University of Cambridge > > Centre of Governance and Human Rights Events > Practitioner Series: A Conversation with Bella Sankey, Director of Detention Action

Practitioner Series: A Conversation with Bella Sankey, Director of Detention Action

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Bella Sankey is the current director of Detention Action – a national charity that works to defend the rights of people in immigration detention – where she oversees a dedicated support service for those in detention; a community support project that provides emotional and practical assistance to individuals who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing, long-term detention; in addition to various campaigns for fundamental reform to the system. Before taking up this post in 2018, Bella was the deputy director of Reprieve, a legal action NGO specialising in defending those who have suffered human rights abuses worldwide.

From 2009 until 2017, she was the director of policy at Liberty, a cross-party organisation based in the UK that works to protect the basic rights and freedoms that it sees as integral to a truly democratic society. In 2019, Bella also campaigned as the Labour candidate for Arundel & South Downs, where she tabled a host of anti-austerity initiatives.

In the conversation, Bella Sankey will be speaking on the pressing, intertwined issues of: European immigration policy, border violence and policing, and the refugee crisis – including the current exodus of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. This will be followed by a QA with the audience to provide the opportunity for students to engage with the topics discussed.

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