People are more important

08 January 2019

Malta, 8 January – We are appalled beyond words that, after 18 days of negotiations, 49 men, women and children remain stuck on a boat within sight of the Maltese shore.

In spite of countless calls for solidarity, European Member States have not managed to find a diplomatic solution to the current impasse.

This is nothing short of tragic and shameful. It can only mean that we have completely lost our humanity – as a people and a union of states that supposedly upholds the values of solidarity, respect for human rights and human dignity.

We acknowledge the complex issues this situation raises, and agree that it is a European challenge requiring a European solution. However, this cannot be an excuse to abdicate our own responsibility, as individuals and as a nation, to save lives at any cost. The duty to save lives is not only a legal but also a moral imperative which can never be subjected to political conditions, such as the availability of concrete offers of relocation or the fear of creating a precedent.

At this point, the question we must answer is simple: what is more important, scoring political points, or saving lives?

For us, the undersigned organisations, there can be only one answer: people are more important.

Today we are here to take a stand for life and dignity. We call on Malta to prioritize life and open its doors today.

This statement is being issued by:

1. aditus foundation

2. African Media Association Malta

3. agara foundation

4. Allied Rainbow Communities

5. Catholic Voices

6. Christian Life Community (CLC) Malta

7. Department of Gender Studies, University of Malta

8. Department for Inclusion and Access to Learning, University of Malta

9. Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Malta

10. Department of Youth and Community Studies, University of Malta

11. Drachma LGBT

12. Fondazzjoni Ejjew Ghandi

13. Integra Foundation

14. International Association for Refugees

15. Isles of the Left

16. Jesuit Refugee Service Malta

17. Kopin

18. Kummissjoni Gustizzja u Paci

19. Kunsill Studenti Universitarji

20. LGBTI+ Gozo

21. Malta Catholic Youth Network

22. Malta Emigrants’ Commission

23. Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement 

24. Maltese Association of Social Workers (MASW)

25. Moviment Graffiti

26. Migrants Women’s Association Malta (MWAM)

27. Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Social Wellbeing, University of Malta

28. Paulo Freire Institute

29. Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta

30. Richmond Foundation

31. Salesians of Don Bosco

32. Segretarjat Assistenza Socjali tal-Azzjoni Kattolika Malta

33. Society of Jesus in Malta

34. Solidarity with Migrants Group

35. SOS Malta

36. Spark 15

37. St Jeanne Antide Foundation

38. Studenti Harsien Socjali (SHS)

39. The Critical Institute

40. Women’s Rights Foundation

41. Caritas Malta

42. Allejanza kontra il-Faqar

43. Drachma Parents

44. Malta Chamber of Psychologists

45. University of Malta Chaplaincy