Baljeet Sandhu is a Visiting Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and a 2018 Fellow at the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (CITY). Her core interest spans human rights, social innovation and social and economic justice.
She is the founding director of the Migrant & Refugee Children’s Legal Unit (MiCLU), a specialist unit that has developed pioneering strategic legal, policy, and practice reform programs in the UK and spearheaded a wide range of national and global access to justice and legal education strategies to address the protection needs of vulnerable migrant children in the UK and EU. She has served as a Special Adviser on the Asylum and Migration Advisory Committee for the UK Children’s Commissioner; the UK Home Office Children’s Asylum and Immigration sub-committee and was previously, long-standing Chair of the children’s sub-committee of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA). She also served as an Expert Advisor to the Strategic Legal Fund for Vulnerable Young Migrants, where she helped shape and inform the design of an innovative funding program for strategic litigation and policy work in the UK.
Baljeet believes that the work of the UK social sector, and beyond, needs radical reform and transformation and has spoken widely on the need for inclusive and equitable opportunities for change-makers and activists with direct lived experience of social issues and injustices we collectively seek to tackle. She is currently working closely with UK funders and social purpose organizations to develop innovative organizational and leadership development plans to ensure people and communities we serve are at the heart of social change initiatives now and into the future. She has served as an expert advisor on ‘The Global Challenge’ (now ‘Map the System’) an ‘ecosystem-mapping’ competition designed to encourage students to engage with a social or environmental problems founded by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in partnership with Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. She is also a founding Partner of the newly established 2027 Project, an exciting collaboration with leading UK organizations seeking to diversify the UK philanthropic sector and bring community power into grant giving.
Baljeet was the recipient of the UK Young Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award; UK Clore Social Leadership Fellowship; 2017 Yale World Fellowship and is a fellow of the Vital Voices Female Global Leaders Partnership. In recognition of her work, she was honored with the DVF International Award during the Women in the World Conference at the United Nations in April 2017.
Baljeet has been published and quoted in both mainstream and specialized media and has spoken widely on these topics. Publications include:
The Value of Lived Experience in Social Change: The Need for Leadership and Organizational Development in the Social Sector (2017)
Precarious Citizenship: Unseen, Settled and Alone – The Legal and Protection Needs of ‘Undocumented’ Children and Young People in England and Wales (MiCLU, 2017)
Put Yourself in Our Shoes: Considering Children’s Best Interests in the Asylum System (Law Centre’s Network, 2015)