Academics warn removal of THP-n will deny people basic human rights

Faculty of Social Wellbeing says that tolerating the denial of basic human rights represents a dangerous precedent

The removal of Temporary Humanitarian Protection – N(ew) [THP-n] strips migrants from their basic human rights and will force people into a protracted limbo, the Faculty of Social Wellbeing warned.

While saying that the removal of THP-n will strip people who have been living in Malta for a number of years, from their basic human rights, the faculty said “the introduction of THP-n represented a necessary step forward in migration reform” because it acknowledged the presence of a number of documented migrants residing in Malta who, due to circumstances beyond their control, could not return to their country of origin.  

“Up until its introduction, a cluster of migrants were denied access to basic human rights and any legitimate means of survival. The provision of THP-n provided these individuals and their families access to rights, a level of security and more importantly a regularized status,” the faculty said in a statement.

It added that the decision which has also been slammed by human rights NGOs “will force an unacceptable and deplorable situation on migrants living in a ‘tolerated’ state.

“The implications of this decision go beyond the migrant community. Living in conditions of protracted limbo, pending deportation, these individuals are forced to accept exploitative employment conditions: a scenario that puts pressure on wages, particularly at the bottom end of the labour market, and represents a lose-lose situation for all workers, even the local ones.Let’s face it, only corrupt employers may benefit from the presence of a legally precarious, exploitable labour force.”

The faculty said tolerating or actively supporting situations in which basic human rights of any individual are denied represents a dangerous precedent for us all.

“The faculty appeals for common sense and decency first and foremost grounded in ethical pronouncements. It is unacceptable that in justifying matters on legal procedures we veto the humane, benevolent and charitable roots of what makes our Nation.”

The faculty added that the country’s credibility Now that Malta is to assume the EU council Presidency it will be a window of opportunity for the Maltese Government to take a leading role on basic moral grounds we all agree on. This is the time when the much-needed reform in this sector can take place.”

The academics said that within the current political scenario and the responsibilities Malta will be assuming next year “Malta can show its mettle.”