Policy, Research, advocacy and Campaigning
LAWRS is aware that many meaningful changes for women and vulnerable groups take place as a result of policy and advocacy work by users themselves and by voluntary organisations working with them.
We also know that service provision needs to go hand in hand with effective and bold policy, advocacy and campaigning work.The women that we work with, are affected by intersectional layers of discrimination as women, ethnic minorities and migrants refugees or asylum seekers. To respond to these complexities we need a holistic approach combining direct service provision and therefore first hand evidence with strategic policy and advocacy work.
We are active advocating for women’s rights, migrant’s rights and the rights of ethnic minorities in the UK. We also work with many organisations and relevant networks to advance women’s, and migrant’s rights.
All our policy, advocacy and campaigning work is done within a Human Rights Based Approach and following the principles of a feminist organisation.
We commissioned with Trust for London pioneering research on the Latin American Community in the UK. This research establishes the LA community in the UK to be 186,500 , one of the fastest growing ethnic minorities in the UK, comparable in size with the Polish community or the Chinese community in London. This research is currently being updated and the second part will be launched soon.
Links to No longer Invisible can be found here (link)
As part of our activities we do Parliamentary work and advocacy at the local level on migrant’s rights, women’s rights and ethnic minority rights, including high level lobbying, submission, presenting evidence to relevant inquiries, consultations and organise lobbying activities.
At present we are campaigning for full recognition of the Latin American community as an ethnic minority in the UK. We set up a coalition of Latin Americans organisations from the voluntary sector in the UK (CLAUK) and are working with them to achieve recognition, access to labour rights and access to health services (include link to CLAUK).
Some of our achievements include:
Working with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on the investigation into exploitation in the cleaning industry. (link). We are currently part of the multi-sector task force on Employment obligations and workers rights to improve access to labour rights and conditions in the sector.
We were instrumental in ensuring that migrant’s women’s rights were included as part of the Convention on Elimination against all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Shadow report and drafted its chapter on nationality. (link WRC web)
We worked with Imkaan to ensure that the voices of the women accessing our services were an integral part of the Mayor’s Pan London VAWG strategy and the “Beyond the labels “ report. (link)
We helped to set up and host the Migrants Contribute campaign working towards a society that acknowledges the economic, social and cultural contributions that migrants make. (link)
We work on advocacy on trafficking and contributed to the first publication about trafficking and Latin American women GLA”s Shadow City report (link). We are currently running a project on trafficking at the EU level (link to Pro Act)
Being instrumental in securing the recognition of the Latin American community as an ethnic minority in Southwark, the first borough to take this pioneering step. We are now campaigning for recognition in other boroughs with a large presence of the Latin American community and at the national level. Together with CLAUK we have achieved recognition in Southwark, Lambeth, Islington and Hackney.
We favour a collaborative approach and work with many organisations from the voluntary sector, statutory bodies and networks
We are part of the Home Office – VAWG Vulnerable Group working with under represented groups against VAWG and part of the Mayors Reference Group on VAWG
We are members and actively work with several networks including .the Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) , Imkaan,, Migrants Rights Network (MRN) and Rights of Women (links)
We are on the steering group of the BME Advice Network (BAN). an integrated network of advice services, delivered for and by the people from London’s migrant and refugee communities (link)
LAWRS was one of the precursors of the No Recourse to Public Funds Campaign and remains active in pressing for public funding to enable all women regardless of immigration status to effectively extricate themselves from violence and abuse.
We also work with Maternity Action (MA) an organisation,campaigning to improve maternity rights. and we have jointly produced materials on reproductive and labour rights of pregnant workers in Spanish and Portuguese. (link)
At the European level we are members of PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) aiming to promote respect for the human rights of undocumented migrants within Europe.
Zero Tolerance Campaign: “Love does not kill, Violence does”
We successfully launched an anti-violence campaign, which aims to bring awareness to the longstanding problem of violence affecting Latin American and other migrant women in the UK. Furthermore, this campaign aims to recognize LA as an ethnic minority and secure appropriate services targeted to respond to LA women’s needs and funding for organisations supporting them.
The launch started with the projection of “Invisible Women”, a video produced by Literally Films and Media Trust about the situation of Latin American women in the UK and the work LAWRS does.
To watch the video, please click: (link)
We had over 130 people from the community supporting the launch of the campaign. Speakers included:
- Labour MP Stella Creasy, Crime Prevention and Champion of the One Billion Rise campaign.
- Katharine Round, Director, Literally Films and Director of the video “Invisible Women”.
- Professor Maxine Molyneux, Director, Institute of the Americas, University College London as part of the speakers.
- Carolina Gottardo, Director of LAWRS
The campaign’s aim is to call on the Government and Local Authorities to:
- Recognize Latin Americans as an official ethnic minority.
- Provide appropriate and targeted services to migrant women victims of violence and abuse.
- Secure funding for specialist community organizations responding to the needs of migrant women and other minorities victims of violence and abuse.
Our work towards demanding official recognition and appropriate funding for support services continues, but Latin American women need you to support their fight for equality.
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