Malta’s EU Presidency legacy: a (legal) death-sentence for refugees!

When rickety boats laden with irregular migrants reach our shores, we see the suffering and the loss of dignity etched on these people’s faces. We understand that they are caught in a web of poverty and exploitation.

We feel for those fleeing persecution and poverty, in search of safety and prosperity. And we do everything we can to provide them with the help they need, offering refuge and respite.

It would be easy to flip channels once again; to park it in someone else’s back yard. But it is not someone else’s problem.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Sixty-Eighth Session of the UN General Assembly, 2013.

Herman Grech: Prime Minister, at the beginning of the legislature you considered returning to Libya a group of immigrants. Was that a mistake?

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat: Yes.

Times Talk interview, 2015.

In the document, the Commission is called on to “examine how to interpret and apply” the legal implications of a key humanitarian rule that protects migrants from being returned to a country where they may have reason to fear persecution, the so-called non-refoulement principle.

Malta’s Presidency of the EU Council to the EU Commission, 2016.

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