Worlds Center in January 2011 as a Social Advisor for the Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture, providing social services to refugees and asylum seekers that were victims of torture. During this time she worked in close collaboration with the legal and social advisors of the UNHCR funded project Strengthening Asylum in Cyprus. Driven from her strong interest on human rights and development, between April and December 2011 she was working in refugee and women organizations in East Africa.
Since January 2012 she has returned to Future Worlds Center as an intern for the Global Education Unit working on projects that aim to promote peace and development education in the eastern Mediterrenean and Sub-Saharan African countries.
As of March, 2012, Irini has assumed an almost full-time job as Project Coordinator, working together with Kerstin Wittig, Yiannis Laouris and Elia Petridou in the Civil Society Acts Beyond Borders project.
Irini holds a Bachelor degree on International and European Studies, with specialization on Political Science and Diplomacy, from the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Greece. She then proceeded with a Master in Law (LLM) in Public International Law, from the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK, which she received with Distinction. During both her undergraduate and post-graduate studies she concentrated on issues of peace, sustainable development and human rights, with a particular interest on forced migration. For her dissertation she researched and critically evaluated the law and policies on irregular migration in Cyprus. Further to her academic qualifications, Irini has participated in two esteemed international conferences on forced migration, organised every two years by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM). She served as a member of the Local Planning Committee of the 13th Conference of IASFM that was held in Uganda, while she is currently a member of the Programme Committee for the 14th IASFM Conference to be held in Kolkatta, India on January of 2013. In addition, she participated in several trainings on refugee law, development and the Millennium Development Goals.
Irini's first experience in the field of human rights was in the summer of 2006, when she volunteered with the Cyprus Red Cross, receiving people fleeing the war from Lebanon. That was a landmark for educational and career plans. After finishing her bachelor she worked as a Legal Intern with UNHCR in Cyprus, where, further to assisting the legal officer, she coordinated an initiative to identify greek language courses and succeeded in acquiring scholarships for refugees and asylum seekers at the School of Languages of the University of Cyprus.
With the completion of her postgraduate studies, Irini became devoted to work for human rights, peace and development. In January 2011 she joined FWC to work as a social advisor for the Unit for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture, while in April of the same year she travelled to Uganda to work for Refugee Law Project, coordinating the 13th Conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration. She remained in East Africa where she volunteered with WODSTA (Women Development for Science and Technology Association), a grassroots women organisation in Arusha, Tanzania. During her time there she researched for funding opportunities, prepared project proposals and worked on project implementation. At the same time she volunteered on a part time basis with a local organisation, working with teenagers to improve their english and computer skills as well as organising activities to come closer to nature and the environment. While in Tanzania, Irini facilitated the linking of secondary schools there with the project TeachMDGs of FWC.
She speaks fluently English and Greek (mother tongue), has very good knowledge of French and has recently began learning Swahili.