Stranded migrants: 'We have lost our humanity', human rights groups tell Prime Minister

Various human rights groups have voiced their heartfelt disappointment at the fact that no action has yet been taken on the stranded Sea-Watch vessel, with close to 50 migrants having been abandoned for 18 days

Aditus foundation founders read press statement outside Castille
Aditus foundation founders read press statement outside Castille

Human rights organisations on Tuesday called on the government to put people before politics and allow a group of stranded migrants to be brought to Malta.

Members from various organisations stood outside Castille and declared that Malta's refusal to disembark 49 stranded migrants for over 18 days meant that the country had lost its humanity.

Malta, along with other EU member states, has been on the receiving end of criticism from NGOs and human rights activists for refusing to disembark the migrants before an agreement is reached on their redistribution among willing member states. 

"49 women and children are still stranded outside Malta," Neil Falzon, Aditus Foundation director and co-founder said. "Despite numerous calls for solidarity EU members have not found a solution for the current impasse. This is a tragic and shameful situation."

A spokesperson for Sea Watch International, the migrant rescue NGO, said earlier in the day that the psychological wellbeing of the migrants on board its vessel is deteriorating. The migrants have been on board the vessel since 22 December.

The NGOs stood outside Castille and read its message to the Prime Minister, saying that this was indeed a European problem that requires a European solution but that this same argument cannot be employed in abdication of the nation's responsibility to save lives.

"The duty is not just a legal one but a moral one. What is more important here? To make a political point or to save lives?"

The answer, they said, is that people are more important.

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