Human Rights are not disposables

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Human Rights are an essential cornerstone of democratic society. They are an integral and indispensable element of our democratic landscape. They are not disposable. We cannot do without them.

Being a savage blow struck against human rights, Joseph Muscat’s pushback of immigrants to Libya hence strikes at the very core of our democratic credentials.

During Malta’s short 50 year history as a democratic state we have had more than our fair share of political bullies who considered that human rights were shackling their political manoeuvres. We surely do not need any more.

The migration problem is certainly much greater than Malta can possibly handle on its own. Financial assistance from the EU has always been welcome but this can only be a small part of the solution. There are other  essential elements which have to be tackled.

Many EU member states have been reluctant to assist in the resettlement of these refugees. The EU institutions have not been forceful enough in translating solidarity declarations into practical initiatives. Pilot projects, now discontinued, are certainly not enough.

The root causes of the displacement of hundreds of thousands must be appropriately addressed. These include political instability, dictatorial governments and Climate Change impacts. The EU, on its own as well as in conjunction with regional and global institutions could do much more than has been done to date.

On a local level we need to move on from rhetoric to practical political action to tackle this issue of national importance. There is room for close political cooperation between the three political parties. This however must be based on an unconditional respect of human rights. It is the only way to combat the spectre of racism in Malta.

Common sense, solidarity and an end to the culture of indifference should be the foundation stones of a national strategy on immigration. It is the only way forward.

3 comments on “Human Rights are not disposables

  1. I fully support what you have written. This is 1) a European issue and 2) a global issue and must be addressed properly by the governments of the West. it is not enough to speak words – action must be taken. We do recognise that Malta is a very small and heavily populated country but we have to act responsibly and democratically and recognise our obligations to asylum seekers under the terms of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

    • And in the meantime? Many, like me, are not ready to commit suicide to help others live. Unjust EU laws (Dublin11) need to be changed urgently. Or else give the asylum seekers freedom of movement the minute they set foot in the country. That would be just. Unjust laws and human rights do not go together. They contradict. So, many a time, one has to chose one to the detriment of the other. People who are responsible should be held accountable, and in such a case they are the big country bullies of the EU who are not affected by asylum seekers.

  2. Human rights without justice are nil and void. Endless talks and bla-bla with huge bureaucracy never took anyone anywhere, except to one’s doom. EU asylum laws are unjust. Asylum seekers have rights but no duties; other citizens have duties but no rights. This is absolutely unjust. Human nature as it is something, somehow, sometime gives way. Prevention is better than cure and actions speak louder than words. Gibe asylum seekers freedom of movement and take them to the country where they wish to seek asylum (within the EU of course). That is fair and just.

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