For World Refugee Day 2021, we joined over 30 European human rights NGOs to urge the EU to do more for the relocation of refugees. We sent a letter to the Portuguese Presidency of the EU, flagging our concern that some EU Member States are not receiving sufficient support in their efforts at receiving and hosting refugees.
On our part, we have sent this letter to the Prime Minister and to the Ministry for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement.
Together with five other human rights NGOs – Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, SOS Malta, Integra Foundation, Kopin and Repubblika – we sent a letter to the Prime Minister, urging him to live up to Malta’s committments in the Open Government Partnership process (OGP)
Malta Refugee Council reacts to revisions to policy on access to employment for asylum-seekers
We are extremely concerned about a new policy that is denying people the possibility of working and earning a living. It is clear that this decision will deprive hundreds of people, including families, of the income necessary to secure a minimum level of human dignity and self-reliance. Already vulnerable to labour exploitation, including wages far below the minimum wage, asylum-seekers and failed asylum-seekers will be pushed further into the dark as they will inevitably clutch at any opportunity to secure basics such as shelter, food and water, clothing, services and transport in order to survive.
In May, the Ministry for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement amended Malta’s approach on how people seeking asylum in Malta, or who sought asylum here and had their applications rejected, may or may not work. The new policy focuses on a list of countries deemed safe by the Minister, whereby nationals of these countries are effectively punished for exercising their fundamental human rights to seek protection from persecution. Asylum-seekers from a country deemed safe will experience forced redundancy for up to nine months before being allowed to work. Persons from such countries whose asylum applications are rejected will only be able to work in Malta under exceptional circumstances.
We write to you in relation to violence currently escalating in Palestine and Israel, the most intense since the seven-week 2014 Israeli-Gaza conflict. The number of civilian fatalities, including children, is rising, whilst the spreading of mob violence is an extremely worrying escalation.
This recent explosion of violence comes after further forced expulsions of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, part of occupied Palestinian territory, to make way for illegal Israeli settlers. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Israel to stop the forced evictions as these amount to violations of international law and could also amount to war crimes.