UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency welcomes the launching of the Government’s Migrants Integration Strategy & Action Plan as a landmark achievement for Malta.
Malta has made progress in a number of areas, including that of its reception system and refugee determination procedure for asylum seekers.
The Malta of today is rapidly changing. It is a dynamic multicultural society and there is a recognition that in such diversity there should be action put forward to facilitate the social inclusion of newcomers into the fabric of society. All members of the community will benefit from access to rights, information and support to make equal opportunities for everyone.
We also understand that some localities are finding challenges in overcoming some gaps between the different communities that live there. More support should be allocated to localities that may be facing challenges in this respect. The reasons could be varied and they need to be understood and addressed accordingly. This approach needs to be a holistic one.
There are many refugees who are doing well and contributing to Malta’s success, but we should also not forget that there are others who are struggling; they lack access to sustainable inclusion prospects, such as difficulty accessing stable and predictable work, poverty driven by increasing rent prices, legal and policy impediments for family reunification and an effective naturalisation path.
The process of integration is complex and gradual, comprising distinct but interrelated legal, economic, social and cultural dimensions, all of which are important for refugees’ and migrants’ ability to integrate successfully..
This strategy and the accompanying implementation action plan aims to foster development of skills potential among refugees and migrants and address labour needs in the national economy. The strategy also addresses resource mobilisation by facilitating the means to pursue economic, cultural and social development for individuals and communities in Malta.
This is a welcome step in the right direction for Malta and augurs well for a more inclusive society.