We are appalled beyond words that, after 18 days of negotiations, 49 men, women and children remain stuck on a boat within sight of the Maltese shore.

In spite of countless calls for solidarity, European Member States have not managed to find a diplomatic solution to the current impasse.

This is nothing short of tragic and shameful.  It can only mean that we have completely lost our humanity – as a people and a union of states that supposedly upholds the values of solidarity, respect for human rights and human dignity.

We acknowledge the complex issues this situation raises, and agree that it is a European challenge requiring a European solution. However, this cannot be an excuse to abdicate our own responsibility, as individuals and as a nation, to save lives at any cost.

The duty to save lives is not only a legal but also a moral imperative which can never be subjected to political conditions, such as the availability of concrete offers of relocation or the fear of creating a precedent.

At this point, the question we must answer is simple: what is more important, scoring political points, or saving lives?

For us, the undersigned organisations, there can be only one answer: people are more important.

Today we are here to take a stand for life and dignity. We call on Malta to prioritize life and open its doors today.

Statement endorsed by the following NGOs:

  1. aditus foundation
  2. African Media Association Malta
  3. agara foundation
  4. Allejanza kontra il-Faqar
  5. Allied Rainbow Communities
  6. Art4Life
  7. Blue Door English
  8. Caritas Malta  
  9. Catholic Voices
  10. Christian Life Community (CLC) Malta
  11. Creative Arts Therapies Society (CATS)
  12. Dar Merħba Bik
  13. Dar tal-Providenza
  14. Department for Inclusion and Access to Learning, University of Malta
  15. Department of Gender Studies, University of Malta
  16. Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Malta
  17. Department of Youth and Community Studies, University of Malta
  18. Drachma LGBT
  19. Drachma Parents
  20. Fondazzjoni Ejjew Għandi
  21. Foundation for Shelter and Support of Migrants (FSM)
  22. Integra Foundation
  23. International Association for Refugees
  24. Isles of the Left
  25. Jesuit Refugee Service Malta
  26. Kopin
  27. Kummissjoni Gustizzja u Paci
  28. Kunsill Studenti Universitarji
  29. LGBTI+ Gozo
  30. Malta Association for the Counselling Profession
  31. Malta Catholic Youth Network
  32. Malta Chamber of Psychologists
  33. Malta Emigrants’ Commission
  34. Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement 
  35. Maltese Association of Psychiatry
  36. Maltese Association of Social Workers (MASW)
  37. Men Against Violence
  38. Migrants Women’s Association Malta (MWAM)
  39. Moviment Graffiti
  40. National Foster Care Association
  41. OASI Foundation
  42. Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Social Wellbeing, University of Malta
  43. Paulo Freire Institute
  44. Peace and Good Foundation
  45. People for Change Foundation
  46. Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta
  47. PRISMS
  48. Richmond Foundation
  49. Salesians of Don Bosco
  50. Segretarjat Assistenza Soċjali tal-Azzjoni Kattolika Malta
  51. Society of Jesus in Malta
  52. Solidarity with Migrants Group
  53. SOS Malta
  54. Spark 15
  55. St Jeanne Antide Foundation
  56. St Vincent de Paule Society
  57. Studenti Ħarsien Socjali (SHS)
  58. The Critical Institute
  59. Troupe 18:45
  60. University of Malta Chaplaincy
  61. Victim Support Malta
  62. Women’s Rights Foundation
  63. Youth Alive Foundation