In Solidarity with the Stateless

An urgent call to states, donors and other stakeholders to promote and protect the rights of stateless persons in their COVID-19 responses

We joined 83 other human rights NGOs to make this urgent appeal to States, donors and other stakeholders…

As governments across the world confront the COVID-19 pandemic, facing deeply challenging decisions on protecting public health while averting starvation and warding off economic disaster, it is increasingly evident that in times of crisis, states are largely embracing a “citizens first” approach.

Denied nationality and deprived basic rights and welfare, the stateless were already marginalised before the crisis. They now face even greater, life-threatening marginalisation, with potentially disastrous consequences.

We, the undersigned 84 civil society actors, work on the right to nationality, non-discrimination, and statelessness around the world. We have been tracking and responding to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and state responses to it, on those whose nationality and belonging is denied or under threat. We have observed that in democratic states, measures including border closures and movement restrictions, health assistance, emergency relief and economic stimulus packages, privilege citizens and their concerns. Migrants, refugees, populations at risk of statelessness and the stateless themselves are left behind.

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COVID-19 impact on cities and mental health

#KeepingUpWithTheInterns

Hi everyone! I hope you are all safe. The number of COVID-19 cases in Malta decreased a lot throughout last week, which means that we are doing well in following the instructions of social distancing. It’s great, and I hope that this situation will soon be over. But let’s remember that patience is the key to overcome difficulties.

Today’s topic for my #KeepingUpWithTheInterns blog post was inspired from a webinar which took place on 29 April, via Zoom. It was organised by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and it focused on the impact on mental health of COVID-19, and the measures taken for its protection.

In this blog post, I will be talking about the well-being of healthy cities. This part of the webinar delivered by Monika Kosinska, Regional Focal Point at WHO (World Health Organization) European Healthy Cities Network.

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Migrants should not be sacrificed for the nation’s well-being

Joint NGO Press Release on Malta’s decision to close its ports and on the on-going detention of hundreds of migrants

We are shocked at Malta’s announcement that our ports are closed to persons rescued at sea. This will result in either people stranded out at sea for days, possibly weeks, or in their return to Libya, where they will probably face atrocious human rights violations. It is unacceptable for Malta to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to shelve its human rights obligations and endanger the lives of men, women and children.   

We fully appreciate the enormous challenges Malta is currently facing in securing public health. We also understand that, in order to protect the nation from this serious threat, Malta must adopt general measures that would otherwise be deemed unlawful due to their limitation of our fundamental human rights. Under these circumstances, it is also our collective duty to comply with these measures and cooperate with the authorities despite limitations imposed on, for example our rights to privacy and free movement.

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How are coronavirus measures affecting refugees?

Various European Member States have introduced emergency asylum measures in response to the Covid-19 situation. Many of these affect services offered to asylum-seekers and at times raise concerns as to their compatibility with legal obligations in relation to asylum-seekers’ rights to information, legal aid and effective remedy.

Most of the information presented here was shared within the European Legal Network on Asylum (ELENA), a network coordinated by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles. Our Director is the Malta ELENA Coordinator. Information is relevant as at time of writing (30 March 2020).

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Interviews about the repercussions of Covid-19 on refugees & migrants

#KeepingUpWithTheInterns

Last week I was going through the news and reading about the current COVID-19 pandemic. I came across a Times Of Malta article  ‘Migrants ‘more vulnerable’ to COVID-19 impact’. In this article the Director of Integra, Maria Pisani,

Imagine losing everything on your way to Europe and suddenly facing a new crisis in your new home: you’ve just lost your job, have no internet to stay updated about the novel corona-virus and no friends or family to support you with food or medicine. This is the situation in which some migrants have suddenly found themselves.

Dr. Maria Pisani, Integra Foundation

After reading this article I decided to sit down with our Legal Officer, Claire Delom, a French human rights lawyer with expertise in refugee law. I also spoke with Sarah Giusti, Social Worker at The Jesuit Refugee Service: “JRS in Malta seeks to accompany, serve and defend the rights of asylum seekers and forcibly displaced persons who arrive in Malta”

I interviewed them regarding the current situation affecting local migrants and refugees.

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