We will be working on a number of exciting projects this year! They cover the areas identified in our 2022-2024 Strategic Plan and all target specific goals that we feel are crucial for the lives of many people living in Malta: asylum, equality and non-discrimination, rule of law, justice. You’ll see that the projects also reflect our mission to monitor, report and act on access to human rights, being projects that engage in various activities: research, publications, legal services, advocacy, training.
The projects are a mixture of continuous and new projects and here’s a sneak peak to what they are about. Together with these projects, we also have a number of on-going advocacy initiatives pushing for higher and better human rights standards.
Migration, asylum, non-discrimination
Migration continues to be a major issue in Europe, although strides have been made in the area of international protection. Some structural and administrative challenges continue to hinder the rights of international protection applicants and beneficiaries…asylum-seekers and refugees. Rooting for Rights or R4R is a project that brings together human rights organisations and experts from Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Portugal as well as the Greek National Commission of Human Rights (GNCHR). The project seeks to identify and address the particular challenges faced by applicants and protection beneficiaries in these Southern European countries by bringing about effective, sustainable and meaningful change in the area of reception, including detention, reception conditions, identification and care of vulnerable persons, including unaccompanied children.
In the Maltese context, despite the increasing diversity and multiculturalism in the country, discrimination and racist attacks on migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees continue to be reported. Addressing discrimination must not only involve measures of combating it, but also measures to promote integration. The Strengthening Knowledge on Integration and Non-Discrimination Project or SKIN focuses on the promotion of integration through discussion focus groups, training sessions and awareness-raising activities targeted at affected groups and communities e.g., migrants, people of colour, people of African descent and Muslims.
The project will also target employers, institutions and trade unions, organising training sessions covering rights and responsibilities at work with a particular focus on the grounds of race and ethnic origin. Finally there will be an awareness-raising campaign targeted at the general public, this will highlight the need to address negative stereotypes, intolerance and discrimination. We’re super happy to be working with our friends at the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE)!
In the Maltese context, despite the increasing diversity and multiculturalism in the country, discrimination and racist attacks on migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees continue to be reported. Addressing discrimination must not only involve measures of combating it, but also measures to promote integration.Wasekera Banda, Human Rights Intern
Like the SKIN project, Project Integrated 2023 is also aimed at promoting integration in Malta by providing support for the integration of asylum seekers, refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection. This support is provided through employment and educational support, legal services and psycho-social services.
Rule of law and fundamental rights
Judicial independence is one of the key components of the rule of law, it plays a crucial role in the promotion and protection of human rights. However, judicial independence has been under attack in most EU countries, thus threatening access to justice and human rights. aditus foundation together with lawyers and CSOs from Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechia, Slovakia, Malta and Spain will be partnering for the Rule of Law for Lawyers (ROLL) project, this project aims at fostering the effective use of strategic litigation to ensure access to judicial systems that are independent and effective.
Through the project, we seek to increase awareness and understanding of the importance and utility of the rule of law, use of strategic litigation to protect and promote it by national human rights institutions (NHRI), lawyers and law students. The project partners will publish a factsheet on the link between the EU Fundamental Rights Charter and the rule of law. Organise three capacity-building and exchange workshops for lawyers and CSOs, provide a set of mentoring sessions to lawyers, publish a series of podcasts on the rule of law and publish the final Mapping Report with recommendation.
Another essential component of the rule of law and democracy is the freedom of expression. Article 10 of the ECHR states that “everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers…”
However, an increasing number of cases in Malta and other EU States show that this right is being undermined through SLAPPs; these are suits that are commonly directed at journalists, media organisations, or rights – defending activists or their NGOs, in order to scare and silence them via costly litigation. aditus foundation together with other NGOs in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Cyprus, Poland, Slovenia and Malta have partnered for the PATFox – Pioneering AntiSLAPP Training for Freedom of Expression project, this project seeks to upskill lawyers defending media and journalists against companies and governmental figures suing to shut down legitimate criticism. Project activities include: training lawyers and developing a SLAPP defence curriculum, including optional seminars, and also gathering feedback from workshop participants.
Human rights research
Last but not least, we are delighted to announce that aditus foundation was chosen to be the national contractor for the FRANET by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) for the next four years. FRANET is a multidisciplinary research network composed of contractors in each EU Member State. The contractors provide data and information to FRA on a range of fundamental rights issues to facilitate the Agency’s comparative analyses. FRA reports provide a useful reference on the situations of fundamental rights in different EU states. FRA publications are regularly used by policy makers, national Parliaments, EU institutions, CSOs, NGOs and academia, among others. More on this and our other projects please click here