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29 May 2018

Behind the scenes at the Migrants’ Rights Network

In April 2018, the MRN Board agreed a new, five-year strategic and business plan for 2018-2023. We would love for you to get involved. We believe the plan speaks to a number of the key issues we all so passionately care about, and convenes many different stakeholders: migrants themselves, migrant and refugee community organisations, researchers, journalists, policy-makers and politicians.

MRN exists to co-ordinate and amplify the varied concerns of migrants and the organisations that represent them around immigration policy and practice. Its new strategic and business plan for 2018-2023 focuses on three core areas:

Rights – In keeping with a number of other migrant and refugee community organisations, MRN advocates on behalf of migrants through a ‘rights-based approach’. Our approach to rights goes beyond the legislative framework to include cultural and social rights; we think rights and discrimination intersectionally, putting race and LGBT+ concerns at the heart of our agenda. A significant aspect of our work will involve developing a vision for a progressive immigration policy for the future, and especially post Brexit

Relationships – Brokering new partnerships and relationships between migrant and refugee community organisations and external stakeholders has long been part of MRN’s DNA. We will focus on developing positive and equitable relationships with decision- and policy-makers, including key politicians at the local, regional and national level.

Regionalisation – This strand of work will research and share information on variances in the understanding of, and approach to, immigration at the regional and local levels. We are currently taking this forward through strategic representation on bodies such as the London Strategic Migration Partnership, our work with regional housing associations in other major cities, and work in more rural areas such as Boston through the Outsider Project.

By striking a collaborative tone with the sector, we won’t be stepping on toes and are eager to avoid cliché partnerships. A few of the highlights between now and March 2019 include:

  • Specialist work on territorial (everyday) Policing, Immigration Enforcement and electronic surveillance;
  • Continued specialist work around Health and Social Care;
  • A Women’s leadership programme for Migrant Women;
  • Moving into a new bespoke Migrant Hub in East London;
  • Convening a ‘Hostile Environment Working Group’ for London as part of our representative role on the Mayor of London’s Strategic Migration Partnership;
  • Training for Migrant and Refugee Community Organisations on Change Theory, and engaging with local public agencies;
  • Specialist work around Brexit and faith agencies;
  • Convening the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Migration, with a focus on skills development and regionalisation; 
  • Capacity building for smaller migrant and refugee community organisations and activist-led campaigning;

All of this, of course, is in addition to our usual business of rebutting anti-migrant hysteria and engaging those hostile to immigration.

So please don’t be shy: come and get involved, or pitch us an idea you would like help with.

For further information, please contact Rita Chadha ([email protected])