As European NGOs working on asylum and migration and Afghan Diaspora organisations in Europe, we are alarmed about the situation in Afghanistan and concerned above all about the security of the people of Afghanistan, both those within the country and those displaced and seeking protection in the region and beyond.
The vast majority of displaced Afghans will likely be hosted in the neighbouring countries, as has been the case over decades of displacement from Afghanistan. For reference, since 2015, over six years, 570,000 Afghans sought protection in the EU and associated countries. The majority received a protection status. In contrast, by July 2021, Iran hosted 800,000 registered refugees and up to 3 million other displaced Afghans. In Pakistan, there were 1.4 million registered refugees and up to 2 million other displaced Afghans. These figures have been increasing by the day. In addition, there are close to 5.5 million IDPs in the country.
aditus foundation unequivocally condemns last week’s prosecution and punishment of the two Turkish women who came to Malta in search of safety for themselves and for their young children. We are appalled that a system intended serve the interests of justice could be so unfair and brutal. This is not justice.
This is certainly not the first time that Malta punishes people who, attempting to flee their homes due to persecution or wars, have no other option but to resort to illegal means to by-pass stringent border laws and regulations. Of course, it is the right and duty of ever State to control its borders. Yet, since time immemorial, refugees and other persons fleeing human rights violations perpetrated by their own Governments have had to illegal and unsafe routes to escape and find safety.
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.
For World Refugee Day 2021, we joined over 30 European human rights NGOs to urge the EU to do more for the relocation of refugees. We sent a letter to the Portuguese Presidency of the EU, flagging our concern that some EU Member States are not receiving sufficient support in their efforts at receiving and hosting refugees.
On our part, we have sent this letter to the Prime Minister and to the Ministry for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement.
The letter may be read below, or downloaded here.
There are too many Member States who are turning a blind eye to the situations at the borders of Europe and are undermining a humane, solidarity-based EU asylum and migration policy.Joint Advocacy Letter
Civil society response to the news of safety of the ‘missing’ 110
It is with great relief that we welcome news of the safe disembarkation in Italy of the 110 persons assumed to have been stranded. We thank the Italian authorities for allowing their disembarkation and for providing them with shelter and safety. We also appreciate the statement issued by the Armed Forces of Malta, confirming that the AFM had been closely monitoring this boat for some time.