Statelessness Briefing Note: “Malta’s 2019 international commitment to protect stateless people needs to be followed through.”

We are pleased to publish today a Statelessness Briefing Note. The Note is aimed at urging Malta to follow through its international commitment to protect stateless people.

In 2019 Malta acceded to the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. This was a welcome development, confirming Malta’s commitment to resolving the situation of stateless persons in Malta. Yet, to date, Malta has not taken the legislative or administrative steps necessary to fulfil its new Convention obligations.

Specifically, Malta has not yet established a procedure accessible by stateless persons, or persons believing to be stateless, in order for their status to be determined.

Introduction, Statelessness Briefing Note

As a result of this omission, stateless persons in Malta remain unidentified and vulnerable to violations of their fundamental human rights including. Examples include the rights to education, employment, freedom from discrimination, housing, personal liberty, family and private life.

Furthermore, without a formal procedure mandated to determine statelessness, Malta is unable to gain the necessary insights into the nature and size of its stateless population. Due to this, it is prevented from taking those steps that could remedy and prevent statelessness.

Whilst discussions with the Ministry for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement on Malta’s statelessness determination procedure remain on-going, the need is felt to stimulate the process by providing technical input. Our aim is to inform the dialogue and, ultimately, its outcome.

The aim of this Briefing Note is to urge Government to establish a statelessness determination procedure that is accessible, fair and efficient, and that leads to a dedicated status with clear rights attached to it.

It is in this context and with this spirit, therefore, that this Briefing Note is being presented to the Ministry. We look forward to further engaging with the Ministry with a view to supporting Malta’s fulfilment of its international obligations and upholding the fundamental human rights of stateless persons.

The Briefing Note was prepared by aditus foundation with the support of the European Network on Statelessness, and endorsed by African Media Association, Blue Door English, The Critical Institute, Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, Integra Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Service (Malta), KOPIN, Migrant Women Association (Malta), Platform for Migration, Spark 15, Women’s Rights Foundation.