The Coalition of Latin Americans in the UK (CLAUK) is made up of six Latin American-led partner organisations, including lead partner Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation (IRMO). IRMO is an organisation that works to enable the development, agency, and participation of Latin Americans and other Spanish and Portuguese speakers, by responding to both immediate needs and structural inequalities. They do this by offering high-quality information and advice services, opportunities for development and training and a platform to seek social and systemic change.
The ‘CLAUK Voter ID campaign – Civic engagement of Latin American Londoners’ project aimed to support Latin American Londoners who are under-represented and under-registered, by running in-person and online awareness raising activity in Spanish and Portuguese. They had an intersectional approach that aimed to increase understanding of democratic rights and how to exercise them, inform about the introduction of photo Voter ID and the changes to voting, and ensure eligible Latin American Londoners have acceptable forms of photo ID to vote, or help them apply for a free Voter Authenticity Certificate.
CLAUK’s information sessions also reached groups who may not be currently eligible to vote, but who need support on their journey to social integration and full participation in civic and democratic life. This includes younger audiences (below voting age) and asylum seekers.
From January to March 2023, CLAUK produced 100 social media posts, 2,000 printed copies of their two informative leaflets, which were distributed throughout six London Boroughs (Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth and Southwark) to shops and businesses in key community areas for Latin Americans. As well as three articles in community press: two online articles, by CLAUK and Prisma, and a feature in Express News UK printed in Spanish, with 10,000 copies distributed among consulates and embassies, underground stations, Latin businesses and organisations. They also held nine events, five of which were face-to-face, one hybrid and three online, with 170 Londoners in attendance.
Through the project, they reached approximately 87,300 Latin American Londoners, improving their knowledge of their democratic rights and empowering them to use their voices. To respond to challenges around attendance at in-person events, they offered the option to join the event remotely, which enabled more Latin American Londoners to take part.
One attendee said:
“I have never voted, and I didn’t know about this. This change is a wake-up call on how I can use my right to vote in a way that is beneficial to our community.”