‘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.”

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