Twenty non-governmental organisations said that the Government has a “legal and moral responsibility” to ensure that all persons are able to secure a roof over their heads. The NGOs issued a joint statement following the clamp down by the Planning Authorities of a cow farm in the limits of Qormi which led to the eviction of over 100 migrants that lived on the farm in squalor.
In their statement the NGOs emphasized that in this particular case the Government had a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that the welfare of the entire labour force was prioritized over economic growth and increasing profits. The NGOs reiterated that the competent authorities were responsible to work with all the relevant agencies to ensure dignified accommodation.
The NGOs called for a strategy to address the need for decent and affordable housing to be made available for all, stressing that many across the socio-economic spectrum were forced out by the rise in real estate and rental prices. The shortage of affordable and decent housing, according to the organisations, affects hundreds of people and was not limited to Maltese but included Europeans as well as migrants.
The NGOs urged the Government to take concrete action to implement the promised rent reform in order to address the current rental situation in Malta.
The NGOs reiterated that Malta’s economic growth was dependent on diverse forms of migrant labour, with the migrant labour force as being the backbone of economic growth. However they observed that there was little respect or appreciation or inclusion of the said migrants.
The organisations that signed the statement were: aditus foundation, African Media Association, Allied Rainbow Communities, The Critical Institute, DrachmaLGBT, Drachma Parents Group, Integra Foundation, JRS Malta, Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Malta, KOPIN, Malta Emigrants’ Commission, Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM), Migrant Women Association, Moviment Graffitti, Platform of Human Rights Organisation in Malta (PHROM), Richard Foundation, Solidarity with Migrants, SOS Malta, Spark 15, We Are.