Human rights advocates, NGOs launch Malta Refugee Council

Malta Refugee Council expected to play key role in shaping of asylum policy

Malta’s foremost human rights NGOs and refugee charities have launched the Malta Refugee Council as a network of Maltese non-governmental organisations working for the promotion of the fundamental human rights of persons in forced migration.

“Our mission is to advocate for legislation, policies and practices that are in accordance with Malta’s obligations and also best practices in this sector,” the Council said in a statement on World Refugee Day, 20 June.

“On World Refugee Day we are called upon to consider the plight of persons forced out of their homes. It invites us to be more understanding of refugee communities living amongst us. Essentially, World Refugee Day encourages us to listen to what refugee voices have to say about their challenges, strengths, hopes and dreams.

“We seek to foster an environment that welcomes refugees in a manner that is respectful and inclusive. Our shared experiences will guide us towards identifying those areas where Malta’s practice ought to be improved, as well as those where it may be promoted as exemplary.

“Furthermore, we are keen to urge increased support to Malta by other EU Member States and the EU Institutions. In confirmation of our members’ commitment to human dignity and social justice, our Code of Conduct represents the principles and values guiding our work and our relations with refugees.”

Membership with the Malta Refugee Council is open to any Maltese NGO having as primary focus the promotion of refugee rights. The Malta Refugee Council said honest dialogue with the government was the most effective way ahead. “We trust the government is also keen to engage with us in this manner in order to shape the future of Malta’s asylum regime.”

The Council is supported by aditus foundation, the African Media Association, Blue Door English, Integra Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Service,  KOPIN, Migrant Women Association, SOS Malta, and Spark15.