Time to start talking about ‘humanitarian visas’

Human rights activist Neil Falzon calls for a radically different strategy on immigration: including the creation of ‘legal channels’ to allow asylum seekers to reach Europe safely.

Aditus director Neil Falzon.
Aditus director Neil Falzon.

In an interview with MaltaToday, human rights activist Neil Falzon calls for a radically different strategy on immigration: including the creation of 'legal channels' to allow asylum seekers to reach Europe safely.

"Part of the problem is that there is no legal channel for bona fide asylum seekers to reach Europe without risking their lives," he tells Raphael Vassallo. "It is impossible for these people to fly in because no country will give them a visa. It is time we start talking about humanitarian visas... about creating channels through which people can safely avail of their right to seek asylum, in a way that is organized and properly planned. This is the sort of debate human rights agencies would like to see... not just individual countries complaining about their own problems."

Falzon also talks about the civil union bill he co-authored, arguing that while it stops short of defining same-sex unions as marriages it nonetheless guarantees full marriage equality in all but name. Still, he expects to encounter practical problem... especially because the civil union bill directly contradicts an earlier - the 'embryo protection act' - that criminalises same-sex couples who resort to IVF to have children.

Read the full interview in today's print edition

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To mainland Europe but NOT to Malta.
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Nex time round they will starting calling you ' racist' dear Mr Falzon! it is what many of us Maltese' racist; have been saying all along for many years: but the hypocrites will not listen! They want Malta as the doormat of 'their' globalization!
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This is the first sensible proposal I'm hearing. Proposals by the government over the last years and specifically last week are vague questionable. Sadly, the comments by the opposition do not contribute to a solution approach. Bickering on details such as whether Malta should rescue outside its SAR zone are at best cynical and totally lack vision. To be honest it seems both sides have cornered themselves to running a rat ship. But there must be something like leadership… The debate has been revolving around two themes: law and economic burden. It really is moot to debate positive law (statute) which is so obviously unjust. Positive law lacking the central idea of justice violates the very definition of law - even when proceedings are formally correct. This was so obviously true for the Nuremberg Laws and for the Segregation laws in the US and South Africa. If you want to make proposals to the rest of the EU that should ring a bell. So should the general understanding that liberté, égalité, fraternité come exactly in that order: There is no liberty without equality and no equality without fraternity. Thus, the economic debate, is merely an extension of the justice debate. Europe might want to face the role it plays in creating the economic inequality that spurs migration in the first place. Just one example: Agricultural policies and farm subsidies, have made domestic production collapse in a lot of countries in Africa. At this stage migration is unavoidable. It is a burden to those fleeing. It only becomes a burden to host countries if unmanaged. Manage the fear of change, manage the integration. Provide for Justice
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Cheeky smile for a cheeky person. Why not oblige Malta and the EU to organise fully paid cruises by super cruise liners to bring those who want to cross over from North Africa/Middle East to Europe? Everything paid by the European tax payer, including us Maltese of course.