UN chief officer dubs Malta’s equality laws as ‘gold standard’

Chief of Equality and Non-Discrimination at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights endorses the government’s work on equal rights for all

Staff Reporter
27 September 2017, 5:22pm
Malta's equality standards dubbed 'gold standard' by UN chief official
Charles Radcliffe, Chief of Equality and Non-Discrimination at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has endorsed the government’s work on equal rights, referring to Malta’s legal framework in this regard as the “gold standard”.

Helena Dalli, Minister for European Affairs and Equality, addressed the conference, which was part of a series of conferences in the background of 100 days of this administration.

“Marriage quality acted to strengthen the existing civil union law, and the idea of equality for all,” Dalli said. “It also allows a family to adopt the wife's last name instead of the husband's, if they should choose to do so”.

Another measure was the introduction of the ‘X’ marker on passports and ID cards, allowing trans or intersex people to choose ‘X’ instead of ‘M’ or ‘F’ in the gender section of the official document.

“The government will also keep working on equal rights for women,” Dalli said. “All NGOs working for women’s rights will be able to join a Consultative Council for Women’s Rights, which will have to aim of representing all those entities working in this area, and which would be able to issue proposals and consult the government.”

Dalli also emphasised the importance of financial independence for women. “During the last legislature, government worked on measures to make it easier for women to go to work, such as the free childcare initiative”, she said.

Malta recently signed signed the Istanbul Convention, the convention against women and domestic violence. “We now need to work for Maltese law to come in line with the provisions of the Convention,” she said.

A national strategy for integration for foreign nationals should also be introduced by the end of the year.

The government also plans to introduce a law for a commissioner for equality to be a parliamentary officer.