Clore Social Leadership Fellow Baljeet Sandhu has received a Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF) International Award in recognition of her work promoting the rights of vulnerable young people. Baljeet, a 2014 Fellow, was presented with the award last month at a ceremony held at the United Nations in New York.
The DVF Awards were founded in 2010 by the leading fashion designer to recognise and support women who are dedicated to transforming the lives of other women. Honoured alongside Baljeet were Louise Dubé of iCivics, Cuban blogger and journalist Yoani Sánchez, supermodel Karlie Kloss and Dr. Jane Goodall.
Baljeet was the Founding Director of the Migrant & Refugee Children’s Legal Unit, a specialist legal and policy hub aiming to improve the rights and voices of separated children and young people in the UK. She is a leading expert on children’s rights in the field of asylum and immigration law and has been at the forefront of test case litigation and training initiatives enhancing children’s rights in the immigration arena. She has pioneered innovation in the legal sector by testing out new models of legal services for young people and spearheading access to justice strategies within legal and third sector communities.
Presenting Baljeet with her award, the Tony and Grammy Award winning British actress and singer Cynthia Erivo said 'she [Baljeet] believes, and often proves, in her work that the law can be used as an effective tool to create positive social change and achieve social justice'.
As a Clore Social Fellow, Baljeet has been shining a light on attitudes towards ‘lived experience’ in the UK’s social sector. Her report, 'The Value of the Lived Experience in Social Change: The Need for Organizational and Leadership Development in the Social Sector' is being released over the summer.