Born to Indian migrant parents in the UK, Gurchaten Sandhu (Nanoo) is Project Director of a global project at the United Nation’s specialised agency on the world of work; the International Labour Organization (ILO). Alongside his B.A. (HONS) in Economics and MSc in Development Economics, his passion for social justice has led him to what is now the ILO’s Fundamental Principles Rights at Work department; the Branch of the ILO promoting human rights at work. The Branch also promotes policy development, carries out research and provides technical advisory services on child labour, forced labour, non-discrimination and freedom of association and collective bargaining. Working at this Branch for over 12 years now, Gurchaten has built his expertise and knowledge on promoting social justice through quality, decent and inclusive work for all, in particular to enhance LGBTIQ+ rights at work and economic inclusion.
When not managing a global project team working for eradication child labour, Gurchaten uses his technical expertise in numerous voluntary roles and responsibilities to promote non-discrimination in the UN work place. He serves as the Coordinator of the Diversity, Equality and Work-Life Balance Group on the Staff Union to help bring a cultural change within the organization on diversity, equality and work-life balance through awareness raising, advocacy, policy negotiation and training and capacity building.
Gurchaten has been volunteering for UN GLOBE (www.unglobe.org), the staff group representing LGBTIQ+ staff in the UN and its peacekeeping operations, in numerous roles for the past four years. As the Vice-President of UN GLOBE, he has worked to ensure the voice and rights of LGBTIQ+ staff are represented in UN policies and procedures, in particular on guidelines and recommendations for inclusive parental leave, mobility and trans persons. In his role as UN GLOBE Co-coordinator for Geneva he has raised the group’s visibility and organised and built a community of UN LGBTIQ+ staff, as well as a network with local and national LGBTIQ+ organisations. As the UN GLOBE Coordinator for the ILO, Gurchaten has helped to reform the staff regulations on personal status and more recently helped to introduce gender inclusive/neutral toilets on every floor of the building, making it the first UN agency in Geneva to do so.