Dr. Ben Hayes

Independent researcher and consultant on security policies and civil liberties

Ben Hayes spent the majority of 2016 working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, drafting their Operational Guidelines for the Protection of Personal Data of Persons of Concern to UNHCR. In 2015, the organization became the first UN agency to adopt a data protection policy. Ben had previously conducted data protection impact assessments of UNHCR’s refugee assistance programmes in Jordan and Lebanon, and also helped produce an interim data protection toolkit for UNHCR’s field operations.

In addition Ben continued to promote TNI’s 2015 book The Secure and the Dispossessed, which he co-edited, at events in the UK and Europe. He also convened TNI’s “Shrinking Space” workshop, which brought together activists from around the world to Berlin to help the Transnational Institute unpack and think critically about the discourse around the “closing space” for civil society. Ben also co-authored a highly acclaimed “framing paper” on shrinking space that was produced as a result of the workshop proceedings.