Immigration : an ethical compass

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Joseph Muscat’s recent outburst on his immigration push-back policy show’s what the man is really worth.

In a time of relative crises he has thrown overboard his ethical compass. He advocates a push-back policy: pushing back immigrants to their place of departure, that is Libya.

Apart from the fact that he does not have the means to carry out his threat, he has succumbed to the worst possible in politics. He has forgotten all about his principles which some time ago seemed to have been standing four square with the downtrodden.  All sweet words on solidarity have now found their way down the drain.

There is an ethical compass which shows the way in politics. This points towards doing the right thing, always, even if it signifies being unpopular.

It is not just a matter of principle.

It is also a right which enjoys protection in terms of the European Convention of Human Rights.

It would be pertinent to remember the Strasbourg decision delivered in February 2012 in the case of Hirsii Jamaa and others versus Italy.

Hirsii Jamaa had contested the validity of Silvio Berlusconi’s push-back policy. The European Court of Human Rights sitting as a Grand Chamber [with Maltese judge Vincent A. De Gaetano as one of its members] held that when Italy (then led by Silvio Berlusconi) returned migrants which it intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea to Libya it violated the migrants human rights.

It is about time that Joseph Muscat comes to his senses and gets his bearings right. Before more damage is caused to Malta’s reputation.

4 comments on “Immigration : an ethical compass

  1. I have to disagree. Malta just cannot keep absorbing immigrants. Save them from drowning but they should be returned from where they came from.

    • In the past years some migrants were returned to their homeland, when it made sense to do so. However it is not always the right thing to do.

      You may ask “Why?”

      You have a very detailed answer in the decision delivered by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg relative to the case in the names Hirsi Jamaa and others vs Italy. The Court concluded that Silvio Berlusconi’s push-back policy through which immigrants were sent back to Libya was in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. Malta is a party to the said Convention.

      The realistic solution is that supported throughout the years by the Greens in the European Parliament. That is that through a policy of responsibility sharing all EU states carry their share burden.

      You can access the abovementioned decision at this link:
      http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-109231#{“itemid”:[“001-109231”]}

      • I would not mind if the EU countries would take in these aliens…however the numbers would have to be proportionally related to their size by square mile. Malta is already very densely populated area wise so to keep adding in more bodies is untenable.

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