New NGO gives a voice to the migrant community

The Migrants Association in Malta aims to facilitate discussions with the government to improve the lives of migrants on the island

A new NGO has been formed in Malta to give a voice to the island's migrant community. The Migrants Association in Malta is headed by Bushra Fuad, from Sudan.

At one of their regular Sunday meetings various members spoke of their needs. All were grateful that Malta gives the possibility of “a second chance of life”.

They thanked the government of Malta for many things, in particular the protection and accommodation offered them. Many however felt that after residing in Malta for several years, they want to voice their concerns and seek solutions. Many did not qualify for refugee status or subsidiary protection, but as rejected applications they are allowed to stay with humanitarian protection status but with few rights.

They stressed that many are already integrated into Maltese civil society but feel that they are offered fewer rights than those offered to migrants in other countries. Migrants from Sudan, Ghana, Gambia, Togo, Nigeria and Niger lamented issues with employment, travel, benefits, medical care, citizenship and insurance.

The association emphasized its desire for peaceful, cooperative discussion. “We don't want to cause any problems, we just want to talk with the government and improve things together," it said. “We are part of Malta. We are integrated."

“We want polite, peaceful discussions, with respect and within the law. We want to contribute to the economic growth of Malta and are ready to contribute in the development of Malta in all forms.”

The members of Migrants Association in Malta are looking for a space to hold their weekly meetings.

Migrants wishing to join the organisation, and anyone who can offer help and support in any way can contact the group by emailing on [email protected] or by calling on 7760 6944.