Rainbow Migration is seeking a legal trustee

The deadline for this role has been extended to Thursday 15 July 10am.


Rainbow Migration, the leading national charity supporting LGBTQI+ people through the asylum and immigration system, is seeking a new legal trustee with experience and knowledge of asylum law.


Who are we looking for?

Rainbow Migration is looking for a legal trustee to join our board of trustees. More specifically, candidates should have significant experience working in asylum law, and possess robust knowledge of the UK’s asylum systems and processes. You should have a strong interest in advancing the rights and interests of LGBTQI+ people who are seeking protection in the UK. You should be, or within the last 3 years have been, either a practicing solicitor, legal adviser or barrister.


Ideally, you will also bring other skills, knowledge and experience as all trustees are required to participate fully in the governance of the organisation. Additional knowledge and experience of organisational management, people management, other areas of law (contract or commercial, charity or employment) would all be useful. We especially encourage applications from those with migrant or refugee backgrounds, people of colour, disabled people, and LGBTQI+ people, but these are not essential criteria for the role.


This position is open to people who have leave to remain in the UK or UK citizenship. We cannot accept applications from people who are currently seeking asylum or under the age of 16.  Candidates must not have been previously disqualified as a trustee or company director, be undischarged bankrupt or have unspent criminal convictions for an offence involving dishonesty or deception (such as fraud).


What will you be doing?

Trustees support and shape the work and strategic direction of Rainbow Migration. Being a trustee is a rewarding role. Trustees have the overall legal responsibility for Rainbow Migration. They make sure Rainbow Migration’s finances and resources are well used to implement our mission, and also play a role as ambassador for the organisation and its work. Being a trustee is a voluntary position. For more information, see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/charity-trustee-whats-involved.


As a small but growing organisation, trustees are currently also involved in supporting staff and volunteers to deliver Rainbow Migration’s work. Legal trustees bring their expertise to the charity’s strategy and direction, so that the board and Executive Director can ensure Rainbow Migration remains the authoritative organisation on LGBTQI+ asylum and immigration. While we expect the reliance on trustees in our legal work to be considerably reduced as a result of planned recruitment, in recent years legal trustees have played an active role in Rainbow Migration’s policy and influencing work, in addition to their trustee responsibilities. For example, working collaboratively with staff they have identified key areas for prioritisation in Rainbow Migration’s policy work, made significant contributions to Rainbow Migration policy papers, presented at international conferences, and taken part in strategic litigation. They also contributed to the development of Rainbow Migration’s legal advice service.


Our ten current trustees have skills and experience that span the asylum process and law, academia, technology, communications, fundraising and finance. We currently have two trustees with lived experience of the UK’s asylum system.


What difference will you make?

Rainbow Migration is evolving at a rapid pace in order to respond to ongoing changes in the environment, including the most recent government proposals which could have devastating impacts on our service users, and to be the trusted and authoritative source of advice and support for LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum in the UK. We are gearing up to significantly expand our work in the areas of policy, advocacy and campaigning. This is an exciting time to help drive forward Rainbow Migration’s strategy and make a significant difference to the lives of LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum.


Trustees meet in the evening between 6 and 10 times per year according to need. Meetings are held at our offices in central London and/or by Zoom. Travel costs for trustees based outside London can be reimbursed if necessary. Attendance at other ad-hoc meetings, events (such as the annual general meeting), or relevant committee meetings is also expected. Preparation for the meetings involves a time commitment for detailed reading of papers provided several days in advance. The next two years are likely to be a time of rapid change for Rainbow Migration as well as upheaval in the asylum system, and will require an enthusiastic commitment.


A few more details

Rainbow Migration is a membership organisation. We require our trustees to become members (£20/year). Trustees can be co-opted by the board but have to be confirmed by Rainbow Migration’s members at the next annual general meeting (AGM).


Training and ‘buddying up’ with an existing trustee can be provided to the successful candidate.


To apply

Please send your CV with a covering email explaining why you are applying to recruitment@rainbowmigration.org.uk by Thursday 15 July at 10 am.


Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an informal interview on Zoom. Preferred candidates will also be invited to observe a board meeting so that both they and the organisation can feel confident that the role and organisation is right for them.


About Rainbow Migration

Rainbow Migration supports LGBTQI+ people through the asylum and immigration system. We provide emotional and practical support for LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum, offer legal information and advice, and advocate for improved policies and practice in LGBTQI+ asylum claims by governments and other institutions. We also train lawyers and other organisations working with LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum.


LGBTQI+ people who are seeking asylum face multiple forms of disadvantage. They are often marginalised from diaspora communities due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics and from LGBTQI+ communities because of racism and xenophobia.


In addition to the trustees, we have a team of ten full- and part-time staff plus volunteers, and have plans for further expansion in the next 2 years including the appointment of a Campaigns Manager and a Legal and Policy Director.