This project builds on the excellent relationship we enjoy with Malta’s equality body, the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality.
In view of the increasing share of non-Maltese nationals living in Malta (20% in 2019), diversity and multiculturalism in Malta are becoming more evident. Nonetheless, “there is an overall negative climate of public opinion on immigration and towards migrants”. Despite national and European legal frameworks and strategies that prohibit racial discrimination, “there are ingrained racialised problems within Maltese society” and “social media in Malta are rife with offensive content”.
According to the 2019 Special Eurobarometer, discrimination in Malta is mostly deemed to be widespread on the basis of skin colour (59%) and ethnic origin (51%), and to a lesser extent also on religion or beliefs (37%). In addition, “It is clear even to the casual observer, that racial, ethnic and religious minorities in Malta face structural discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, in policing and in the justice system”.
Furthermore, 35% of the Maltese feel ‘not at all comfortable’ if one of their children is in a love relationship with a person who is Muslim (second highest characteristic) and 9% feel ‘not at all comfortable’ with having a Muslim colleague (second highest characteristic).
…35% of the Maltese feel ‘not at all comfortable’ if one of their children is in a love relationship with a person who is Muslim…2019 Special Eurobarometer
Whilst Malta has a significant number of Muslims, not much has been done over the years to curb anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination. Moreover, in this context, there is a significant problem of under-reporting of cases of discrimination.
We agree with our partner in this project, the National Commission for Equality (NCPE), that it is important to address these groups and communities with the aim of fostering reporting by victims. Additionally, the NCPE will make a concerted effort to address negative stereotypes through activities such as training and awareness-raising campaigns.
Through the project, we will also be supporting NCPE is its efforts to strengthen its knowledge on relevant themes. We’ll be doing this in order to empower and support its capacity and role.
What will we be doing?
The project’s activities will target several specific groups.
- Firstly, the project will target the affected groups and communities. These would be migrants, people of colour, people of African descent and Muslims. These groups will be targeted through discussion focus groups, training sessions and awareness-raising activities.
- Secondly, we will target employers, institutions and trade unions. The project will organise training sessions covering rights and responsibilities at work, with a particular focus on the grounds of race and ethnic origin.
- Finally, the general public will be targeted through the awareness-raising campaign. This will highlight the need to address negative stereotypes, intolerance and discrimination.