The Malta Independent 19 September 2020, Saturday

Equality Minister Helena Dalli launches migrant integration policy

Gabriel Schembri Friday, 15 December 2017, 15:21 Last update: about 4 years ago

Minister for Civil Liberties and Equality Helena Dalli has officially launched the Migrant Integration Policy and Action Plan.

Addressing a press conference this afternoon, the Minister said that the Maltese should appreciate the migrants' role in the economy and to understand their vital role in the sustaining the employment sector. She warned, however, that the public should also look at their social situation. 

The strategy looks into various aspects such as local legislation and language. Dalli said that migrants need to learn more about Malta's culture and customs. "Having said all this, we are close to Christmas and let's not forget that this is a celebration of the birth of a son to a refugee couple," she added in her address.

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The minister said that even without a strategy, integration in certain areas of Malta was successful. Now, she said that the country needs something more structured. "The document does not bring about integration. It's through its' implementation that we can be successful."

"Let's turn this situation into an opportunity", she concluded.

Silvan Agius, human rights and integration director in the ministry said that the integration programme will be held at the respective institutions and will not separate the migrants from society. Migrants are free to start the programme, on a voluntary basis. Once its' completed migrants who have been in Malta for five years can apply for a residency permit. 

Migrants will be accompanied by a case worker. "This is not a security screening exercise. We are going to work hand in hand with migrants."

A site was identified to serve as offices while Alex Tortell will head this office. The strategy aims towards the year 2020. 

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