Just published: our Annual Report for our activities in 2019

We’ve just published the Annual Report covering our activities for 2019. This report is a mandatory document for our reporting to the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations as also a confirmation of our committment to transparency and accountability.

The report provides information on the activities, initiatives and engagements we worked on throughout the year. It also gives readers an insight into the major achievements and challenges we faced in the year. Importantly, it provides information on the human rights landscape of 2019 and our position within it.

The report is freely available on our Publications page, here.

This is my introduction to the Annual Report. We’re more than happy to provide more information on the Report’s content and our activities…just get in touch with us.

2019 will go down in history as one of Malta’s most tumultuous years. On-going investigations into the brutal assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia continued to unveil shocking stories of corruption at Malta’s highest political levels, including the Office of the Prime Minister and other Ministries, as well as in Malta’s most prominent and influential business circles. The impact on the nation was unprecedented, with upset crowds – led by civil society organisations – taking to the streets for several days with loud calls for justice, accountability and resignations. At the end of the year, the disgraced Prime Minister resigned as also the disgraced Minister for Tourism and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff.

The scandals are nowhere near resolved and justice for Daphne and for the criminal activities she was in the process of revealing is far from being secured. In a recent opinion piece, I underlined that, as long as Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi remain members of Parliament, Malta will remain besieged by corruption and criminal activity, unable to restore democracy.

aditus foundation has for years been lamenting the state of Malta’s democracy, rule of law and governance. So it was only natural for us to stand outside Parliament, shouting “Barra! Korrotti! Ġustizzja!”. It was clear to us that Joseph Muscat, Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri needed to resign and to have criminal investigations opened into their shady dealings. In her contribution to this report by Carla (Assistant Director) explains our activities and motivations, with the conclusion being that good governance and rule are undeniably human rights issues for which aditus foundation will continue to fight for, doing whatever it takes to set Malta on a path of true democracy.    

This report also hints at the list of projects and stand-alone initiatives we worked on throughout the year, covering most of the themes we had identified in our two-year Strategic Plan: unjust rules preventing undocumented migrants from marrying, Malta’s failure to acknowledge the issue of statelessness, safe and legal access to Malta and to asylum for refugees, illegal detention in undignified and inhumane conditions, access to gender recognition procedures for the trans and non-binary communities, broader dissemination of human rights values through art and cultural engagement, empowerment of refugee communities.

2019 also confirmed a shift we had triggered in our advocacy strategy. Increasingly, we are adopting a broader range of advocacy tools in order to fulfil our human rights mission. With all our stakeholders – Government, non-governmental entities, private sector, general public – we stress the primacy of open dialogue based on mutual trust in the process. When seeking to resolve individual and institutional issues, we approach public entities with this spirit. Our engagement with the public, largely through interviews, opinion pieces, blogposts and social media is honest, transparent and often hard-hitting and brutal. Consistently based on technical expertise, research and community voices, our advocacy positions invite a collaborative approach.

Yet in 2019 we further consolidated the importance of resorting to strategic litigation when attempts at dialogue fail, when the severity or consistency of human rights violations shocks us, when a violation is indicative of institutional failures. Aware of the impact this tool-box approach has on our relations with several public entities, partners and the general public, we are nonetheless adamant to fulfil our mission and support victims of human rights victims in their quest for justice and will not hesitate to resort to Court of Law (national, European or International) where violations are systemic and our appeals to dialogue ignored. This report flags those cases we have proudly taken on.

In all honesty, aditus foundation closed 2019 utterly exhausted and burnt out. All our team members spent the year working tirelessly on the various projects and initiatives we chose to implement, taking to the streets almost every day for the last months of the year. Our work does take its toll on us all.

As Director of this small but effective NGO, I am extremely proud at our achievements throughout 2019. We forged new significant alliances, we stood firmly for democracy when Government and the nation was rallying against us, we defended the meekest and ensured an unwavering human rights voice in a difficult and at times toxic environment. We now look forward to the years ahead, with a new Strategic Plan for 2020-2022 based on our successes, weaknesses and vision for a better Malta for all persons living here.