Sarah Spencer

Sarah Spencer

Senior Fellow

+ 44 (0)1865 274711, + 44 7932 083379

Dr Sarah Spencer CBE is Director of the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity  at COMPAS. Her particular interests are in irregular migrants, integration, human rights and equality issues, and in the policy making process. She was an Open Society Fellow (2012-2014) exploring issues relating to irregular migrants in Europe and is a Visiting Professor at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex. Sarah was awarded her doctorate at Erasmus University Rotterdam, has an MPhil from University College London and took her first degree at the University of Nottingham. 

Sarah has been actively engaged in public and civil society activities related to her interests. She was Chair of the Equality and Diversity Forum, the network of equality and human rights organisations in Britain, from 2002-2012; was a Commissioner and Deputy Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, where she oversaw its work in the public sector; and is a former Director of Liberty (the National Council for Civil Liberties). She has been a member of government task forces on Gypsies and Travellers; the Human Rights Act and the Equality and Human Rights Commission; and of advisory committees on equality law. She has twice been seconded into the Cabinet Office to contribute to projects on migration issues. She is an advisor to the American philanthropic foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, in Dublin and is on the advisory board of the British Institute of Human Rights. In 2007, Sarah was awarded a CBE for services to equal opportunities and human rights.

Selected Publications

Delvino, N. and Spencer S. (2014) 'Irregular Migrants in Italy: Law and Policy on Entitlements to Services', Report for the Service provision to irregular migrants in Europe project.

Spencer, S. and Harvey, C. (2014) 'Context, institution or accountability? Exploring the factors that shape the performance of national human rights and equality bodies', Policy and Politics  Vol 42(1). pp. 89-107(19) 

Spencer, S. and Pobjoy, J., (2012) 'Equality for All? The Relationship Between Immigration Status and the Allocation of Rights in the United Kingdom' in European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 2

Harvey, C. and Spencer, S. (2011) 'Equality and Human Rights Commissions in the UK and Ireland: Challenges and Opportunities Compared'.

Spencer, S. (2011) The Migration Debate, Bristol: The Policy Press

Guest Editor, Special Issue of the Journal of Population Ageing on Migrant Care Workers in Ageing Societies, Vol 3 (102) June 2010

Cangiano, A., Shutes, I., Spencer, S. and Leeson, G (2009), Migrant Care Workers in Ageing Societies, Oxford: Centre on Migration, Policy and Society

'Citizenship, the UK experience', Canadian Diversité, Vol 6:4, Autumn 2008

'Equality and Human Rights Commission: A decade in the making', The Political Quarterly, Vol. 79, No 1, January-March 2008

Equality and Diversity in Jobs and Services: City policies for migrants in Europe, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2008

Migrants' Lives beyond the work place: the experiences of East and Central Europeans in the UK, co-author, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2007.

Social integration of migrants in Europe, a literature review, co-authored, OECD, 2007. ../publications/reports/spencer-oecd-literature-review/

‘Immigration’ in Seldon, A, Blair’s Britain 1997-2007, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Full list of publications.

Public Lectures and Presentations

10 May 2013

'The Role of Equality and Human Rights Bodies and the Case for Synergy' at the Irish EU Presidency conference in Dublin.

3 March 2012

'The Equality Principle vs. Restrictive Conditions of Stay: When the Border Follows Migrants Inside' at the TAF Conference on Migrations and  Conflicts, hosted by Washington University, St Louis, Missouri

2 March 2012

'Diversity, Super-diversity and Belonging' at the 14th National Metropolis conference, Toronto

27 September 2010

"Migrants, citizens and the equality agenda" at the Equality and Diversity Forum, hosted by the Equality Authority, Dublin