aditus Foundation, Integra Foundation, JRS Malta, Kopin, the Maltese Association of Parents of State School Students (MAPSSS), Right 2 Smile, SOS Malta, SPARK15 and The Critical Institute are urging the Government to revert its decision to revoke the residence permits of 22 non-EU children, as was reported in the media.
The organisations firmly believe that a child is a child, no matter its migratory background.
Malta is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and therefore obliged to take decisions concerning any children, Maltese or otherwise, in their sole best interest.
Revoking residency to these children is clearly not in their best interest, given the likely repercussions: their forced uprooting from what they will consider as their home, family separations, interruption of care and education, social and emotional stress with potential long-term negative effects on the children’s well-being. Suffice to say, the Government’s decision puts these children’s parents and guardians under unjustifiable and, frankly, cruel stress, as well.
It is clear that economic aspects are the sole basis for the decision taken by the Government, at the detriment of social, emotional and psychological considerations, which is completely unsustainable and plainly wrong.
In the interest of these 22 children and their families, teachers, carers, friends and Malta’s society, at large, the organisations demand from the Government that these 22 children be granted with a residency permit.
It is pertinent to emphasise that the current legal and policy framework are not in conformity with relevant EU legislation. We therefore further request a revision of relevant laws, policies and practice, so as to avoid similar cases in the future and safeguard that Malta adheres to all the principles outlined in the UNCRC.