Sondos Arafa

Sondos joined the Immigration team at South West London Law Centres in December 2020 as a qualified solicitor, with a particular interest in asylum law. She works on an EUSS project with Wandsworth Council and Wandsworth CAB, helping homeless and other vulnerable people gain settled or pre-settled status in the UK. Some of the issues she works alongside individuals to help them overcome include language barriers, digital exclusion and the stigma surrounding having a criminal record.

Sondos has considerable experience working with vulnerable people, including refugees and unaccompanied children. Before joining the Law Centre she worked in Calais as part of the team challenging the DUBS amendment; with ILPA in Athens and the Greek islands, giving legal advice to refugees particularly regarding their rights surrounding the family reunification initiative; and most recently in Egypt on an EU-project with Save the Children and for the UNHCR resettlement department, with a particular emphasis on refugees with LGBTQ+ profiles.

Having witnessed first-hand the struggles facing refugees and migrants, she is committed to using her knowledge of asylum law to help vulnerable people settle in and be able to get on with their lives:

“Most people have no idea what the Law can do for them. You need to have the knowledge; knowledge is power and education is key. One case I particularly remember is that of a teenage Syrian Jew I met in Calais. Because I speak Arabic I was able to communicate with him and get him fast-tracked through the process and placed with a good family in the UK. He is now at university, continuing with his education.”