Costantino Mifsud for Catholic Voices Malta participates on the RTK Program Newsbook Hour on the 2 November 2019 on the Government’s Reform proposals for Human trafficking and Prostitution reform.
Catholic Voice Malta today submitted its position paper on the Human Trafficking and Prostitution Reform launched by Parliamentary Secretariat for Reforms, Citizenship and Simplification of Administrative Processes within the Office of the Prime Minister.
While welcoming the efforts presented by the Reform to combat human trafficking and the need to place the victim of trafficking or the person subjected to prostitution at the centre of each decision being taken. The reform lacks the acknowledgement that prostitution is intrinsically wrong because it violates the human dignity of the person involved when contemplating the notions of “ethical recruitment” as a path not merely to decriminalise the prostitute but rather to regularise some forms of prostitution into regular working activity.
If a prostitute is a victim, and for this reason we agree to decriminalise, the prostitute remains a victim even after we manage to remove the stigma, we regularise prostitution and create so called ethical standards of recruitment. If prostitutes are victims, they are victims whether they have been trafficked or whether they enter prostitution for other circumstances, even if these are purely economic.
The reform states that it seeks to be guided by human rights principles. It is precisely the human right principle of human dignity that prostitution violates.
In making its decision Catholic Voices Malta urges the Government not be subjected by the economic demands of so-called operators of say Gentlemen’s Clubs who claim that Malta’s internationalisation necessitates the availability of such services. Women can never become “perks” for an industry.
We urge the legislator to rethink the orientation of the reform and advocate that our system should be closer to models that have proved to be successful in addressing human trafficking, reduce and reintegrate prostitutes in dignified employment and have full respect for the fundamental human rights principle of human dignity, like the Swedish Model.
The dignity of a person goes beyond providing a way out of prostitution, we need to create a culture of unacceptance of the objectification of a woman’s body, the provision of education and work opportunities that value the contribution of the person and provide a source of fulfilment in the alternative work a former prostitute does, rather than continue facing degradation and humiliation to survive.
Prostitutes should be decriminalised, but prostitution should remain a criminal activity, with heavier sanctions being placed on persons found guilty of trafficking human persons, operators of clubs and outlets that host trafficked persons, pimps and persons seeking the services of a prostitute. This clearly implies that strip clubs and similar operations should not be licenced and the concept of “ethical recruitment” withdrawn.
David Stellini – PN
“Wara li xtarrejt fid-dettall il-proposti mressqa, b’wiċċi minn quddiem nagħti l-appoġġ u l-impenn tiegħi favur il-manifest elettorali mressaq mill-Moviment ta’ Kana u Catholic Voices. Filwaqt li nemmen fis-sovranità tal-liġi u r-rispett lejn kull reliġjon, inqis il-proposti mressqa minn dan il-moviment bħala mnebbħa minn prinċipji ta’ etika u morali u rispett lejn il-bniedem, li huma fil-bażi tat-twemmin politiku tiegħi.
Il-prinċipju tas-sussidarjetà, ir-rispett lejn l-ambjent li jdawwarna u r-rwol tal-familja bħala l-pern tas-soċjetà huma tliet aspetti fundamentali li għandhom ikunu fiċ-ċentru tal-ħidma Ewropea.
L-Unjoni Ewropea wasslet għal bosta kisbiet kbar għaċ-ċittadini tagħha, iżda forsi fl-aħħar snin xi kultant iddevjat mill-għeruq tagħha. Nemmen li l-UE għandha terġa’ tfittex x’kienu dawk il-prinċipji li wasslu biex wara gwerra mdemmija bdiet proġett tant importanti u fejjiedi: prinċipji bħall-koeżjoni soċjali u l-ħidma biex ħadd ma jibqa’ lura. Hi din l-Unjoni Ewropea li rrid nara, u l-Unjoni Ewropea li se naħdem għaliha jekk inkun elett.
Dan hu għaliex lest nikkommetti ruħi li jekk niġi afdat mill-poplu Malti u Għawdxi, se nkun qed nara li dawn it-tnax-il prinċipju jkunu dejjem fl-isfond tal-ħidma tiegħi.
Roberta Metsola – PN
Grazzi tal-email tagħkom. Nixtieq nassigurakom napprova bis-sħiħ il-manifest u ser tkompli inkun iggwidata minn dawn il-valuri u prinċipji ġenerali f’kull deċiżjoni li nieħu, kif għamilt għal dawn l-aħħar snin.
Roselyn Borg Knight – PN
Grazzi talli qsamtu dan il-manifest miegħi.
Jiena qrajt il-manifest tagħkom u nagħti l-appoġġ sħiħ tiegħi għalih. Nieħu din l-opportunità biex nirringrazzjakom għax-xogħol tagħkom.
Robert Micallef – PL (kumment fuq Newsbook)
Il-manifest tal-għaqdiet Kattoliċi f’Malta ma rċevejtux izda għadni kif qrajtu issa. Niddikjara li naqbel mal-punti msemmija fil-manifest u se nkun qed navvanzahom fil-ħidma politika tieghi.
L-ewwel grupp ta’ reazzjonijiet
Numru ta’ Reazzjonijiet għall-manifest: “Nibnu mill-ġdid il-komunità fl-Ewropa” Manifest għall-Elezzjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew – 25 ta’ Mejju 2019 Mill-Moviment ta’ Kana, Catholic Voices Malta u l-Kummissjoni għall-Ġustizzja u l-Paċi
Il-Manifest isibu hawn
Further reactions received from Candidates to the MEP elections for the Manifesto: “Rebuilding community in Europe”, a manifesto for the European Parliament Election of the 25th May 2019. Promoted by Cana Movement, Catholic Voices Malta and the Commission for Justice and Peace.
David Stellini – PN
Having reflected in detail the proposals you put forward, with pleasure I give my support and commitment in favour of the electoral manifesto put forward by the movement of Cana and Catholic Voices. While I believe in the sovereignty of law and respect for each religion, I consider the proposals put forward by this movement as inspired by ethical and moral principles and respect for human dignity, which are the bases of my political beliefs.
The principle of subsidiarity, respect for the underlying environment and the pivotal role of the family in society are three fundamental values that should be at the centre of European action.
The European Union has led to many major achievements for its citizens, however in recent years the EU has somehow deviated from its roots. I believe that the EU should re-look at the principles that emerged after the war and led to a very important and fruitful project: the principle of social cohesion and ensuring that nobody is left behind. It is this European Union that I want to see, and the European Union I will work for if elected.
This is why I am willing to commit myself, that if trusted by the Maltese and Gozitan people, I will see that these twelve principles are always in the background of my work.
Roberta Metsola – PN
Thank you for your email. Please rest assured that I fully endorse the manifesto and will continue to be guided by these overarching values and principles on every decision that I take – as I have done for the last years.
Roselyn Borg Knight – PN
Thank you for sharing this with me.
I have read through your manifesto and I support it. I take this opportunity to thank you for your work.
Robert Micallef – PL (comment on Newsbook)
I did not receive the manifesto of the Catholic organisations in Malta, however I have just read it now. I declare that I agree with the values mentioned in the manifesto and I will progress these values in my political work.
For the first group of reactions received press here
A number of reactions to the Manifesto “Rebuilding community in Europe” A manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019 Promoted by Cana Movement, Catholic Voices Malta and the Commission for Justice and Peace
The Manifesto press here
Catholic Voices Malta welcomes the arrest of the suspected murders of Lassana Cisse
Catholic Voice Malta welcomes the news of the arrest of two soldiers suspected with the murder of Lassana Cisse, an innocent migrant killed in Hal Far in a shooting which also left two other migrants injured last month.
Catholic Voices Malta thank the police force for their work in identifying the perpetrators of this horrible crime.
It is worrisome that the only apparent reason why Lassana was specifically targeted and murdered was the color of his skin. We condemn this racially motivated crime and hope that more is done to develop a culture that in the words of Pope Francis “Welcomes, protects, promotes and integrates migrants and refugees”.
We take the opportunity to remind ourselves of the important speech given by Pope Francis’ for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in 2018.
“Rebuilding community in Europe”
A manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019
Inspired by the declaration of European Bishops statement “Rebuilding community in Europe”, Cana Movement and Catholic Voices Malta supported by the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Malta propose the following Manifesto of 12 guiding principles that Catholic voters should look for in selecting their preferred candidates for the upcoming European Parliament elections. We also call on all citizens to engage in this important political process and exercise their discernment when voting for the 2019 European elections.
The European Parliament elections are not a local electoral contest but a European one. They should not be perceived as a vote of trust or distrust in a Party in Government or some Party in Opposition. Our vote will be cast for individual candidates, local political parties but also European political groups that will shape Europe’s values, policies and actions.
As citizens we are called to discern the extent to which:
• the candidates we are voting for,
• the local political party they will represent, and
• the European political Group they will form part of
in their manifestos reflect the values and policies that we aspire to see shaping the European Union of tomorrow.
We are also encouraged not to fall into the temptation of inward looking partisanship, or to merely vote for a party without discerning the choice of the candidate. We elect individuals who will represent parties but more importantly, represent us and our values. We therefore encourage voters to exercise their rights and question candidates on these 12 important issues that will define their personal engagement at a European level once elected.
We are also obliged to look at the manifestos of the respective European Parliament Groupings and weigh their choices in line with the values and policies that we would like to see promoted.
Europe needs to rediscover its common identity and be protective of persons, families, and cultures, especially the poor and most vulnerable. We need MEPs that promote the founding values of the EU, committed towards human dignity for all, subsidiarity and active citizen engagement.
Families and demography need to be placed at the centre of mainstream European politics, especially young families. We need MEPs that promote and protect life from conception to its natural end, that address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and foster a culture of integral ecology. We also need MEPs that work towards a renewed effort to find effective and shared solutions concerning migration, asylum, integration and demography.
Dr. Arthur Galea Salamone – Chairman Cana Movement, Tonio Fenech – Coordinator Catholic Voices Malta and Daniel Darmanin – President Commission for Justice and Peace
“Rebuilding community in Europe”
A manifesto for the European Parliament Election 25th May 2019
I embrace the following fundamental principles that will guide my actions and political decisions once elected to the European Parliament.
Human dignity for all
Human dignity is something that cannot be taken away. Each and every person has unconditional value, worthy of great respect and should be free from any form of slavery, manipulation and exploitation. I will promote options and policies that are shaped by the total respect of human dignity.
European institutions should take active steps to favour the personal and collective engagement of all citizens in a true, creative and respectful dialogue and endeavour not to impose unilateral decisions.
The EU needs to rediscover its founding values, common identity and value of solidarity, as it seeks to revitalise the social links that exist in and amongst countries and peoples. I will work for an EU that is protective of the families, the most vulnerable and of cultures.
Unity in diversity
Unity in diversity implies common rules that account for legitimate protection and promotion of freedoms and liberties through democratic practices that exemplify accountability, transparency and a just application of the Rule of Law.
Dialogue with Churches and religious communities
In line with Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), I will work towards a more meaningful dialogue with Churches and religious communities.
Young Europeans need to feel reassured and supported to be in a condition to form a family. Family-friendly rules and practices should be developed at the EU level to accompany the integral human development of persons, families and communities. The well-being of the human family is linked with a Union that fosters a social market economy. The family should be the starting point from which working conditions are designed, to facilitate family time together and create the right balance between family and working life.
Demography needs to regain prominence in EU policy. The decrease of the European births rates need to be addressed through concrete measures to change current trends.
The right of parents to educate their children
I undertake to ensure that the EU provides the appropriate education for our children and youth. In all its programmes the EU should respect and promote the rights of parents to educate their children in conformity with their cultural, moral and religious traditions, in line with the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.
Respecting life from conception to natural end
I pledge to respect the dignity of every human person, at all its stages, from conception to natural death. I will work towards encouraging policies and best practices that provide special care to all children, before and after birth, and to the mothers as well as foster care families and adoptive families. I pledge to oppose any European legislative attempts to impose abortion on any Member State and other countries.
Migration, asylum and integration
I will work toward a renewed effort to find effective and shared solutions concerning migration, asylum, integration and demography. Integration is a matter not only for people entering the EU, but also for EU citizens moving to a country other than their own. While appreciative of security concerns of member states, these should never trample upon the respect of Human Dignity. I will work towards a bold and creative strategy that seeks the right balance between protecting the rights of EU citizens, ensuring demographic viability and cultural sustainability for Europe, whilst ensuring assistance to and acceptance of migrants.
Environmental and economic challenges are inseparable. The cause of environmental degradation is not population growth but rather extreme consumerism and global social injustice. Environmental degradation effects worst the poorer. As stewards of God’s creation, we commit ourselves to promote actions that place humanity and nature in harmony. I will strive to contribute towards a European policy founded on the preferential option for the poor, solidarity with the more vulnerable, the common good and the intergenerational responsibility for our ecology.
Digitalisation at the service of people
Taking back control of our lives in the face of digitalisation implies decisions to make economy and finance better serve the people, especially the most vulnerable. Digitalisation has an impact on all and everything we know (the future of work, protection of personal data, the multiple uses of artificial intelligence). I will work towards the creation of policies that ensue that new emerging technologies preserve the centrality of the human person and channels these positive developments within a solid ethical framework.
While Theresa May and Westminster continue haggling towards a Brexit outcome, the world is awakening to growing nationalistic sentiments. Easy to brush such sentiments as extreme, however it would be wrong to forget that these are born many times from genuine political disappointments and fears, that mainstream politicians prefer to forget.
The global capitalist economic system that globalisation produced failed many people miserably. Those who saw globalisation as a means towards international economic equity and the eradication of poverty, forget that liberal free market thinkers were never concerned with such ideals.
While the global economic model has been left to evolve at its own accord, into an economic system that Pope Francis described it fruits as “Killing”; the EU sought a different path advancing the values of peace and solidarity, and a more social market model, despite some mistakes.
The global economic system remains globally unchecked despite its grave failings. Its fruits include huge income disparities between countries and societies and the culmination of the global economic crises of 2009 that devastated the lives of millions of people around the world.
The price for liberal economic globalisation was also the globalisation of liberal moral philosophies that watered down national cultural values. Despite popular unhappiness, many saw this as the consequential price to pay for the promised economic wellness. However, the global economic crises left many short changed.
Rising global economic disparities, global warming and regional conflicts are fuelling mass migration. Economic failure and unemployment, the weakening of cultural identity and values, compounded with mass immigration is causing a perfect storm, that may not end well.
Globalisation is not the making of some international organisation lurking in the background trying to create a new world order or a super transnational state as some like to conspire. The historian Yuval Noah Harari in his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century rightly points out that globalisation is the baby of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb.
The first world war did not manage to create a new order because it was more of the same at a bigger scale. The history of mankind was built on tribal wars seeking to extend borders and command greater political and economic influence. Hiroshima changed it all. Peoples now feared the war that would effectively annihilate them completely. Hiroshima awakened Governments to the reality that only peace and cooperation would deter global nuclear destruction. Transnational and global institutions were created such as the UN, the EU, NATO, the Warsaw Pact and so on. Meanwhile the US, Russia, China and other less trustworthy countries build their arsenals. Those who cry US, Britain, Malta first, forget that without a strong system of international cooperation nobody escapes nuclear destruction. 75 years from the Second World War, global cooperation, despite its shortcomings managed to avert the third and final global war. We cannot go back.
While nuclear weapons are harmless if they remain locked in an arsenal and level-headed politicians refrain from pushing the self-destruction button, globally we are facing an equally series threat to humanity’s survival, the threat to our ecology. We are all pressing the self-destructive button with our indifferent or denial of the ecological collapse that surrounds us. While the older generation worries about its pensions, the younger generation worries about the environment and what will remain of it.
The enormous quantities of waste and poison we are dumping is changing the composite of soil, contaminating our food, water and our atmosphere. Rivers, lakes and oceans poisoned with plastics and fertilizers used in over farming. We are losing more natural habitats and seeing the extinction of many animals and plants. Despite all the promises, global emissions are still rising; deserts are expanding, forcing migration to northern cooler regions and ice-caps disappearing, making oceans rise, sinking human coastal habitats, also forcing migration.
The world’s addiction to fossil fuels, like all addictions is bring humanity’s destruction. While nuclear war is a potential, ecological destruction is happening. Can any country stop this ecological time bomb alone? Individual, community, national efforts are important, but no country can save the planet alone. Countries need to look beyond national interests. Let’s take global warming; warmer temperatures make hot regions deserts and cold regions more pleasant. From a national interest view point a colder country is not concerned with CO2s emissions as global warming is suiting it. This country however then cannot protest that people in the hotter regions want to migrate to that country when their home is now in a desert. Without a global and transgenerational perspective our selfishness and national interests will breed the global ecological collapse a not so distant future generation may not survive.
Technological disruption is the buzz word of the modern world. Technological disruption can however also become the next human existential threat. If the global community treats technological evolution with the same laissez affair attitude that it treated the global economic evolution, the risks of an AI “being” going for it alone will not be movie fiction for long. While today various countries impose ethical restrictions especially in the biological sphere, like not allowing EU scientists to genetically modify human embryos, who is stopping the likes of China or Japan from doing otherwise. If some development confers an economic or military advantage to the country that makes the discovery others will follow suit, they cannot be left behind. Today disruptive technologies such as AI and bioengineering are moving towards changing the very nature of humanity and possibly creating a new more powerful specie. What we create may not be as benevolent to its human creator as we might wish. This should come to no surprise; we have not been so benevolent to our own Creator. If mankind fails to impose globally accepted ethical standards, Dr Frankenstein is waiting in the shadows.
While remaining proud of our national identities and history, the world needs to transcend former divisions and collaborate genuinely to forge a common destiny. I am not advocating for a super global government. However, the major challenges the world is facing are global and therefore require global solutions.
We need a different model of globalisation, one founded on values, the concept of a family of nations, to harness the global economy into promoting economic equality and social justice, adopting global social cohesion policies that address the challenges of migration through meaningful economic and ecological interventions like create work opportunities for peoples, in their own villages and cities and reversing global warming. We need multilateral structures that avoid pressing the button of nuclear self-destruction and ensure that technological disruption remains at the service of humanity, rather than at its destruction.
Can Nationalism and Globalisation live together? They cannot afford otherwise.
Tonio Fenech is a member of Catholic Voices Malta
This article appeared on the Newsbook Blogg https://www.newsbook.com.mt/blogg/2019/04/29/can-nationalism-and-globalisation-live-together/?lang=en
Wise Solomon had a very though decision to make when confronted with two women claiming to be the mother of a surviving baby, after one mother lost her newly born at sleep. Solomon sought the middle ground, offering to divide the babies in two, a half each. The mother, terrified of what the middle ground meant offered her son to the lying woman. Solomon recognising the selflessness act of the mother, gave the son back to her.
The call by Dr Andrea Dibben in her article of the 14th April, to explore the middle ground in the abortion debate unfortunately offers no different outcome for the unborn child. Contrary to Dibbens belief, this is not about personal morality, but about the fundamental right to life, that today our laws protect in everyone’s interest.
Urging us to explore abortion from philosophical theories that seek to deny the basic scientific facts that a human is always a human at whatever stage of its development, colour, race, gender, etc., and dehumanising the individual with devastating consequences. Black people enslaved; Jews, ethnic Poles, the Roma, “incurably sick”, gay people and others, exterminated in the Holocaust. Today, societies that deny women legal rights, deeming them lesser legal persons, with husbands granted the right to kill their wives in case of adultery; Brunei just legalised the stoning of gays; the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient, that was exposed to have deliberately killed perfectly heathy bed ridden patients through hunger, without their consent, for budget cuts; Denmark and Iceland boasting that they are 100% down syndromes free, by aborting all diagnosed down syndrome unborn babies. Need we more illustrations of the effects of philosophical dehumanization, as pro-abortionists seek to do of the unborn child to justify its killing.
Dibbens seems to want a debate exclusively on her terms, i.e. excluding any moral and scientific arguments. This indeed makes any middle ground very difficult to find. If we want to find common solutions these need to share in the interest of supporting the mother and the unborn child.
It is science not religion that tells us that from the moment of conception in the womb lives a distinct human being and not merely a bunch of cells, like a cancer that kills you. It is science that tell us that these cells are not a potential, but the start of a life that if left uninterrupted from human intervention, sickness or accident will live till old age allows it to no longer generate further and die.
We appreciate that a pregnant mother may be facing difficulties due to a pregnancy, but as Pope Francis so bluntly put it “hiring a hitman to resolve a problem”, is no middle ground solution.
This leads me to the second point. A discussion needs to be based on honest facts.
Going through the 30 Q&A infographics that Dibbens describes as facts and arguments that seek to dispel myths on abortion, I found these to be nothing more than a sales pitch based on a mix of unfounded statements, fudges and misrepresentations.
Abortion is a health care issue (myth 1), is certainly not the case for the killed unborn child.
Saying that an unwanted pregnancy damages a woman’s health (14) but then denying (myth 2,13) that aborting the child within you, the most unnatural thing to do, has no mental health implication, is a what? The internet is full of testimonies of women who remained traumatised, anguished and regretted their decision to abort a child.
Selling the idea that because most abortions are done before 8 weeks then they are ok (myth 4); begs the question, if after they are not ok at 9 weeks what makes 8 weeks less human? Science is clear, the zygote, foetus, unborn child is human from second one, from conception, not from 9 weeks.
Myth 7 sells the idea that because the foetus up to 24 weeks feels no pain begs the question since when felling pain makes one deserving to live or to die? So if you give someone a pain killer then you can kill him or her?
Myth 8 is an outright deception that keeps being used by pro-abortionists like the Trojan horse. The infographic claims that an abortion done to protect the mother’s life is a crime. False. Maltese Health protocols are clear, if the mother’s life is at risk, a doctor is obliged to save the mother’s life even if the consequence is the loss of the child. We simply do not call this an abortion but a miscarriage.
The article does not allow me space to go into all infographics, but this is the sort of misinformation we are starting to be feed.
Dibbens also misreads as overwhelmingly positive feedback the reach of 180,000 people through this Facebook campaign. Facebook reach is not a sign of overwhelming support, many people reached do not even read the post it merely scrolls in front of them. When I entered the Page verify response the Page had 1,046 Likes at the time of writing, a response rate of less than 0.6% of the Facebook reach, not overwhelming at all.
Thank you Mr. President for the firm message of defence of life you have sent in your inaugural speech. Kudos to the Maltese Government who this month, at the United Nations 52nd Session of the Commission for Population and Development, reaffirmed Malta’s clear and unequivocal position against the interpretation of abortion as a sexual and reproductive health service, stating clearly “the right to heath does not include the right to abortion as this goes against the right to life, which is paramount”.
What we need today is a renewed effort to continue nourishing this beautiful culture of respecting life, agreeing here with the Prime Minister that it needs to include all life, even that of migrants at sea.
Let us discuss the support systems that pregnant mothers in difficulty need, how to create situations where mothers that cannot take responsibility for their child, are assisted to either for so or help them transition the child toward adoption or foster care, in the most discreet and respectful manner. These are the middle ground solutions that together we should work around, solutions that do not pit the mother against the child, or place the unborn child under the knife.
This article was published by the Malta Independent on the 18th April 2019
29 December 2018 – Tonio Fenech for Catholic Voices Malta participates on the program Immagini presented by Christine Delicata. The program focused on the objectives of Catholic Voices Malta and other related issues.