Sex workers … are the experts on the industry, despite the clamorous voices of those who wish to speak for us, and who dismiss the accounts from sex workers that do not fit with their ideological positions. Those who ignore our voices and dismiss theSex Work and Human Rights, The International Union of Sex Workers, March 2014
complexity of our experiences are part of creating the very problems they say they wish to solve.
With these words in mind, and conscious of the fact that the voices of sex workers in Malta has been largely absent from the recent reform discussion, we wish to give a much needed voice to the community that is often shrouded in fear and marginalisation.
Through the Out of the Shadows project, sex workers will be able to have an active role in informing policy makers and society in general of their experiences, needs and recommendations on issues surrounding sex work in Malta. The process will be led by Marija Grech, an independent researcher, who will create a safe space for individuals to talk and share in an intimate, respectful and inclusive atmosphere.
Documentation & Rights
For most people, it is hard to understand the importance of having a residence card and the repercussions on daily life not having one can have. A residence card or permit contains vital information that is relied upon by authorities, healthcare providers and private persons, such as employers. It can also determine what rights that person is entitled to depending on the basis of his or her residence in Malta. These rights include the right to enter the labour market under certain conditions depending, again, on the type of residence card or permit to stay that a person holds.
Therefore, although it sounds obvious, the implications of either not holding a residence card or holding a residence card based on the incorrect law has far reaching effects for the individual. Without holding a residence card or permit an individual remains at the fringes of society, invisible and vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
As a Malta-based NGO aditus monitors, acts and reports on access to human rights in Malta. We provide information and assistance to persons seeking to secure enjoyment of their fundamental human rights, or attempting to obtain an effective remedy against violations. It is within this spirit, that we have and will continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure adherence to Malta’s international, regional and national obligations.
In recent news we have been seeing an increasing number of migrants who have been imprisoned for months after being found guilty or pleading guilty to entering or being present in Malta with false documentation. In the asylum field there is an understanding that refugees will frequently be unable to legally leave their countries, travel and enter a safe country and this blogpost attempts to expand on the legal and policy observations surrounding these issues.
On the 23rd June 12 NGOs and civil society organisations, including aditus foundation, sent a letter to our 6 MEPs asking them to support and vote in favour of the Matić Report. This Report on the situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the EU, in the frame of women’s health was presented for approval to the European Parliament by MEP Predrag Matić on the 24th June 2021.
Strengthening Access to Justice for Human Rights Protection
In January 2021 aditus began working on the project Strengthening Access to Justice for Improved Human Rights Protection which has as its objective improving access to justice for individuals wishing to strengthen their human rights protection in those instances when they feel that they have been violated. This project is supported by the Active Citizens Fund (ACF) in Malta established under the specific Programme Area for Civil Society part of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.
In several of our earlier projects, alone and also with several other NGO colleagues, we identified institutional obstacles to effective to justice for human rights protection. These obstacles have also been identified by several esteemed reports and research, including by the Venice Commission, the European Parliament, the European Commission and in the Vanni Bonello report on Malta’s justice system.