About us

The Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS) is a human rights, feminist organisation run for Latin American women, and 100% run by Latin American women.

 

Our mission is to reach out and provide tools to empower Latin American women in the UK to pursue personal and social change. We help women to assert their rights to be free from all forms of discrimination and violence, lead empowered and fulfilled lives, enjoy their human rights to the full and become central actors in achieving social change.

Over 5,000 women now use our services every year to benefit from practical and emotional support, to learn new skills and to improve their own opportunities.

We support the immediate and long term needs of Latin American women migrants in the UK through specialist advice, advocacy, information and counselling services in a personalised, confidential and impartial manner. All our services are free, held in Spanish and Portuguese and in women-only settings.

LAWRS is also aware that many meaningful changes for vulnerable groups take place as a result of policy and advocacy work by voluntary organisations. We also (recognise instead of ‘believe’) that (‘Latin American’ instead of some) women are affected by intersectional layers of discrimination as women, ethnic minorities and migrants refugees or asylum seekers. This is the situation facing the majority of our clients. We actively advocate for women’s rights, migrant’s rights and the rights of ethnic minorities at local, national and EU levels, working along sister organisations in the women and migrant sectors, as well as networks and campaigns. We take a human rights based approach and follow the principles of a feminist organisation throughout our policy, advocacy and campaign work.

As a result of our track record and achievements, members our community voted LAWRS their Air Europe/LUKAS Human Rights Organisation of the Year.

 

Our history

LAWRS has supported Latin American women in the UK to achieve personal change and live their lives free from abuse since 1983. Through specialist advice, information and tools, we enable women to adapt and grow.

LAWRS was founded by a group of Latin American women who saw a significant gap in the services that existed for the women migrating to the UK from Latin America and demand for those services. Their needs were not met by mainstream organisations and our founders recognised that as women as well as migrants, their experiences were specific and different.

An advice, information and advocacy service was established to inform women of their rights and enable them to access services in a culturally, linguistically and gender specific setting.

Over time, LAWRS has expanded its services to provide a holistic, wide-ranged approach in how we assist women to develop.

Our founding members’ vision continues to guide us at our core: all of our our policy, advocacy and campaigning work around women and migrants’ rights is done within a human rights based approach and following the principles of a feminist organisation.

 

30th anniversary

In 2013, LAWRS celebrated 30 years of working with and for Latin American women in the UK. During these years we have been committed to fighting for the rights of women so they can achieve personal change and live free from violence, abuse and poverty. We celebrated our birthday at City Hall with 200 friends, music, dance, and good food! Take a look at our video: