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A message from our Chair



18/12/2023, London


My name’s Chris Randall, I’m a former human rights solicitor and the chair of trustees at RLS.


On International Migrants Day, I thought it was a good time to reflect on the last year and think about what’s coming next. 


It’s been another tough year for the people we support. In the UK, we’ve had the Illegal Migration Act, the Rwanda debacle, the Bibby Stockholm and endless calls to “stop the boats”.


In the EU, we have the New Pact on Migration that builds on the worst acts at Europe’s borders. It’ll legitimise pushbacks and the detention of people seeking safety. 


This brutal approach to our borders can’t work and is what led to the tragedy of the Pylos shipwreck six months ago. The families and survivors are still waiting for justice. 


It’s easy to see the people being pushed around by our governments only as victims. But this is reductive. Not only are they people like you and me, but they have their own power and agency. We know that legal support can and must help to restore this. 


Thanks to our supporters, we’ve been able to help more people to do this over the last year.


We’ve helped families to be reunited, helped people to claim asylum in the brutal Greek system, helped to amplify the voices of people as they fight for change and so much more. 


In 2024, we have big plans to do more to engage and help the communities that we work with to take back their power. 


We’ll continue to react to new challenges that come our way. But importantly, this won’t come at the expense of what we already do so well. We know that our existing work is often the best way to support people as new crises arise. 


As ever, our supporters and friends make this possible.


If you can, please consider donating to our winter campaign. We need to reach our target so we can continue doing this vital work.


Thank you,

Chris Randall Chair of Trustees, RLS


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