On 10 May 2023 the Court of Appeal delivered an important judgement on the status of holders of Specific Residence Authorisation (SRA). The judgement made a number of important points that clarify how Malta should be treating people who have chosen to make Malta their home. Our Pro Bono Unit is honoured to have had the opportunity to assist Mr. Ekogiawe in his struggle to secure his and his family’s legal status. It is encouraging for us and for our clients to see justice served in a way that respects their dignity and rights.
Mr. Ekogiawe came to Malta in 2008. After his asylum application was rejected, he was granted Temporary Humanitarian Protection New (THPN) on the basis of his efforts at integrating in Malta. Thanks to his continuous efforts at integrating in Malta, this status was regularly renewed. Since 2012 he has been in stable and regular employment, and in 2018 he and his partner had a baby girl.
On 12 July we filed a human rights application in Court, together with our Litigation Partners Mifsud and Mifsud Advocates, on behalf of 7 trans women currently inmates at Corradino Correctional Facility.
The 7 women are alleging that their experiences in Corradino amount to serious violations of their right to be protected from inhuman and degrading treatment, their right to a private life and their right to be free from discrimination.
Our application stresses the duty of Government to ensure the dignified treatment and protection of all inmates, with specific attention required for particular groups persons such as vulnerable groups.
This particular attention is also required in the context of assessments as to whether treatment amounts to inhuman and degrading under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution of Malta.
“Our application comes after years of battling with Government, demanding guarantees of the physical and psychological safety of our clients and repeatedly offering our support to facilitate this process.
The application is, in its essence, seeking justice for the humiliation suffered by these woman as a direct consequence of Government action.
Malta cannot wave the LGBTIQ flag, here and overseas, if it refuses to protect the most vulnerable and marginalised persons in the community.” (Dr. Neil Falzon, aditus foundation Director)
The case was filed against the Director of Prisons and of the Minister for Home Affairs and National Security.