Press Statement calling on the Government of Malta to Open Port for Safe Disembarkation of 49 Refugees and Migrants

49 refugees and migrants remain stranded in the Mediterranean. To date, no member state has stepped up and assumed shared responsibility for refugees and migrants saved at sea. The lack of solidarity among Member States is not only disappointing, but also demonstrates a disturbing disdain for their legal, ethical and moral responsibilities towards each other, and more importantly, towards the most vulnerable.

We would like to take this opportunity to recognize and commend the work and commitment of Malta’s Armed Forces who have been engaged in a number of rescue operations in the Mediterranean over the Christmas period. Far from international headlines, the Government of Malta has opened its port and provided haven to those in desperate need of safety and security.

The situation in Libya, the violence and ongoing human rights violations are well documented. Libya is not, and must not be a port of return. We call upon the Member States to support the work of the humanitarian search and rescue vessels, to share responsibility for all asylum seekers entering the EU, regardless of port of entry, and to enable access to safety and protection throughout the EU.

Some of the refugees and migrants, including women and children, have now been asking for a safe haven for 12 days. The situation is unacceptable, dangerous and inhumane. The conditions onboard are deteriorating rapidly. We call upon the Government of Malta to prioritise life, to open its port and to let them in.

2nd January 2019

aditus foundation, African Media Association, the Critical Institute, the Christian Life Community (CLC) Malta, the Cross Culture International Foundation, Drachma, Department for Inclusion and Access to Learning – Faculty of Education University of Malta, Kummissjoni Gustizzja u Paci, the Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants, Integra Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Service Malta, Malta Emigrants’ Commission, MGRM – Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement, Moviment Graffitti, People for Change Foundation, Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta (PHROM), Solidarity with Migrant Group, SOS Malta, Spark 15, Women’s Rights Foundation