Human rights in Malta in 2021: the EU’s Rights Agency reports

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) released the Fundamental Rights Report 2022 that assesses the key developments in the areass of fundamental rights from 2021, achievements and shortcomings. The report dives into many areas, with Malta featuring many times for the country’s shortcomings in the protection of fundamental rights, and for its achievements. This blogpost gives an overview of how Malta features in the FRA report, providing an interesting insight into human rights in Malta in 2021.

The report begins by discussing social rights and equality post-Covid-19 Pandemic, highlighting Malta’s plan to assess its unemployment benefit’s system, and to fund technological advancements to promote access to health care. Malta, among other EU Member States, plans to promote the active participation of persons with disabilities in social life through the recovery and Resilience Facility.

The report mentions the plan for an NHRI to replace the current National Commission for the Promotion of Equality for Men and Women. Malta was also praised for their recent inclusion of sexual orientation, racial origin and religion in the data collected by the Census of Population and Housing 2021. FRA reported that EU citizens and family members experience discrimination on the basis of their nationality where non-Maltese EU citizens are required to present pay-slips as proof of social security before receiving treatment from public healthcare providers, whereas Maltese citizens are only asked to present identity cards. 

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Victims’ Rights in Malta: working with PICUM to secure proper transposition


The deadline for the transposition of the EU Victims’ Rights Directive being set to 16 November, the joint meeting of PICUM’s Working Group on Access to Justice for Undocumented Women was a key opportunity for us to discuss mechanisms for effectively monitoring and gathering information on the implementation of the Directive, to consider opportunities for building effective national advocacy coalitions, and to share experiences.

Claire (Legal Officer) represented aditus for this meeting, as part of our on-going engagement with PICUM and with the Directive itself (see our input on Malta’s transposing legislation here).


PICUM’s staff and representatives of very diverse NGOs from Spain, Belgium, UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Malta.


PICUM’s introduction focused on the transposition of the Directive. The enforcement of the Directive is among the EU Commission’s priorities. In the days following the meeting, the Commission was expected to present an enforcement plan/strategy. On 16 November 2016, the Commission should publish a report on MS compliance with the Directive.

The first part of the workshop consisted of a presentation of the CoE Istanbul Convention on violence against women and domestic violence, delivered by Kairin Heisecke from World Future Council. She introduced the main provisions of the Convention and the body in charge of monitoring its implementation: Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Women  (GREVIO).

PICUM presented an overview of its work in developing tools to support national-level advocacy and monitoring. The team presented the extremely useful ‘Guide on the Victims’ Directive’, to be used and disseminated as a tool to raise awareness about undocumented victims’ rights.

The second part of the workshop consisted of case studies and discussion of national initiatives. Representatives of La Cimade (France) and of the Immigrant Council of Ireland delivered presentations about their experiences in lobbying for undocumented victims.

Finally, PICUM described its plan to support members in their advocacy work by creating a database of key partners on victims’ rights, as well as a fact-sheet on the Istanbul Convention and on the GREVIO process.

At aditus, we’ve been monitoring the national transposition of the Directive for quite some time now. Following our technical submissions on the Government’s legal proposals, we are now considering what further action to take in view of the law’s violation of key parts of the Directive.