Celebrating 10 years of human rights work
This year, 2021, we are honoured to be celebrating our tenth birthday! On 31 March 2011 the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations confirmed our application and registered us as a human rights NGO with a mission to “monitor, report and act on access to human rights in Malta.” Our vision, then, was to establish a professional organisation that would target Malta’s human rights framework. We wanted to closely scrutinise those structures mandated to respect, protect and fulfil the fundamental human rights of all persons living in Malta: legislation, policies, institutions…
How effective are they? What gaps may be identified? Is Malta able to offer stronger, more inclusive protection? Whose rights are being violated? Is justice accessible?
Today, that vision remains as relevant as it was then. The experiences we lived through in the past ten years have confirmed and underlined the need for the nation to keep questioning its human rights credentials. Malta has indeed made great strides in some sectors, and we are truly proud to have actively contributed to many of these fantastic developments. Yet we still question the effectiveness of Malta’s human rights structures, there are still far too many gaps in protection, justice is not truly accessible for far too communities.
Looking back at our work since 2011, one feature keeps catching our attention: we are all in this together. Challenges faced by any minority, injustices against any member of our community…these are not merely one-off incidents but obstacles to the growth and flourishing of us all as a nation. Just as a thriving human rights environment results in an overall improvement of personal and social well-being, gaps in our human rights landscape – however small – affect us all. Acknowledging how interdependent we all are means that we are called upon to look out for each other, and that the solutions to the nation’s human rights challenges may only be discovered and realised in partnership, with solidarity.
It is in this spirit that we have consistently prioritised synergies, facilitating the coming together of different organisations, themes, approaches and perspectives. Together with being members of several national and international networks, we established Malta’s first national human rights platform, Malta’s Refugee Council and co-established the Voice for Choice coalition. We have joined countless coalitions on various human rights themes: mental health, environment, rule of law, access to housing, etc.
All our activities underline the notion that all the human rights of all persons are equally valid, and that fostering collaboration is clearly the best way forward.
We launch our birthday celebrations with a short video that lists Our Top 10 Moments. In the coming months we will be publishing more Top 10 videos. We also look forward to organising a proper celebration (Covid-permitting) and, coinciding with International Human Rights Day (10 December 2021), a national human rights conference. In this conference we hope to stimulate a discussion with our friends across various human rights sectors on what Malta’s human rights scenario should look like in ten years’ time: 2031.
We take this opportunity to extend a message of sincere gratitude to everyone who inspired, supported, and motivated us throughout this fantastic journey!