Far-right ‘patriots’ demand withdrawal from non-binding UN migration treaty

Far-right party Moviment Patrijott Maltin have filed a judicial protest demanding that the Maltese government withdraws from the United Nation's Global Compact on Migration

Patriots outside Castille demand the withdrawal from the UN Global Compact on Migration
Patriots outside Castille demand the withdrawal from the UN Global Compact on Migration

Far-right party Moviment Patrijott Maltin (MPM) have filed a judicial protest demanding that the Maltese government withdraws from the United Nation's Global Compact on Migration it had signed earlier this week.

MPM is claiming the UN document has placed “legal and illegal immigration on the same level and mixed together the rights of refugees with economic migrants.”

States who signed the UN document are not ratifying a binding global treaty. The compact is a non-binding, multilateral instrument of cooperation that aims to set common principles and guidelines for orderly migration, so as to reduce irregular flows.

It contains ten guiding principles and 23 objectives: for each there is a long list of possible voluntary actions, which states can choose from. These include prevention measures to address the drivers of migration, fight human trafficking, manage borders and facilitate returns. It also focuses on solutions and best practices to facilitate regular migration.

But according to MPM leader Henry Battistino, the agreement is “not in the Malta’s interests or its citizens to continue to absorb more immigrants.”

Foreign minister Carmelo Abela has already declared the Global Compact is not a legally-binding document but a declaration of political intent which affirms the sovereign right of every State to determine its national policies on immigration.

The MPM complained that the UN document was “not presented to discussion or public consultation.”

The MPM – which has organised marches to protest immigration inside particular areas such as Marsa and Hamrun, where asylum seekers tend to find residence – claimed it was “not against refugees” but against human trafficking and immigration that has contributed to population density, environmental issues and high and unsustainable rents for Maltese families.

The MPM also blamed immigration for precarious employment and sub-standard working conditions for Maltese workers on minimum wage. It said Maltese families are suffering due to “unrestrained immigration”.

The far-right party, which will field a candidate in the coming European elections of 2019, claimed the Global Compact paved the way for the acceptance of more immigrants, and that this was a “prelude to declare immigration a human rights... rendering nations incapable of refusing immigrants from entering and staying in their territories.”

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