Vacancy Announcements

We are happy to publish these vacancy announcements and receive your applications! The below specifications may be downloaded here (.pdf).

Recruitment Policies

aditus foundation is an independent, voluntary and non-profit organisation established with a mission to monitor, act and report on access to fundamental human rights. Our work includes advocacy, research, capacity building and provision of pro bono legal services in the field of asylum, migration, LGBTIQ+ rights and individual rights and freedoms.

We are seeking to recruit motivated individuals to join our team of human rights advocates in Malta. Our team consists of 4 permanent staff members, supported by a dynamic group of interns and trainees.

aditus is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, citizenship, and (dis)ability.

Primary Responsibilities

The Legal Officer is primarily responsible for the provision of legal services to clients in the fields of asylum and migration. This includes individual case-work, as well as other projects involving research, writing and advocacy. The Legal Officer forms part of our Pro Bono Unit and reports to the Director.

Individual case-work with clients covers the following activities:

  • Delivery of information to asylum-seekers on all matters relating to the asylum procedure;
  • Preparation of appeals against negative decisions taken by the International Protection Agency. This involves researching and drafting submissions, and participating in the hearings of the second instance authority (the International Protection Appeals Tribunal);
  • Preparation of appeals against negative Dublin decisions and of subsequent applications;
  • Litigation relating to challenging detention of asylum-seekers and other migrants;
  • Assistance with applications for national protection, namely Temporary Humanitarian Protection, and with applications for other special residence documents;
  • Appeals against rejections of social security applications (e.g., unemployment benefits, housing benefits, etc.) involving asylum-seekers, international protection beneficiaries or other migrants;
  • Participation and assistance with the preparation of cases for strategic litigation in national and international fora (e.g., ECHR, UN mechanisms, etc);
  • Assisting clients during client drop-in days and visiting clients in open and closed centres;
  • General human rights support to asylum-seekers, beneficiaries of international/national protection and failed asylum-seekers.
Other Responsibilities

Together with the above, the Legal Officer will be involved in the following:

  • Research and drafting of the Malta reports for the Asylum Information Database (AIDA);
  • Supervision of one or more Legal Interns;  
  • Participation in various meetings, seminars and trainings regularly organised in Malta or overseas;
  • Work closely with and provide policy analysis and legal expertise to the other team members, this would include participation in advocacy activities.
Required Qualifications

We are looking for a candidate who can effectively demonstrate the following:

  • University degree in law or legal studies, having covered refugee law and international human rights law;
  • At least 3 years’ experience working in the area of asylum;
  • Experience working and communicating with marginalised or vulnerable communities;
  • Working knowledge of the Common European Asylum System;
  • Excellent research and drafting skills (English);
  • Willingness to travel for seminars and conferences, as these arise;
  • Fluency in English;
  • Ability to work in a small team and in a fast-paced environment;
  • A commitment to diversity which respects differences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion and ability. In particular, a commitment to respect the Code of Conduct of the Malta Refugee Council.
Offer

We are able to offer the following to the selected candidate:

  • A one-year full-time position, with the possibility of this being converted to an indefinite contract;
  • Salary package that is commensurate with experience;
  • Statutory vacation and sick leave;
  • A flexible and family-friendly working environment;
  • A fun and committed group of colleagues!
Application Procedure

Please send applications to Katarzyna De Wilde, our Programmes Officer, at [email protected], attaching a (1) covering letter, (2) updated CV with at least 2 references and (3) 2 short writing samples by not later than 5 March 2021.

All applications should include ‘Legal Officer position’ in the subject line.

Primary Responsibilities

The primary role of the Case Officer is to support our Pro Bono Unit in the provision of legal services to individual clients, primarily in the field of asylum and migration. This includes the provision of individualised support to clients, administrative support to our team and research into relevant laws and policies. The Case Officer forms part of our Pro Bono Unit and reports to the Director.

Individual case-work with clients covers the following activities:

  • Client onboarding and registration;
  • Preparation and carrying out of visits to open and closed centres;
  • Follow-up with government departments, agencies and other public or private service-providers;
  • Background research relating to client work and litigation;
  • Assisting with non-litigation advocacy and outreach work in the communities;
  • Follow-up with specific clients;
  • General human rights support to asylum-seekers, beneficiaries of international/national protection and failed asylum-seekers.
Required Qualifications

We are looking for a candidate who can demonstrate the following:

  • University degree in law, legal studies, human rights, humanitarian action, international relations or related field.
  • At least 1 years’ experience working in the area of human rights or related field;
  • Experience working and communicating with marginalised or vulnerable communities;
  • Fluency in English. Knowledge of Maltese will be considered an advantage;
  • Ability to work in a small team and in a fast-paced environment;
  • A commitment to diversity which respects differences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion and ability. In particular, a commitment to respect the Code of Conduct of the Malta Refugee Council.
Offer

We are able to offer the following to the selected candidate:

  • A one-year full-time position, with the possibility of this being converted to an indefinite contract;
  • Salary package that is commensurate with experience;
  • Statutory vacation and sick leave;
  • A flexible and family-friendly working environment;
  • A fun and committed group of colleagues!
Application Procedure

Please send applications to Katarzyna De Wilde, our Programmes Officer, at [email protected], attaching a (1) covering letter, (2) updated CV with at least 2 references by not later than 5 March 2021.

All applications should include ‘Case Officer position’ in the subject line.

Out of the Shadows: giving a voice to sex workers in Malta

The Project Researcher will be engaged to carry out research within the ambit of the project Out of the Shadows: giving a voice to sex workers in Malta, funded through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme 2021..

Out of the Shadows seeks to create a safe space for sex workers in Malta to talk about their lives, experiences and dreams. Their stories will allow the nation to better understand the human complexities of sex work. This is being done within the context of the nationwide discussion on the reform of policy and legislation on sex work.  

Out of the Shadows will run from 1 March 2021 to end February 2022.

The Project Researcher will report to the Project Leader and will be able to carry out services from our office or remotely. It will however be necessary for the Project Researcher to be available to meet individuals in person during the course of the research, as well as to attend project briefings at regular intervals.

The Researcher will produce a publication that will give a much-needed voice to a community that is often shrouded in shame, discrimination, poverty and marginalisation.

Responsibilities of the Researcher

The Researcher will be responsible for the following activities:

  • Formulation of a research plan based on best practice, sound ethical considerations and similar initiatives at the European/International level;
  • Desk-research;
  • Engagement with relevant governmental and non-governmental stakeholders;
  • Qualitative interviews with sex workers from diverse backgrounds, including – as far as possible: men, women, LGBTIQ+ persons, Maltese and non-Maltese;
  • Drafting of a report giving a comprehensive understanding of the situation of sex workers in Malta, including a series of legal and policy recommendations;
  • Participation in dissemination activities, both general and targeted to specific stakeholders.
Required Qualifications

We are looking for a candidate who can demonstrate the following:

  • University degree in anthropology, sociology, public policy, law, youth and community studies, social policy or social work, psychology, gender studies, or an equivalent comparable professional qualification;
  • Experience in carrying out qualitative research;
  • Experience working and communicating with marginalised or vulnerable communities;
  • Excellent research and drafting skills in English;
  • Fluency in Maltese will be considered to be an advantage;
  • Ability to work in a small team and in a fast-paced environment;
  • A commitment to fundamental human rights, in particular to diversity which respects differences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion and ability.
Offer

We are able to offer the following to the selected service-provider:

  • A service agreement lasting until mid-February 2022;
  • The estimated value of the contract between Eur 2,000 – 2,500, commensurate with experience and expertise;
  • Administrative support from the aditus team, including use of our office, equipment and logistics;
  • Research support, particularly in identifying research participants and relevant stakeholders.
Application Procedure

Please send applications to Katarzyna De Wilde, our Programmes Officer, at [email protected], attaching a (1) covering letter, (2) updated CV with at least 2 references and (3) 2 short writing samples by not later than 5 March 2021.

All applications should include ‘Out of the Shadows Researcher position’ in the subject line.



Refugee-led Community Organisations in Malta: Advocating about issues directly impacting refugees. In a way that really reflects refugees.

Carla Camilleri, Assistant Director

Arrival in Malta

Malta starting receiving significant numbers of refugees in the mid-90’s. However, it was not until 2001 and 2002 that large numbers started arriving by boat from North Africa, Libya in particular. Most of those arriving in Malta through this route were from Sub-Saharan Africa, however in recent years Syrians and Libyans make up the largest groups in terms of arrivals.

Between 2002 and 2013 Malta received an average of 1700 boat arrivals per year. From 2014, there was a marked decrease in the number of boat arrivals through the central Mediterranean route, which was offset by an increase in the number of asylum seekers arriving by plane. From June 2018, arrivals of asylum-seekers rescued at sea resumed with 7132 persons rescued between 2018 and 2020.

Refugees and their organisations

The the exact number of refugee-led community organisations (RCOs) present in Malta is unknown. However, there exist a number of diaspora organisations reflecting the variety of nationalities residing in Malta that have formally registered as non-governmental organisations, whilst others have a looser organisational structure.

There are currently around 10 refugee-led or migrant-led organisations that focus on refugee issues. Some are diaspora organisations that are representatives of the peoples that come from countries from which refugees originate (e.g. Syrian Solidarity in Malta, Sudanese Community Malta, Eritrean Migrant Community Association and others), whilst others have a more sectoral approach (e.g. Migrant Women Association Malta, Spark15). Furthermore, there are diaspora organisations, such as the African RCOs, that have created platforms that consist of members from different groups.

NGOs working with refugees recently established the Malta Refugee Council, as an informal network to coordinate our advocacy work for the betterment of refugees’ lives in Malta.



Their voice

It is interesting to note that the emergence of RCOs is a relatively new phenomenon in Malta, and we could say that we are seeing ‘first generation’ type RCOs with varying levels of expertise and organisation.

There have been a variety of triggers for the formation of RCOs. The triggers depended on the different situation of the members of those communities. The Eritrean community was set-up once resettlement from Malta was completed and in order to focus on integration, whilst the Ivorian community was set up to address the issues of detention that they faced in the early 2000s.

The main aim is to gather … in one place, have fun, activities, campaigns learn from each other, support each other, and share our struggles

Representative of Syrian Solidarity in Malta.

The struggles that they speak of include legal, structural and policy issues that exist in Malta and that have been largely created without the participation of the individuals that are directly effected by them:

  • The reception and asylum systems which are under severe strain and which lead to delays in accessing the asylum procedure and a degeneration in reception conditions generally.
  • The policy of mandatory detention which has been re-introduced, after its removal in 2015.
  • Restrictive laws and the lack of a comprehensive policy framework that regulate permanent settlement, family reunification, citizenship, access to benefits and local integration.
  • Accessing the labour market and/or securing stable employment, remains difficult and the social support provided extremely limited.
  • The public discourse surrounding migration which is a negative one that dehumanises asylum-seekers and refugees and treats them as social burdens.
  • The spreading of verbal violence and racial abuse by groups and individuals on social media, particularly on Facebook.
  • An increasingly hostile environment which came to a head in 2019, when Lassana Cisse was shot dead and another two-men injured in a racially motivated attack by two off-duty army officers.


Engaging in a political environment

Although the presence of refugees in Malta spans almost three decades, the presence of RCOs and their active engagement in political discourse remains limited. Throughout the years there has been little contact with government stakeholders to discuss issues that are relevant to their communities which range from social welfare to health, from detention to access to justice, and from integration to citizenship. Although there has been some collaboration on the local level, engagement at policy and legislative level has been severely lacking and this is a missed opportunity as RCOs are key in…

…advocating about issues that are directly impacting refugees. In a way that really reflect refugees.

Representative of the Eritrean Migrant Community Association.

Non-refugee-led organisations have been on the forefront of advocating for refugee rights in the past years, however there is a need to break the dichotomy that they are consulted as the “experts” and RCOs are sought out solely for their “experience”. This is not always easy to achieve as RCOs face a number of challenges which non-refugee-led organisation do not and this in turn effects the efficiency and effectiveness of their organisations.

Primarily, most of the people working with RCOs do so on a voluntary basis, whilst juggling full-time employment or education and family life. This was found to affect many aspects of keeping an NGO running: registering, reporting, funding and working on projects. Consequently, the majority of RCOs in Malta were unable to apply for public or project finding due to a lack of capacity to fulfil the obligations required by funding programmes.

Furthermore, the lack of office space or the funding to rent office space is a major challenge. The lack of space from which to operate effects the efficiency of the organisation but also has an impact on the lack of privacy and confidentiality that is needed at times.

Importantly, many refugees see Malta as a ‘stop’ before moving to mainland Europe and therefore there is a high turnover of volunteers and a lack of commitment to long-term visions and projects. It was also difficult to find skilled persons to volunteer. Many also did not have hope and motivation that the work done by RCOs would lead to a change in integration strategies, policies and legislation.

However, in spite of the lack of time and money, many RCOs have had a tangible impact on the lives of their members, if not so much on policy and legislation. This was through financial assistance to the members of the community, assistance to homeless refugees, counselling sessions, training of members and language lessons.

Untapped resource

We have spoken a long time ago with the Home Affairs and Security. We exchanged letters regarding our situation… 2 years after we were able to meet them.

Representative of the Sudanese Community Malta.

As mentioned above, there has been limited engagement by the major players within Government with RCOs. Many RCOs feel that although as they try to engage with Government their response was limited.

RCOs present an untapped resource that can not only offer services to members of the community but can offer valid contributions to legislative consultations and can raise protection concerns and gaps that their communities are facing.

Government should be more open to having discussions with RCOs on issues of concern, policies and legislative changes. This would need to be done by having an open and transparent process when legislative or policy changes are being discussed. Furthermore, there needs to be an open dialogue between Government and RCOs on key issues such as detention, rescue at sea and the asylum process.

In conjunction with improved collaboration, there needs to be an equitable method of supporting RCOs through financial assistance, the provision of office space and support in setting up and administering a voluntary organisation.



This article was written on the basis of the findings and interviews carried out within the framework of the project Training Kit for Empowering Refugee-Led Community Organisations supported by Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

This project is being implemented by the following organisations: aditus foundation, Cyprus Refugee Council, Dutch Refugee Council, European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Greek Forum of Refugees, Jesuit Refugee Service (Malta), Mosaico – Azioni per i rifugiati. With Syrian Volunteers Netherlands as Associated Partners.

For further information visit the project webpage, where you will find the national reports on refugee-led organisations in all the participating countries (including the EU-level aspect) as well as other project publications.



Malta and national minorities: what does the Council of Europe say?

Fifth Opinion of Malta of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Council of Europe, 18 February 2021

The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities rendered its Fifth Opinion of Malta, despite the absence of a state report and a country visit. The conclusions and recommendations reflect Malta’s long-standing political, cultural and social issues regarding integration, discrimination, hate crime and hate speech.

‘No national minorities in Malta’?

Under the scope of the Council of Europe, national minorities are meant to be protected by the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM). This is a legally binding document adopted in 1994 that Malta signed in 1995 and ratified in 1998. It is currently in force in 38 other states.

By signing and ratifying the FCNM, Malta committed to “respect, ensure the protection of national minorities, to promote full and effective equality of persons belonging to minorities in economic, social political, public and cultural” spheres as well as to ensure their “freedom of assembly, association, expression, thought, conscience, religion, access to and use of the media, linguistic freedom and right to education”

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Understanding our work in relation to migrant detention – Interview with our Director

#KeepingUpWithTheInterns

Hey all! I hope all of you are doing well! Today I will be writing about something that aditus foundation works a lot on: our work on migrant detention. To help me understand this topic and the current situation better I decided to interview our Director, Dr. Neil Falzon.

To start off, I asked him to explain the concept of migrant detention: “Detention is when people’s liberty is entirely taken away from them.” 

As he was talking, I started to picture Malta’s detention as a form of imprisonment. Neil agreed with me, and told me that the detention centres “look and feel like prisons, with bars on the windows, guards everywhere and a highly securitised space!” He also added that “detained persons are not allowed to leave the detention centre and live under very strict conditions.

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New projects for 2021!

We’re happy to present the list of new projects we’ll be working on this year. These projects cover a broad range of issues…from statelessness to sex work from child detention to undocumented migrants…pretty much reflecting the needs we’ve identified in several sectors. Many of these initiatives will commence this year and flow into 2022. They join the projects we started last year, with the entire list giving you an idea of how busy we are but also of the human rights issues Malta still needs to address.

Contrary to what most people think, a long list of projects is not necessarily a good thing. Whilst it does mean that we’re able to address several human rights concerns, it also means that our work runs the risk of being fragmented and boxed within the constraints of specific projects: timelines, ear-marked budgets, constant reporting.

Human rights advocacy, by definition, is very difficult to squeeze into a finite project. Goals are generally long-term, targets not always reached and activities usually involve meeting stakeholders, initiating dialogue and other ‘soft’ elements that are hard to measure, evaluate and report on. Yet of course we count ourselves lucky that we have access to project funds to carry out our work, and thank all funding entities for these opportunities.

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