Their place is here – Evicting families should not be on the cards!

    During a coronavirus emergency order, landlords can still file an eviction case, even if a tenant cannot pay the rent, but it will not proceed until at least 90 days following the end of the state of emergency. (iStockphoto)

    If the feature article on today’s Times of Malta (8/4/2020) is anything to go with, as Dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, I find the action of the responsible authority unacceptable and an attempt at incensing pressure during one of the most vulnerable moments that the Country and the World have ever faced.

    I censure without reservation the immoral timing of such a letter, which could in addition, to the psychological and social damage which I highlighted in my previous press release on the matter (30/12/2019 – The spectre of evicting children, once again raises its head) expose the children and their families to additional health vulnerabilities due to the Covid-19 situation. This is nothing but an act of administrative bigotry towards foreign workers ‘worthy’ of relatively low-paying jobs.  From where I stand such individuals should still be provided with benefits and the protection of the State that all tax-paying workers deserve, particularly during this singularly sensitive moment.

    I therefore urge the State authorities, who I know for a fact, can see beyond the bureaucratic biases not only to postpone indefinitely all appeals but sanction positively these individuals especially those with families.

    Let us do what our Country is so good at, place humanity and common sense before twisted administrative cost-benefit analyses and show camaraderie in such a critical time. We know that most of the people, especially those with families, who come to Malta do so because the situation back home is not conducive to them raising their children.  We are duty-bound as a Nation, based on the principles of collegiality and communion, to be the State we really are rather than be the death-knell of these human beings.

     

    Prof. Andrew Azzopardi is the Dean, Faculty for Social Wellbeing at the University of Malta