Visiting the United States to discuss strategies for protection of minority rights

I am currently in the United States on an International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) looking at how to strategise to better advocate for minority rights. I will be here for a total of three weeks, visiting Washington D.C., Montana, Oregon and San Francisco. Throughout the three weeks, we will be meeting State officials, NGOs and academics to discuss the current global situation in relation to minority rights and how we can better advocate for their protection.

At the moment I am in Washington D.C., part of a small group composed of other European human rights leaders. Our group is a mixed one, including human rights lawyers, an anti-discrimination official, an anti-Semitism educator, a Romani activist, a municipal consultant, a ‘LGBTIQ+ Muslim’ activist and a member of the Sami Parliament. We are all committed to advancing minority rights and so far our discussions – in meetings but also over beers and food – have exposed us all to the realities faced by the groups we work with and for.

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Dislike racism? TAKE ACTION!

Yesterday social media sites were buzzing with videos showing a Hungarian national being insulted and slapped by a Maltese woman, and subsequently quite aggressively handcuffed by a number of Police officers.

Integration Posters

We were not present to witness the scene, but are nonetheless concerned at the apparent racist motivations behind the woman’s and the Police officers’ actions.

You can watch the news video here.

We’ve sent a letter to the Malta Police Force, requesting an inquiry into what happened. If, like us, you want these terrible incidents top stop, PRINT+SIGN+SEND the letter.

Go on, just copy+paste it from below…

Inspector i/c Complaints,

Commissioner’s Office,

Police General Headquarters,


Dear Inspector,

We would like to draw your attention to an incident occurring today in Valletta, widely reported by national media. From the facts available to us, it looks like a number of officer of the Malta Police Force engaged in acts that amount to excessive use of force against one unarmed and cooperating individual. Furthermore, it looks like these activities were aggravated by racist intent.

We were not present during the incident, yet invite you to view footage of the intervention by the Officers as reported here:

We trust that this matter will be given its due attention, in view of its very serious implications, and look forward to receiving your progress updates.

Yours sincerely,


International Anti-Racism day and Pan-European Anti-Racism Week


Every 21 March is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, first proclaimed by the UN in 1966. This year, today’s observances fall within the Action Week Against Racism 2013, an initiative of UNITED for Intercultural Action, the pan-European, 48-country network against nationalism, racism and fascism and in support of migrants and refugees.

The theme for the Action Week Against Racism (16-24 March) is Who Says We Don’t Fit Together? Value Diversity!

As part of our human rights mission and in partnership with UNITED, it is our hope at aditus foundation & JRS Malta that public and private organisations and individuals in Malta will reflect and act immediately upon the lasting need to end racism everywhere, in all its forms.

“We ask that adults take the lead in speaking to children and youth about racism, that it may become a vital subject in our homes and schools. We ask that adults of all races and origins be good examples to one another with respect to ensuring the fundamental human rights of all persons, irrespective of race.

We ask that children and youth talk to their peers, parents, guardians and teachers about accepting and embracing the racial diversity that they see all around them.” Dr. Neil Falzon, Director, aditus foundation & Dr. Katrine Camilleri, JRS Malta.