Letter to the EU Presidency: Call for Coalition of Willing EU MS to Relocate Refugees

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
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Together, we remember Lassana Cisse Souleymane, whose life was so callously taken away.

On the evening of the 6th April,  Lassana Cisse Souleymane was murdered in Hal Far. Two other men were also victims in this attack. 

Lassana’s life mattered. He mattered to his family, to his friends, and he mattered to us. Such brutal acts of violence cannot and must not be ignored or silenced.

Together, we remember Lassana Cisse Souleymane, whose life was so callously taken away.

We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who continue to experience violence, who do not feel safe.

We stand in condemnation of racism and wanton acts of hatred.

We encourage everyone to come together to denounce this act of violence.

We call upon the Maltese Police Force to commit all necessary resources to bring the perpetrators to justice.

We call upon Maltese authorities to ensure that all members of Maltese society feel respected, safe and protected.


Lassana Cisse Souleymane, brutally murdered on 6 April 2019.

Statement endorsed by:

  1. aditus foundation
  2. African Media Association
  3. Allied Rainbow Communities
  4. ARTfuLIFE
  5. Association des Ivoiriens a Malte
  6. Blue Door English
  7. Catholic Voices Malta
  8. Caritas Malta
  9. Chaplaincy, University of Malta
  10. Church Homes for the Elderly
  11. Christian Life Community (CLC) Malta
  12. Cross Culture International Foundation
  13. Dar Hosea
  14. Dar tal-Providenza
  15. Department for Inclusion and Access to Learning, University of Malta
  16. Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Malta
  17. Drachma LGBTI
  18. Drachma Parents Group
  19. Eritrean Community, Malta
  20. Fondazzjoni Paci u Gid – Peace and Good Foundation
  21. Fondazzjoni Sebh
  22. Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants
  23. International Association For Refugees
  24. International Integrity Foundation
  25. Isles of the Left
  26. Hal Far Outreach
  27. Integra Foundation
  28. Jesuit Refugee Service Malta
  29. Kopin
  30. Kummissjoni Ġustizzja u Paċi
  31. Malta Emigrants Commission
  32. Malta Humanist Association
  33. Malta Microfinance
  34. Malta Association for the Counselling Profession
  35. Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement
  36. Malta Street Art Collective
  37. Maltese Association of Social Workers
  38. Men Against Violence
  39. Migrant Offshore Aid Station
  40. Migrant Women Association Malta
  41. Millennium Chapel
  42. Mina Tolu
  43. Moviment Graffitti
  44. Paolo Freire Institute
  45. People for Change Foundation
  46. Pete Farrugia
  47. Platform for Human Rights Organizations in Malta
  48. Prof. Andrew Azzopardi, Office of the Dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing
  49. Department of Youth and Community Studies
  50. Richmond Foundation
  51. Salesians of Don Bosco
  52. Segratarjat Assistenza Socjali tal-Azzjoni Kattolika Maltija
  53. Society of Jesus Malta (Jesuits)
  54. Solidarity with Migrants
  55. SOS Malta
  56. Spark 15
  57. St. Jeanne Antide Foundation
  58. Sudanese Community Malta
  59. The Association for Justice, Equality and Peace
  60. The Critical Institute
  61. The Good Shepherd Sisters – Dar Merhba Bik Foundation
  62. The National Foster Care Association Malta
  63. The Peace Lab
  64. Umberto Buttigieg
  65. UNHCR Malta
  66. Victim Support Malta
  67. Women’s Rights Foundation
  68. YMCA
  69. Youth Alive Foundation



‘Solidarity with refugees living in camps: Joint PR on PM’s visit to Al Za’atari Refugee Camp

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.

www.aditus.org.mt

Integra Foundation was set up with the aim of facilitating the integration of minority groups in Malta.

www.integrafoundation.org

JRS Malta seeks to accompany, serve and defend the rights of asylum-seekers and forcibly displaced persons who arrive in Malta.

www.jrsmalta.org


‘What does Solidarity mean for Malta?’ – NGO paper presented to Government

Yesterday, during a meeting with the Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, we presented our perspectives on what we feel Malta should be doing in the context of solidarity with refugees entering, or attempting to enter, the European Union.

‘What does Solidarity mean for Malta?’ is a document presented jointly by aditus foundation aditus foundation, African Media Association Malta, Foundation for Shelter and Support of Migrants, Integra Foundation, International Association for Refugees, Jesuit Refugee Service (Malta), Kopin, Malta Emigrants’ Commission, Migrant’s Network for Equality, Migrant Women Association Malta, Organisation for Friendship in Diversity, Peace Lab, People for Change Foundation, SOS Malta.

We present 5 concrete recommendations to the Malta Government, in the hope that Malta can give true meaning to ‘solidarity’. Below is the document’s introduction, and the full document can be downloaded here:

“The recent weeks have seen unprecedented numbers of migrants and refugees seeking to enter the European Union, largely through its southern and eastern Member States. Dramatic pictures of the situation at these points of entry are evidence of the political instability and human rights violations pushing people to leave their homes, and of the dangers they face throughout their journeys. These are clearly trying times for the European Union and its Member States, when the values and principles we hold so dearly need to stand strong in the face of rising populism, racism and xenophobia.

The on-going negotiations within the European Council are struggling to find those solutions that will translate values and principles into the actions required to ensure full respect for fundamental human rights, including the right to asylum as firmly enshrined in Article 18 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Malta is also called upon to actively participate in these discussions in order to express its true solidarity with those Member States that seem to be unable to cope with the strains presented by the arrival of so many migrants and refugees.

The under-signed 14 non-governmental organisations working with and for migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees would like to take this opportunity to offer suggestions as to how Malta can express and practice such solidarity. At the heart of our recommendations is the belief that solidarity should not be exclusively based on mechanisms beneficial to Member States, but that it ought to be primarily concerned with upholding the fundamental human rights of those persons facing intense hardships and violations.

Importantly, we stress our understanding that solidarity cannot happen if kept limited to words of sympathy or grief. The transition from words to action remains the Europe Union’s key challenge, and we urge Malta to be a catalyst of such transition and to refrain from widening the gap between sentiment and tangible support.”