Ministerial Migration Meeting: ministers aim to create new policies; NGOs urge for set systems and humanity

Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli delivers a speech during the European Capital Cities Trade Union Network (ECTUN) Conference which will focus on ‘How Trade Unions of the European Capital Cities can approach the issue of pay rise’.

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The ministerial meeting on Migration at Fort Saint Angelo on Monday, is set to create a new framework on EU Migration policies.

Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia will be meeting with his counterparts from France, Italy, Germany and Finland, and EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos.

Malta and Italy are proposing an automatic migrant sharing system, to try to eliminate periods of long uncertainty for those found drifting at sea or others that get rescued by vessels operated by various NGOs that operate in the Mediterranean Sea.

NGOs urging for a permanent system

“A permanent system of disembarkation and relocation for asylum-seekers rescued at sea is absolutely necessary”. This is the focal point of a statement issued by 11 NGOs that work with migrants, on the occasion of the ministerial meeting.

The NGOs believe that the current ad-hoc system is “neither humane nor sustainable”, and demand that the rescued souls have their dignity and fundamental human rights respected.

The NGOs welcome the involvement of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) allowing the issue to be treated at EU level and not simply held at member state level through bilateral agreements.

Whilst they appreciate Malta’s challenging role in trying to administer a large number of migrants, they feel that they “cannot endorse an approach that leaves people locked up for weeks”.

They are urging the participants to assist Malta and Italy, to provide relevant and understandable information for all the migrants rescued, and a guarantee of humane treatment amongst others.

The statement was signed by aditus foundation, African Media Association, Blue Door English, Integra Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Service (Malta), Malta Emigrants’ Commission, Migrant Women Association (Malta), Moviment Graffitti, Office of the Dean at the Faculty of Education, SOS Malta, Syrian Solidarity in Malta.