African migrant communities call for constructive discussions, integration policy

The communities said that those breaking the law did not represent the entire community and that they were against any crime, ‘whether committed by Africans or Maltese’

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Yannick Pace
8 September 2017, 4:51pm
The migrant communities said they considered Marsa to be a meeting point for them especially since they were not accepted in other areas
The migrant communities said they considered Marsa to be a meeting point for them especially since they were not accepted in other areas
The African migrant and refugee communities in Malta have stressed that they did not support “those who get drunk and commit other violations in public places”.

“We appreciate the refuge and hospitality given to us by the government and we are aware of some problems happening in Marsa and as African refugees and migrants we do not support those who get drunk in public places or do other violations,” read a statement.

The communities said that those breaking the law in Marsa did not represent the entire refugee community and that they were against any kind of crime “whether committed by Maltese or Africans”.

They added that the fact that some persons were breaking the law and causing problems, did not mean that all refugees and migrants behaved that way.

“We consider Marsa to be a meeting point, especially since in other social places we are not accepted,” they argued. “The situation in Marsa is a result of years of neglect, even before the Marsa Open Centre was set up there by the authorities.”

Moreover, they added that the behaviour of some migrants was also down to the lack of an effective integration policy that resulted in the most vulnerable being left on their own.

The communities insisted that they were ready to sit down and have constructive discussions with the government and the Maltese in order “to find a solution and improve dialogue”.

Any solution, they said, should include support to both the Maltese and African communities by creating meeting centres for socialisation, collaboration with service providers offering support to those in need, a training centre for migrants to receive compulsory training as well as a structured integration policy 

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Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...