Southwark becomes first Council to officially recognise its Latin American community. Ahead of the 3rd Annual General Conference for the Official Recognition of Latin Americans in the UK, Southwark’s Labour-run Council will now include ‘Latin American’ in the ethnicity section of the Council’s monitoring forms. This important step will not only help the Council to monitor participation in meetings, consultations to ensure it is properly engaging with all of the borough’s diverse communities, but will mean the Latin American community in Southwark is placed on equal footing with other ethnic groups.
Southwark has one of the largest Latin American communities in the country, especially around Elephant and Castle where a large number of businesses in the area are run by and for Latin Americans. Southwark Council already supports groups such as Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS) which offer advice and support to Latin Americans in Southwark..
Cllr Claire Hickson, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Community Engagement, said:
“Southwark has a large and vibrant Latin American community so I am pleased that we are on of the first Council in the country to officially recognise them in this way. It may only be a first step but one that the community has been campaigning for a long time and a good starting point for ensuring that we are listening to the Latin American community across our work.”
“As a Labour administration equality is central to everything we do, from the day-to-day delivery of the services to how we engage with our diverse communities.”
Southwark has one of the largest Latin American communities in the country, predominently made up of Columbians and Ecuadorians, living around Elephant and Castle where a large number of businesses in the area are run by and for Latin Americans.
Carolina Gottardo, Director of the Latin American Women’s Rights Service, said: “Southwark Council has taken an important step in the right direction towards recognition of the Latin American community, opening the path for other Councils to follow.
“The Latin American community has been an invisible community that highly contributes to the UK but whose contributions have been largely ignored in terms of strategy, policy and practice. We need full recognition as an ethnic minority to be able to access services and exercise our rights.
“Southwark Council is currently setting best practice and we are very pleased with this development.”
For those unaware of which countries count as Latin American, please see the list below: