We are extremely concerned at the arbitrary decision taken by the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security to suspend the renewal of Temporary Humanitarian Protection N (THPN) pending a review of this status by the Ministry. This decision has effectively stripped men, women and children of their identity documentation with severe implications on their ability to access employment, healthcare, education and other basic services.
Overnight, and without a clear plan of action, the Ministry has thrown people into the dark about their future by robbing them of the little security THPN provided. The Ministry must be made aware of the human consequences of this decision, whereby rights granted are being unfairly and cruelly withdrawn.
Whilst we welcome, in principle, a review of THPN status, we urgently call on the Ministry to:
- Immediately revoke the decision to suspend renewals of THPN status;
- Reinstate the suspended THPN;
- Engage in dialogue with NGOs, including migrant communities, on the review of THPN.
In 2008 the Office of the Refugee Commissioner established Temporary Humanitarian Protection N (THPN), as a form of regularization granted in cases where “a former applicant for international protection cannot be returned to his/her country of origin due to legal or factual reasons, and through no fault of his/her own.”
THPN applicants were required to fulfil integration-related criteria, such as employment, independent housing and payment of fiscal contributions. THPN granted beneficiaries identity documentation, enabling them to have facilitated access to employment, healthcare and education. To a certain degree, THPN introduced an element of stability and restored some dignity, enabling beneficiaries to play an active role and contribute to Maltese society.
aditus foundation, The Critical Institute, Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants, Gender Liberation, Integra Foundation, International Association for Refugees, JRS Malta, Malta Emigrants’ Commission, MGRM, Moroccan Community in Malta, Moviment Graffitti, Organisation for Friendship in Diversity, the People for Change Foundation, the Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta, SOS Malta, Spark 15.
15 November 2016