Advocacy Initiatives

Whilst much of our work is gathered within projects, there are also several initiatives we’re engaged in that are not defined in projects but are rather on-going efforts usually attached to specific advocacy goals.

These Advocacy Initiatives are the product of discussions held in our office, usually in response to a pressing need we identify through contacts with clients or other stakeholders.

They’re usually included in our Strategic Plan, a document outlining our strategic objectives for 2 years, yet at times we engage in issues that need our immediate response…it’s this responsiveness and preparedness that allows us to remain relevant to national developments as they happen.

All our projects are centered around our Strategic Plan and have a strong advocacy component. Together with our projects, these are our other main advocacy initiatives:

In February 2018 a group of 17 NGOs presented a paper detailing proposals for rent regulation reform. The aim of the coalition is to urge Government to fulfil its obligations in relation to the fundamental human right to housing. Our initiative came about due to serious challenges faced by several communities in securing decent accommodation.

Our paper can be accessed here, and our work on the right to housing gathered here.

In response to EU Member States, including Malta, closing borders and ports for refugees, the #DontLetThemDrown initiative focuses attention on the need for refugees to access a place in a regular and safe manner.

Visit the #DontLetThemDrown page.

In October 2021, the Not On Our Border Watch campaign was launched with the below mission:

“We are holding the European Union accountable for illegal pushbacks and demand a change in this system of violation and oppression. As European citizens, we all demand that this system in which fundamental rights are ignored be changed.

Every week men, women, and children fleeing from wars and violence are illegally pushed back from Europe’s borders by Frontex, the border agency of the European Union. Over 2,000 people have lost their lives, others have been assaulted, abused and mistreated. 

Frontex is actively destroying the fundamental principles on which the European Union is built. Funded by the EU means funded by us, European taxpayers. 

Therefore, we ask Europe to explain why a European organization is violating human rights at our borders? We don’t just ask Europe to explain, but above all demand that this system in which fundamental rights are ignored be changed. 

Because we cannot let this happen.”

Since 2014 we have been strongly advocating for the introduction of national laws that improve Malta’s approach to non-discrimination. Malta’s current approach is extremely fragment and offers little effective protection to victims of discrimination. Together with this, we’re also urging Government to establish a National Human Rights Institution in accordance with the Paris Principles.

Throughout these years we’ve been liaising with Government on draft laws: discussing, sending technical submissions, negotiating.

Our latest submission, on the laws’ most recent versions (2019) is available here (earlier submissions are linked to in this document).

In October 2017 Malta’s most prominent journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, was brutally assassinated. Her death marked Malta reaching its lowest level of democratic credentials, with institutionalised corruption and flagrant breaches of fundamental principles of rule of law becoming the norm.

We had been flagging these issues long before Daphne’s assassination, but since 2017 our work in this areas has increased and become more visible. We have participated in countless demonstrations and regularly engage with European and international bodies that are looking at Malta and assessing its behaviour.

We will continue to do this until our democratic standards are improved and until the real perpetrators of Daphne’s murder are brought to justice.

Read our statements on this issue here and here.

Malta’s asylum laws contain a list of countries the Maltese Home Affairs Ministers has declared to be ‘safe’. Amongst these ‘safe’ countries are places where LGBTIQ+ behaviour and identities are criminalised.

These are not ‘safe’ countries. Malta must live up to its commitment to protect LGBTIQ+ persons, including refugees.

Visit the page here.

For a number of years we have been advocating for Malta to accede to the UN Stateless Conventions, as key tools for the protection of stateless persons in Malta. Following a number of initiatives we had embarked on, including UPR submissions on the theme, In 2019 Malta acceded to the 1954 Convention, requiring Malta to establish a national statelessness determination procedure and related status and rights.

Our goals are to urge a strong, accessible and fair procedure that leads to a formal statelessness status with consequential rights, in accordance with international law. As part of our activities, every year we update the Statelessness Index, providing legal, policy and practical information on the state of play in Malta. Access the Index here.

We are also exploring practical tools on how to identify stateless persons, or persons at risk fo statelessness, from amongst Malta’s refugee and asylum-seeking communities.

What are we doing to challenge Malta’s detention of asylum-seekers and migrants?

Visit the page here.

We are one of the 6 civil society organisations which formed the first pro-choice coalition in Malta launched on the 8th March 2019. The coalition is set-up to lobby for the decriminalisation of abortion and to raise awareness in the community to combat the stigma that surrounds abortion.

Visit the Voice for Choice page.

Want more information on how you can support our advocacy work, or do you have ideas on what other issues need our attention? Get in touch with us.