Sarah has been working with the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) for more than 15 years, with a specialization on protecting mobile and displaced populations and preventing their exploitation. Most recently, she served as Deputy Chief of Mission, IOM Afghanistan, where she was based in Kabul for more than three years; traveling the country extensively to support program implementation and provide technical assistance to governmental and civil society partners, including the mobility and displacement considerations during a peace process.
Prior to Afghanistan, from 2011-2016 she worked with IOM’s Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa & Gulf (MENA) as senior regional lead on migrant protection and assistance. She has undertaken extensive work on the protection risks and human rights violations facing migrants and refugees in the post Arab Spring context, including direct fieldwork in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. In 2015, she helped launch new guidelines for humanitarian practitioners to support the prevention of contemporary forms of slavery, including trafficking in persons, at the UN Human Rights Council. She has also established post-trafficking assistance programs for exploited migrant workers, including domestic workers, across the MENA region. Previously she worked as anti-trafficking research lead while at IOM Headquarters, 2006-2011, where she pioneered a number of studies on less considered aspects of human trafficking as well as undertaking research on the methodological and ethical issues within the field.
Currently on sabbatical, her research is focusing on how to create pathways to peace that ensure justice and provide protective, human rights-centered safeguards for victims of contemporary forms of slavery, including mobile, displaced and returning populations, in transition/ post-conflict contexts.
She is also an affiliate research fellow at the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley.