Latin American Women’s Rights Services
LAWRS is a human rights, feminist organisation pursuing “equal rights and social justice for all Latin American women and migrant women in the UK”. LAWRS supports Latin American migrant women displaced by poverty and violence, who continue to experience these problems in the UK alongside intersectional discrimination, exploitation and abuse as women, as an ethnic group, as workers, and as migrants in the UK. LAWRS is a registered charity led by and for Latin American women of all backgrounds.
Key aims and programmes:
- Promoting economic security and access to social protection: information, advice, and casework on homelessness, housing, welfare, debts, and employment rights; surgeries on welfare appeals, immigration and family law (1,879 beneficiaries in 2015/16), GP registration for undocumented women, food vouchers and a clothes bank.
- Tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG): prevention work, casework and advocacy to ensure that Latin American women are free from VAWG and can access safety. They also provide counselling and psychotherapy services for survivors of VAWG (crisis intervention, one-to-one therapy, group therapy), prevention campaigns and training.
- Bridging inequalities and fostering inclusion: employment support, work placements, ESOL classes, specialised training and an outreach programme to provide better responses to the needs of vulnerable and marginalised LAMW by local service providers; empowerment and leadership work with girls and young women; elderly and with pregnant women groups; ESOL classes; employability programme.
- Policy, advocacy and campaigning work: on women’s rights, migrant rights, and workers’ rights.
LAWRS is a holistic organisation supporting Latin American women. Their services are free of charge, in Spanish and Portuguese and provided in women only premises. They support more than 5000 women per year. They are accredited by the Advice Quality Standard, Investors in People, Investing in Volunteers. LAWRS counselling service follows BACP ethical guidelines and they are an accredited Living Wage Employer.
LAWRS role within the consortium
LAWRS are part of three different strands within the ASCENT Consortium including:
- Advice and counselling: they offer advice, advocacy, support and casework to women survivors of VAWG in Lambeth. Southwark. Lewisham and Wandsworth. They also offer specialist counselling services in Spanish and Portuguese to Latin American women survivors of VAWG. As part of this strand we also run group activities in certain boroughs
- Ending harmful practices: they are part of the harmful practices strand offering advice and counselling services to Latin American women mainly in the areas of honour based violence and other specific Latin American harmful practices. They provide these services for women from certain London boroughs.
- Prevention: They are part of the prevention strand working with Tender and other organisations in raising awareness about healthy relationships in Secondary Schools across London
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