The Prime Minister’s visit to Jordan’s Al Za’atari Refugee Camp offers Malta the unique opportunity to express true solidarity with Jordan and with the refugees living in the Camp. Al Za’atari Refugee Camp hosts around 80,000 refugees, making it more than double the size of Gozo’s population. Of these, around 30% are children.
Future prospects for these refugees remain bleak. Given the drawn out war in Syria, and the pitiful number of resettlement places made available, we can say with some certainly that these refugees will remain warehoused, will limited access to basic human rights and needs.
aditus foundation, Integra Foundation and JRS Malta welcome the Prime Minister’s visit to the Camp; we are confident that his interactions with the men, women and children living in Al Za’atari will sensitise him to their desperate need to have their human dignity restored.
We also welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to continue urging the European Union to provide further assistance to Jordan and Lebanon. Yet we also note that Malta has decided not to participate in the European Union’s resettlement agreement with Turkey
It is in this light that we strongly urge Malta to participate in UNHCR’s resettlement efforts by agreeing to resettle refugees directly from Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey. This would restore the refugees’ hopes of a future of safety, dignity and respect.
Providing safe and legal ways to reach a place of safety is the most effective way to prevent refugees from resorting to unsafe and irregular means of travel to access Europe, thereby saving lives. It would also be Malta’s firm message to the European Union, and to the international community, that the current response to the refugee crisis is unacceptable and requires immediate revision.
aditus foundation is an independent, voluntary & non-profit organisation established with a view to monitor, act & report on access to fundamental human rights by individuals & groups.
Integra Foundation was set up with the aim of facilitating the integration of minority groups in Malta.
JRS Malta seeks to accompany, serve and defend the rights of asylum-seekers and forcibly displaced persons who arrive in Malta.