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.
The statement was issued by:
Aditus, African Media Association Malta, agara, ARC – allied rainbow communities, Catholic Voices Malta, Christian Life Community – CLC Malta, Department of Gender Studies, University of Malta, Department for Inclusion and Access to Learning, University of Malta, Department of Social Policy & Social Work – University of Malta, Department of Youth and Community Studies – University of Malta, Drachma LGBTI, Fondazzjoni Ejjew Ghandi, Integra Foundation, International Association for Refugees, Isles of the Left , Jesuit Refugee Service Malta, Kopin, Kummissjoni Gustizzja u Paci, KSU – Kunsill Studenti Universitarji, LGBTI + Gozo, Malta Catholic Youth Network, Malta Emigrant Commission, Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement, Masw Exec, Moviment Graffitti, Migrant Women Association Malta, Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Social Wellbeing, University of Malta, Paulo Freire Institute, Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta, Richmond Foundation – Malta, Salesians of Don Bosco – Malta, Segretarjat Assistenza Socjali, Society of Jesus in Malta , Solidarity With Migrants, SOS Malta, Spark15, Fondazzjoni St Jeanne Antide, SĦS – Studenti Ħarsien Socjali, The Critical Institute, Women’s Rights Foundation, Caritas Malta, Allejanza kontra il-Faqar, Drachma Parents and Malta Chamber of Psychologists.