LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters Domestic Abuse During Isolation

Violencia doméstica durante el aislamiento

El aislamiento a consecuencia de la emergencia por COVID-19 podría incrementar los incidentes de violencia doméstica. En LAWRS, queremos que sepas que no estás sola. Si estás sufriendo o estás en riesgo de sufrir violencia doméstica, sigue estos pasos para mantenerte a ti y a tu familia a salvo.


Cómo mantenerse a salvo durante el aislamiento

Puede que durante la pandemia, tu hogar no sea un espacio seguro. Si estás en riesgo de sufrir violencia doméstica puedes seguir estos pasos para manterte a ti y a tu familia segura:

  • Mantén siempre tu teléfono cargado y contigo.
  • Acuerda una palabra secreta con amigos y familiares en los que confíes, para que puedan llamar a la policía en caso de que los contactes.
  • Habla con tus hijos/as sobre a dónde ir si tu pareja se vuelve agresiva. Pídeles que no intervengan, ya que podría ser un peligro para ellos.
  • Enséñales a tus hijos a marcar el 999 (policía) desde un lugar seguro. Necesitan saber la dirección completa en inglés.
  • Si tus vecinos conocen tu situación, hazles saber que deben llamar al 999 si escuchan algún problema en tu hogar.
  • Si tu pareja se vuelve agresiva, evita compartir la cocina, el garaje o cualquier otro lugar con objetos dañinos que puedan usarse como armas.

Si necesitas información o apoyo, puedes comunicarte con nosotrxs:

Lunes a viernes, de 10 AM a 1 PM

0771 928 1714 (Español)
0759 597 0580 (Portugués)

Si no es seguro llamar, puedes enviar un correo electrónico a con tu nombre, tu número y el horario en el que es seguro llamarte.

También puedes llamar a la Línea Nacional de Asistencia para Violencia Doméstica al 0808-2000-247. Puedes solicitar un intérprete. La línea funciona las 24 horas del día.

Siempre recuerda, no estás sola. 

LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters Covid-19

IMPORTANTE Actualización por Covid-19

Querídas usuarias,

Debido a la pandemia de COVID-19 hemos tenido que cerrar nuestras oficinas, con el fin de proteger a nuestras usuarias, trabajadoras y voluntarias.

Seguimos ofreciendo todos nuestros servicios habituales de forma remota y puedes comunicarte con nosotras a través de nuestras líneas de apoyo.

También puedes encontrar en nuestra sección de COVID-19 información importante que debes saber en relación a la pandemia, como las medidas de distanciamiento social, el esquema de furlough, etc.

LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters EU Settlement Scheme Assistance

EU Settlement Scheme Assistance

Free assistance for Latin American women and their families who are EU nationals or family member of an EU citizen, to obtain permanent residence (Settlement or Pre-settled Status)

Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm (without appointment)

If you are European and work or have worked in the UK, you should bring:

  • Passport or DNI (yours and your dependents)
  • National Insurance Number
  • If you are applying for your child, you will need a birth certificate or family book
  • Email and mobile phone
  • If you have lived more than 5 years in the United Kingdom, bring proof of your residence (P45, P60, salary receipts, council tax)

The Unheard Workforce

The Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS) is launching its latest report: “The Unheard Workforce: Experiences of Latin American migrant women in cleaning, hospitality and domestic work” 

descargar el reporte

On the 17th July 2019, LAWRS launched the research “The Unheard Workforce: Experiences of Latin American migrant women in cleaning, hospitality and domestic work”. Funded by Trust for London

The research draws on 326 cases of women supported at the Employment Rights Advice Service of the organisation. It presents an array of deeply concerning labour rights violations experienced by Latin American migrant women employed in three key feminised sectors of London’s manual labour: cleaning, hospitality, and domestic work.

Among the key results arising from these cases, we found that:

  • Over half of the workers faced breaches to their contracts (62%). Unlawful deduction of wages was the most common type of abuse (151 cases, 46%).
  • 1 in 5 (20%) experienced illegal underpayment of the National Minimum Wage.
  • 17% were unlawfully denied the annual leave they were entitled to, and 16% were not paid accrued in lieu annual leave once they left the company.
  • Health and safety issues were present in 25% of the cases – predominantly injury due to the nature of the work (33%), limited or no protective equipment (17%), and lack of training (12%).
  • Over two in five (41%) of women in the sample have experienced discrimination, harassment or unreasonable treatment.
  • 66% experienced bullying or unreasonable treatment as regular occurrences.
  • A large proportion endured verbal and/or faced physical abuse, 37% and 11% respectively.
  • 16% of the women endured a total of 13 different types of sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace.
  • Abuse on the grounds of maternity was experienced by 9% of women. This includes failure to pay for hours spent at prenatal appointments and denial of risk assessments during pregnancy.
  • 11 cases of potential trafficking for labour exploitation were identified: 7 were cleaners or hospitality workers and 4 were domestic workers.

“We are not machines or numbers. We are human beings who want to work and to be treated with dignity and respect. We want nothing more and nothing less.”

Watch the full short documentary below:

“Undocumented Latin American migrant woman’s experiences of labour abuse in London”

This documentary was made with the support of Media Trust by the filmmaker Andrew Contreras

LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Protesting Banners

LAWRS 35th Anniversary report is out!

35 year ago, we started our work in a time where domestic violence was only physical abuse and we increased our services accordingly to the development of policies and legislation through the years. We are proud to follow the steps of amazing Latin American women who came before us and we hope to do our part for the ones to come. As a specialist service, we will continue providing survival, security, safety, and well-being and also advocating and campaigning for human rights and social justice for migrant women and migrant women workers in the UK.

During the last year 2017-2018, our main achievements were:

  • 1,890 hours of comprehensive wellbeing support offered
  • 1,691 advice and information sessions
  • 339 survivors of violence supported to find safety
  • 285 school students better able to lead healthy relationships
  • 266 women joined in our integration programme
  • 515 women supported in Southwark
  • 124 women supported in Haringey
  • 93% improved their knowledge about rights
  • 85% improved their wellbeing
  • 40% of our drop-in service users accessed more than 1 service in a single visit
  • 70% found LAWRS through word of mouth
  • Evidenced-based campaigning work to tackle violence against women and girls, labour exploitation and reduce the impact of Brexit

Read more here: LAWRS 35th Anniversary Annual Report

LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters Voices Of Resilience

Voices of Resilience: short documentary

Migrant and refugee women face multiple barriers when arriving in the EU and the current political anti-migrant climate has made their situations direr. Experiences of gender-based abuse, exploitation at work and isolation have been exacerbated by the progressive erosion of migrant and women’s rights.

On International Migrant Day 2018, LAWRS launches the short documentary titled: Voices of resilience: Migrant and Refugee women in Europe” which highlights the experiences of migrant women in the UK, Spain, Poland and Italy and sharing their experiences and calls for change.

The short documentary was made as part of the  Women, Empowerment, Integration and Participation project (WEIP) run by LAWRS (UK), Differenza Donna (Italy), KARAT Coalition (Poland) and Red Acoge (Spain) and brought the voices and experiences of migrant and refugee women to the forefront. The documentary was first screened in November at the WEIP’s international conference in London, where more than 20 migrant and women organisations in Europe highlighted the role of migrant women’s lived experiences and provided recommendations to uphold their right to integrate and to live free of violence and discrimination.

Sophia Gomez Pelaez, a migrant woman in Spain, interviewed in the short documentary states:

“We come looking for other opportunities, especially as women as we are searching to cover family needs. However, it is difficult to find shelter as we often face rejection”

Moreover, Cathrine Nsamba, a migrant woman in Italy also interviewed (and photographed above) recommends:

“I was supported by the organisation to learn more and to understand more […]and my advice for women like me are to go inside leadership and campaign for these leaderships”

Finally, Alma Gatica, the WEIP Coordinator at the Latin American Women’s Rights Service stresses the importance of a migrant and gender perspective in our work.

“We, migrant women, have to get access to decision-making spaces where policies are discussed so we can fully participate in the host country: socially, politically and economically. We are the leaders of our own empowerment journey, both as migrants and as women”

Watch the full short documentary:

Co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration fund of the European Commission

LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters We Can't Fight In The Dark

We can’t fight in the dark: Brazilian women facing violence

A research by the King’s College in partnership with LAWRS found out that VAWG among Brazilian women in London is “alarmingly widespread”, with 4 in every 5 Brazilian women in London have experienced some kind of violence.

The study, published in March 2018, shed a light on cases of violence suffered by Brazilian women in London, provided data and offered policy recommendations to tackle the issue. According to the study emotional/psychological violence was the commonest type of violence experienced in London (48%), followed by physical violence (38%), with 14% experiencing sexual violence.

The study also found that cases of VAWG are intersectional as women of mixed race were more likely to experience violence (63%) than white women (44%). Insecure immigration status prevented women from coming forward and reporting the cases of violence to the police. Apart from highlighting the need for the Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) Bill to set standards for the protection of migrant victims’, some of the proposed solutions to prevent VAWG cases with Brazilian women are extending ‘recourse to public funds’ to domestic violence victims, specialist training for agency officers; and increased collaboration between support organisations and government authorities. The study reinforces the need for safe reporting mechanisms to be implemented as we campaign in Step Up Migrant Women.


LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters We Can't Fight In The Dark
LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters We Can't Fight In The Dark
LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters We Can't Fight In The Dark
LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters We Can't Fight In The Dark
LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters We Can't Fight In The Dark

LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Supporters Sin Fronteras

Relaunch of Sin fronteras: Empowering young women from Latin America

We are thrilled to announce the return of Sin Fronteras! Launched in June 2015, Sin Fronteras (No Limits) focuses on empowering young Latin American women and girls. Sin Fronteras provides them with a safe space to develop their full potential and lead on actions for social change through the use of arts. During the first two and a half years of the project, LAWRS offered different workshops and activities to more than 100 Latin American young women and girls. Through art, dance and music the young women and girls were able to identify themselves as agents that can generate a social change in our communities.

“We want to set an example, leave a footprint and speak up for Latin American people and for people from all over the world whose voices are silenced or to whom language is a barrier,” said the manifest written by members of the group.

They advocated for the recognition of young migrant women’s rights by calling for a recognition of rights through photography exhibitions, by demonstrating against detention at Yarl’s Wood, and by joining the campaign Against Border for Children (ABC). Here is Sin Fronteras standing up for the the right to education free from racism and state surveillance.

LAWRS is thrilled to relaunch Sin Fronteras in November 2018. We will run a 3-month creative leadership programme with the support of the University of London, a 1-year programme to access free university lectures thanks to King’s College London, and a 3-year programme of arts, development and social change funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Stay tuned to get more news about the awesome things this group of young leaders will be doing in the coming months.

LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Lucila Grenada Speaks at UN Women

LAWRS Director Lucila Granada speaks at UN Women

At the UN’s Promoting Gender-Responsive Migration Governance in the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration, LAWRS Director Lucila Granada highlighted the role of civil societies organisations and the importance of providing a space for migrant women and migrant-led women organisations to influence the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration at the national level.

The event was aimed at mobilizing support from UN Member States for a gender-responsive implementation of the Global Compact for Migration, which will contribute to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all migrant women and girls. Specialist services, women and migrants’ organisations are key to ensure effective responses at national and global level.

Lucila said: ‘In the day-to-day of our work with migrant women, we see that immigration status often plays a part in stories of abuse. Migrant women are silenced by the constant threat of being put in detention centers and the uncertainty about being sent back to the very place where they started their dangerous journey.’

You can watch Lucila’s speech here (min 46:30):

LAWRS Latin American Women's Rights Service Cycling And Fundraising For LAWRS

Cycling and fundraising for LAWRS

This summer, our Director, Lucila Granada and Alma Gatica, Migrant Women Integration & Participation Project Coordinator, cycled from Berlin to Copenhagen to gather funds for LAWRS and raise awareness of violence against women and girls (VAWG)

“We are a small charity with a big job to do. Every year, we support over 5,000 women who are facing poverty, violence, or severe exploitation in the UK, through specialist services and programmes. All our services are for free of charge, in Spanish and Portuguese. We also run ESOL classes, employability advice, recreational outings and support to better integrate in the UK and break through isolation. Our ultimate goal is for women to be able to exercise their rights, and live fulfilling lives free from violence and abuse. We believe that this kind of challenges are opportunities to give back to our community, inspire others to show solidarity with migrant women, and make a  positive difference in the lives of some the most vulnerable women,” said Lucila.

After more than 450 km, LAWRS raised over £2,500 from more than 60 online and offline supporters. We want to say a big THANK YOU to all of our supporter and everyone sharing the crowdfunding campaign. All donations help fund our specialist services for Latin American migrant women facing violence, exploitation, or poverty.

Please donate via this link: