UNHCR Malta calls for responsible rhetoric during European election campaign

The UN refugee agency's office in Malta called on everyone, especially elected officials, political parties and prospective candidates, to use responsible rhetoric when discussing migration-related issues

The UNHCR's Malta office has called on MEP candidates to use responsible rhetoric when speaking about migration-related issues (File photo)
The UNHCR's Malta office has called on MEP candidates to use responsible rhetoric when speaking about migration-related issues (File photo)

The United Nation's refugee agency (UNHCR) Malta office has called for the use of responsible rhetoric and constructive dialogue when discussing refugees, asylum and migration issues in the run up to the European elections.

In this regard, UNHCR Malta said it had launched, together with the European Parliament office in Valletta, the second edition of ‘Know the Facts - a toolkit on asylum and migration for the European elections’.

“The booklet aims to provide MEP candidates and the general public with global, regional and local information on asylum and migration, such as relevant statistics as well as European and Maltese legislation,” UNHCR Malta said.

Read also: Five reasons the PN is strategically wrong to pander to xenophobia

The booklet was launched at a public discussion at Europe House on Thursday, which included an intervention by UNHCR Malta representative Kahin Ismail, who underlined UNHCR’s commitment towards contributing to constructive discussion and debate on refugee and migration issues.

He said this was particularly important during the election campaign.

“It is quite understandable that host communities may have apprehensions and anxiety about new comers and the government’s plans for their care and integration,” Ismail highlighted.

“It is the responsibility of all of us, and particularly elected officials, political parties and prospective candidates to use responsible rhetoric when discussing issues of migration, asylum and refugees, because words matter and they do impact the various communities in Malta,” he added.

More in Europe 2019