Integration policy a pressing need - Human rights think tank

The People for Change Foundation recommend that Malta adopt an integration policy without delay

An integration policy and strategy, with clearly established targets and monitoring mechanisms in place to track progress, is a pressing need for Malta, according to a report by human rights think tank The People for Change Foundation.  This is one of the recommendations of the first phase of the ASSESS Project, which addresses the integration of vulnerable migrant groups. The report was presented at a policy seminar held this morning at which governmental stakeholders, NGOs and migrant community organizations were present.

The human rights think tank said that a policy needed to be adopted without delay, in order to ensure that integration measures undertaken were effective and achieved the desired outcomes. Acknowledging that a lot of work has been done on integration in Malta, it however noted that this has often been conducted on an ad hoc basis, often to meet the requirements of EU policies in the field and with the support of European Union funding. The lack of a strategy means that such measures are often not coordinated.

The definition of integration, as set out in the Common Basic Principles for Immigrant Integration in the European Union, is a dynamic, long-term, and continuous two-way process of mutual accommodation which demands the participation not only of immigrants and their descendants but of every resident. In contrast to these declarations however, often the expectation is that migrants should come to generate the necessary social capital and cultural know-how themselves. This does not facilitate the process, further alienating those most in need of assistance in integrating.  

Not having a harmonised national system means that different aspects of integration fall under different Ministries. The responsibility for integration policies is therefore shared among different stakeholders leading to a fragmented and sparse approach, which in turn affects the ability to undertake effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The integration outcomes of migrants, and particularly of vulnerable groups, both in Malta and across the European Union clearly show the need for targeted measures to address their needs, the report concludes.

The report as well as more information about the project is available at or via email at [email protected]