Human rights in Malta in 2021: the EU’s Rights Agency reports

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) released the Fundamental Rights Report 2022 that assesses the key developments in the areass of fundamental rights from 2021, achievements and shortcomings. The report dives into many areas, with Malta featuring many times for the country’s shortcomings in the protection of fundamental rights, and for its achievements. This blogpost gives an overview of how Malta features in the FRA report, providing an interesting insight into human rights in Malta in 2021.

The report begins by discussing social rights and equality post-Covid-19 Pandemic, highlighting Malta’s plan to assess its unemployment benefit’s system, and to fund technological advancements to promote access to health care. Malta, among other EU Member States, plans to promote the active participation of persons with disabilities in social life through the recovery and Resilience Facility.

The report mentions the plan for an NHRI to replace the current National Commission for the Promotion of Equality for Men and Women. Malta was also praised for their recent inclusion of sexual orientation, racial origin and religion in the data collected by the Census of Population and Housing 2021. FRA reported that EU citizens and family members experience discrimination on the basis of their nationality where non-Maltese EU citizens are required to present pay-slips as proof of social security before receiving treatment from public healthcare providers, whereas Maltese citizens are only asked to present identity cards. 

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Legal training on European Court cases in asylum

In April, our Legal Officer, participated in a training on case law developed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) with relevance for asylum law. This was organised by the Academy of European Law (ERA) in Strasbourg. 

The training provided in depth knowledge on the ECHR approach in asylum cases. Experienced speakers presented the Court’s approach in non-refoulement cases, detention cases, interim measures and the right to family life. The participants could visit the Court and meet the very experienced lawyers working there. 

The seminar was attended by lawyers in private practice, judges, European and national civil servants and other legal practitioners dealing with asylum law.

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Elections 2022: Creating a More Just Society

In view of an upcoming 2022 national elections, we wish to put forward a number of
proposals that we feel will contribute to making Malta a fairer and more just society.
Our focus remains on supporting the most vulnerable members of our community
whilst also strengthening those institutions empowered and tasked to protect our
fundamental human rights.

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Our Junior Legal Officer attended an advanced course on strengthening international protection

In October three of our lawyers attended an advanced course on strengthening international protection. Neil (Director), Alexis (Legal Officer) and Mireille (Junior Legal Officer) spent 3 days in Marseille participating in engaging discussions and workshops, whilst also networking with our friends and colleagues in other Member States.

Why do we attend these events? What are the benefits to our work, and to our beneficiaries?

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Alternatives to detention discussed in legal training

Between 1 and 2 October, aditus foundation’s staff participated to the European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA) Advanced Course 2021: ‘Strengthening International Protection in Europe and Thinking Ahead’ training organised in Marseille by the European Council on Refugee and Exiles (ECRE).

The training was attended by legal practitioner and members of the ELENA network, which brings together a wide range of actors in the field of migration and asylum. It provided valuable input in key topics surrounding the current legal challenges in migration and asylum faced by legal practitioners all around Europe. Our interest was to focus on alternatives to detention as a key point for legal training.

On aditus’ side, the event was attended by Director Neil Falzon, Legal Officer Alexis Galand and Junior Legal Officer Mireille Boffa.

Specific workshops aimed at tailoring the comprehension of these key topics were held throughout the two days event. The workshops on alternatives to detention was of particular importance to aditus’ lawyers as they are confronted daily with the legal challenges surrounding detention. 

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