Joint NGO Statement: Survivors of traumatic incidents at sea need support, not detention!

aditus foundation and Jesuit Refugee Service (Malta) are extremely saddened by the recent news of yet another tragedy at sea that resulted in several people dying. We are further upset by Malta’s treatment of the survivors. According to news sites that we are unable to confirm, 21 persons were taken to Malta’s main detention centre. 

We underline that anyone going through such a horrific experience requires immediate psychological support. The survivors came within inches of death whilst at the same time witnessing their friends and possibly loved ones drowning around them. No words can possibly describe the mental state they must be in.

We therefore strongly urge Malta to offer them all the psychological support they require, particularly to the most vulnerable. This support cannot be provided in detention, but requires a safe and caring space. This is an opportunity for Malta to do what is right. 

As always, we stand ready to provide our own services as soon as we are able to.

(AFM photo of the boat while out at sea: Jonathan Borg, from Times of Malta)