Malta’s human rights commitments to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Last November Malta’s human rights profile came under the spotlight after the United Nation’s Human Rights Council submitted its review on the country as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Council’s Working Group formulated a number of recommendations for Malta to observe in order to improve the implementation and enjoyment of human rights for all.

A number of Maltese NGOs including the Platform of Human Rights NGOs in Malta (PHROM), aditus foundation and the National Youth Council were also given the stage during the UPR’s pre-session to contribute a list of recommendations they deemed necessary for the country to implement. More about the session can be found here. The pre-session was organised by the NGO UPR-Info.

Malta has already supported a number of recommendations, summarised below.  Other recommendations have yet to receive support and Malta has until March 2019 to provide its final response to the recommendations.

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Voice for Choice – L-Għażla Tagħha

aditus foundation is one of the 6 civil society organisations which formed the first pro-choice coalition in Malta launched on the 8th March 2019. The coalition was set-up to lobby for the decriminalisation of abortion and to raise awareness in the community to combat the stigma that surrounds abortion.

Press Release – 8th March 2019

Voice for Choice is the first Maltese pro-choice coalition made up of civil society organisations and individuals who together want to campaign for reproductive rights and justice in Malta. We are grassroot organisations that represent various sectors of our society, as well as individuals that are passionate about reproductive health and rights.

Abortion continues to remain criminalised in Malta in all circumstances. We know that the reality is that women in Malta are still seeking and having abortions. However, this comes at both a financial and a social cost, as well as at the cost of their physical and mental health, as these women continue to live in fear, stigma and shame in our society.

In the last decades Malta has made great strides to be a more inclusive society. It is therefore time that the laws related to abortion follow suit so as to reflect the reality of people’s lives. We are here to ensure that all pregnant persons, irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, beliefs or age are supported, respected and protected whatever their choices.

Voice for Choice today launches its campaign to:

  • strive for a society based on equal respect and justice free from discrimination for all genders and minority groups;
  • ensure that barriers in accessing sexual and reproductive health and rights are removed;
  • promote equality in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights;
  • remove shame and stigma related to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

We intend to achieve these goals through campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion and advocating for laws that ensure that the health of pregnant people is protected and in line with international human rights standards through proper abortion care.

We will further strive to educate and debunk the myths surrounding abortion by providing factual information about sexual and reproductive health and rights.

To this aim, we will be organising activities to raise awareness in the community and combat the stigma and shame surrounding abortion, and providing up to date information to support evidence-based policy. Starting tomorrow, we will roll out our first social media campaign entitled “30 abortion myths: Get the facts straight’’.

Voice for choice will also be organising an annual event to commemorate ‘International Safe Abortion Day’ on the 28 September of each year.

Contact details:
Email: vfcmalta@gmail.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/V4CMalta/

Founders:

Women’s Rights Foundation
Moviment Graffitti
Malta Humanist Association
Integra Foundation
aditus foundation
Men Against Violence

Individual co-founders:

Francesca Fenech Conti and Jelena Dimke, admins Women for Women
Liza Caruana-Finkel


Less worthy, less human. Joint NGO Statement on the treatment of Turkish workers in Malta

We are deeply concerned at recent reports on the importation of Turkish nationals to work on a number of major construction projects. It is upsetting to read that hundreds of men will be housed in metal containers or similar make-shift structures and paid the lowest possible rates in return for what is extremely tough and strenuous work.   

Under no circumstances can metal containers be considered humane treatment, and the refugee centres in Ħal Far provide ample evidence of the severe impact such living conditions have on a person’s physical and mental health. For too long, Malta has been on a path of normalising the ill-treatment certain foreigners. It would appear that the lives of those migrants filling the employment gaps of work often described as ‘what the Maltese no longer want to do’ are deemed less significant, less worthy, less human.

Malta has the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the fundamental human rights of all persons in Malta, irrespectively of their nationality or their purpose of stay in Malta. In particular, all persons should be treated with dignity, be protected from forced labour and provided with humane conditions of employment. In this regard, human rights law and labour law complement each other in ensuring that all workers are free from abuse and ill-treatment.

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A new art project that’s larger than life!


‘Larger Than Life!’ celebrates the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by producing and exhibiting innovative, cutting-edge and dramatic human rights posters designed by some Maltese’s leading visual artists.

This is yet another project where we’re engaging with Malta’s artistic community in order to promote our human rights messages. We find this approach to be an enriching, exciting and fun way of reaching out to new audiences and ‘lightening up’ our often tough advocacy work! Past projects where we successfully engaged with the arts include 9 Parts of Desire (theatre, gender), You Are What You Eat (visual arts, migration) and Burning Bikinis (film, gender).

Through its Curatorial Team, which will include local artist and curator Alexandra Pace, the project will commission carefully-selected local artists to design large-scale Malta-relevant human rights posters, which are able to report/mediate fundamental messages as dignity, equality, respect, diversity.

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