Successfully completion of the Catholic Voices Malta training course Development of Article Writing Skills

As part of our mission to enable more Catholics to be a relevant voice in society during the months of March and April, Catholic Voices Malta organised a course for four participants keen on being a voice through the written media.    The course dealt with issues like the Communication Triangle i.e.  distinguishing between audiences, the purpose of the article and the Catholic Voices method of communication;  the distinction between editing and revising and learning how to give and receive feedback.   The course also focused on writing for effectiveness and exploring different writing strategies and rhetorical devices,  identifying the article to respond to and formulating the Catholic Voices Reframe methodology.

The course participants found the course a strong learning experience and we all thank Sandro Spiteri for designing and delivery of the course.

Pope Francis Letter to the Youths “Church, world need the gifts, enthusiasm of young people”

The Vatican today published Pope Francis’s reflection on the 2018 Synod of Bishops on young people.   The reflection is titled “Christus Vivit” (“Christ Lives”), and is a letter to young people about their place in the Church and a plea to older members of the Church not to stifle the enthusiasm of the young, but to offer gentle guidance when needed.

The Pope describes the life of a young person and the vocation to which God calls each one of them as “holy ground”.

In the document, released April 2, Pope Francis talked about how the sex abuse crisis, a history of sexism and an overly narrow focus on just a handful of moral issues can keep young people away from the Church.

But he also said many young people want to know and understand the teachings of the Church and, despite what many people think, they long for and need times of silent reflection and opportunities to serve their communities.

“A Church always on the defensive, which loses her humility and stops listening to others, which leaves no room for questions, loses her youth and turns into a museum,” Pope Francis wrote. “How, then, will she be able to respond to the dreams of young people?”

Young people have a natural desire to improve the life of the church and the world around them, the pope said. If older people in the church will let the young people try, it will keep the church youthful, too.

“Let us ask the Lord to free the Church from those who would make her grow old, encase her in the past, hold her back or keep her at a standstill,” Pope Francis wrote. “But let us also ask him to free her from another temptation: that of thinking she is young because she accepts everything the world offers her, thinking that she is renewed because she sets her message aside and acts like everybody else.”

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, holds Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “Christus Vivit” (Christ Lives), during a news conference for its presentation at the Vatican April 2, 2019. The document contains the pope’s reflections on the 2018 Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment. (CNS photo/CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-EXHORTATION-YOUNG April 2, 2019.

The core of the Pope’s message to young people was that they remember they are loved by God and saved by Jesus, who continues to live and act in the world and in their lives.

“His love is so real, so true, so concrete, that it invites us to a relationship of openness and fruitful dialogue,” even when one is angry with God, the Pope said. “He does not get upset if you share your questions with him. He is concerned when you don’t talk to him, when you are not open to dialogue with him.”

Drawing on the final documents from the synod and from a presynod gathering of young people in Rome, Pope Francis urged parishes and dioceses to rethink their young and young adult programs and to make changes based on what young people themselves say they want and need.

“Young people need to be approached with the grammar of love, not by being preached at,” he said. “The language that young people understand is spoken by those who radiate life, by those who are there for them and with them. And those who, for all their limitations and weaknesses, try to live their faith with integrity.”

Directly addressing young people, he said, “Take risks, even if it means making mistakes. Don’t go through life anaesthetized or approach the world like tourists. Make a ruckus!”

And, he told them, reach out to other young people, do not be afraid to mention Jesus and to invite friends to church or a church-sponsored activity.
“With the same love that Christ pours out on us,” the Pope said, “we can love him in turn and share his love with others in the hope that they too will take their place in the community of friendship he established.”

Youth ministry cannot be elitist or focused only on the teens and young adults already active in the Church’s life, he said. It must be “a process that is gradual, respectful, patient, hopeful, tireless and compassionate,” as Jesus was when he walked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Parents, pastors and spiritual guides must have “the ability to discern pathways where others only see walls, to recognize potential where others see only peril. That is how God the Father see things; he knows how to cherish and nurture the seeds of goodness sown in the hearts of the young.”

“Each young person’s heart should thus be considered ‘holy ground,’ a bearer of seeds of divine life, before which we must ‘take off our shoes’ in order to draw near and enter more deeply into the mystery.”

A long section of the document is focused on discerning one’s vocation, which, he said, always is a call to serve God and serve others, but always in a unique way.

Discovering one’s vocation, he said, “has to do with finding our true selves in the light of God and letting our lives flourish and bear fruit.”

For most young people that will mean marrying, forming a family and working, the Pope said.

“Within the vocation to marriage we should acknowledge and appreciate that ‘sexuality, sex, is a gift from God. It is not taboo. It is a gift from God, a gift the Lord gives us,'” he wrote. Sexuality “has two purposes: to love and to generate life. It is passion, passionate love. True love is passionate. Love between a man and a woman, when it is passionate, always leads to giving life. Always. To give life with body and soul.”

Pope Francis also encouraged young people not to dismiss out of hand the fact that God may be calling them to priesthood or religious life.
God’s call to each person is individual, made-to-measure just for him or her, the pope said, so discovering that call can be done only with calm, silence, prayer and the wise help of someone who truly knows how to listen and ask the right questions.

A vocation, he said, is a gift that “will help you live to the full and become someone who benefits others, someone who leaves a mark in life; it will surely be a gift that will bring you more joy and excitement than anything else in this world. Not because that gift will be rare or extraordinary, but because it will perfectly fit you. It will be a perfect fit for your entire life.”

One can read the Letter by pressing the link hereunder:

Press Release: Responsibility, Accountability and Transparency, making the Church the safe place it should be

20th February 2019

Responsibility, Accountability and Transparency – making the Church the safe place it should be

The “Protection of Minors in the Church” Meeting of Bishops, which will take place in the Vatican, between 21 and 24 February 2019.

Faced with widespread and growing discomfort with revelations of very serious cases of sexual abuse involving members of the clergy, Pope Francis has called a 3-day meeting in the Vatican for Bishops that starts tomorrow the 21st February, 2019. The meeting will discuss the ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church’. The Pope has summoned the highest representatives of the Catholic Church from around the world to give a united response at the universal level. The entire Church must choose to live in solidarity, above all with the victims, with their families and with the ecclesial communities wounded by the scandals. As the Pope has written, ‘If one member suffers, all the members suffer together’. (1 Cor 12:26).

The Church is seeking to send a clear message of its commitment to protect minors, and that this has to be done in a clear and effective manner by the entire community, starting with those in the highest positions of responsibility. More recently, other forms of abuse are coming to light, but all are rooted in the same culture of secrecy, abuse of conscience and abuse of power that are the cancer of clericalism that Pope Francis condemned in his Letter to the People of God issued in August 2018. In it he stated categorically: “to say ‘no’ to abuse is to say an emphatic ‘no’ to clericalism.” Pope Francis has concretely shown his zero tolerance for abuse by even those in the highest ranks within the Church, most recently by defrocking the ex-Cardinal McCarrick.

Indeed, the theme of the meeting starting tomorrow: ‘Responsibility, Accountability and Transparency’ indicates that the main purpose of the meeting is not to create new procedures, but to undertake a fundamental reform of the quality of leadership in the Church through an internal conversion. In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis asked Catholics to pray for the meeting which he described as “a powerful gesture of pastoral responsibility in the face of an urgent challenge of our time.”

The three days of discussion will be devoted to a specific topic: “Responsibility, Accountability, and Transparency”. The 190 participants present in the Vatican Synod Hall will hear three reports a day, three of these by women, and all nine interventions will be followed by a question and answer session. Members of the Organizing Committee will also meet privately with representatives of the victims and survivors’ associations. There will be testimonies from survivors and moments of prayer, at the beginning and end of each day. Pope Francis will open the Meeting with an introductory speech on Thursday morning, and close it on Sunday with a discourse after Mass. A Penitential Liturgy will take place on Saturday afternoon, and will be broadcast live.

Catholic Voices Malta joins Catholic Voices International and indeed, the Universal Church and all people of good will in praying for Pope Francis, our Archbishop Scicluna who is in the team leading the meeting, and all the participating Bishops. This great moment of trail for the Church can be a turning point for its purification.

Information on the Meeting
The official website of the “Protection of Minors in the Church” Meeting is and will remain active even after the Meeting is over, as a “tool for developing future initiatives”.

For any questions, information or follow up you can also contact

The Letter to the People of God by Pope Francis can be found:

Catholic Voices Malta Training Course – Development of Article Writing Skills

If interested in knowing more please speak to us.

People are more important – 49 migrants abandoned at sea an, appeal by 48 NGOs

48 NGOs, including Catholic Voices Malta,  have voiced their heartfelt disappointment at the fact that no action has yet been taken on the stranded Sea-Watch vessel, with 49 migrants having been abandoned for 18 days.   As a united front we have called on the Maltese government to put people before politics and allow the two stranded rescue vessels with 49 migrants onboard to be given shelter in Malta.   As NGOs we met in front of Castille and asked for meeting with PM.

A spokesperson for Sea Watch International, the migrant rescue NGO, said earlier in the day that the psychological wellbeing of the migrants on board its vessel is deteriorating. The migrants have been on board the vessel since 22 December.

As NGOs we stood outside the Office of the Prim Minister at Castille and read our message to the Prime Minister, saying that this was indeed a European problem that requires a European solution but that this same argument cannot be employed in abdication of the nation’s responsibility to save lives.
“The duty is not just a legal one but a moral one. What is more important here? To make a political point or to save lives?”

“This is nothing short of tragic and shameful. It can only mean that we have completely lost our humanity – as a people and a union of States that supposedly upholds the values of solidarity, respect for human rights and human dignity,” Integra Foundation director Maria Pisani said on behalf of all the organisations.

Representatives of the organisation then entered the Prime Minister’s Office in Castille and presented the statement and the request for a meeting with the Prime Minister to one of his spokespersons. They were assured that an answer to their request for a meeting would be given in the coming hours.

Pope Francis on Sunday issued an appeal for effective solidarity by European governments with 49 migrants stranded on two ships which are sheltering from rough seas off Malta. In remarks following the Angelus at St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said: “49 persons rescued from the Mediterranean Sea have been aboard two NGO ships for several days, seeking harbour for disembarkation. I urgently appeal to European leaders to show concrete solidarity with these people.”

The Maltese Bishops Conference i.e. Archbishop Charles Scicluna, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea Curmi and Gozo Bishop Mario Grech, wrote to the  Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, urging European bishops to insist with their governments on action to help these stranded migrants.

The letter said, “Ironically, as we Catholics were celebrating the birth of Our Lord who was rejected at birth, a group of 32 migrants was refused shelter by Europe after being rescued at sea off Libya. They have now been out at sea on a rescue vessel for no less than 13 days, only being allowed to enter Maltese territorial waters yesterday, Wednesday 2nd January, to shelter from a storm.
“A second group of 17 migrants rescued by another NGO vessel has been stranded at sea for five days,” the bishops wrote.   “One can only imagine the added suffering endured by those men, women and children, whose only ‘fault’ is that of fleeing a cruel environment in hope for a better life, one which respects the human dignity we Catholics and Europeans strongly promote as one of our fundamental values.  This situation, which is now in desperate need of action, has prompted us Maltese Bishops to repeatedly appeal to the leaders of our country to express solidarity in a tangible way.”



We are appalled beyond words that, after 18 days of negotiations, 49 men, women and children remain stuck on a boat within sight of the Maltese shore.
In spite of countless calls for solidarity, European Member States have not managed to find a diplomatic solution to the current impasse.

This is nothing short of tragic and shameful. It can only mean that we have completely lost our humanity – as a people and a union of states that supposedly upholds the values of solidarity, respect for human rights and human dignity.

We acknowledge the complex issues this situation raises, and agree that it is a European challenge requiring a European solution. However, this cannot be an excuse to abdicate our own responsibility, as individuals and as a nation, to save lives at any cost. The duty to save lives is not only a legal but also a moral imperative which can never be subjected to political conditions, such as the availability of concrete offers of relocation or the fear of creating a precedent.
At this point, the question we must answer is simple: what is more important, scoring political points, or saving lives?

For us, the undersigned organisations, there can be only one answer: people are more important.

Today we are here to take a stand for life and dignity. We call on Malta to prioritize life and open its doors today.


Ninsabu ixxukjati u bla kliem li, wara 18 il-ġurnata ta’ negozzjati, 49 raġel, mara u tfal għadhom miżmuma fuq dagħjsa ftit il-bogħod mill-art ta’ Malta.
Minkejja talbiet numerużi favur is-solidarjeta’, il-membri ta’ l-Unjoni Ewropea għadhom ma rnexxilhomx isibu soluzzjoni diplomatika għall-impass preżenti.
Din hi sitwazzjoni traġika u tal-mistħija. Ifisser b’mod ċar li tlifna kompletament l-umanita’ tagħna – bħala poplu u bħala Unjoni ta’ stati li suppost jiddefendu l-valuri tas-solidarjeta’, tar-rispett tad-drittijiet umani u tad-dinjita’ umana.

Nifhmu li din is-sitwazzjoni tqajjem kwistjonijiet kumplessi, u naqblu li hija sfida Ewropea li tirrikjedi soluzzjoni Ewropea. Madankollu, ma nistgħux nużaw dawn l-argumenti bħala skuża biex nabdikaw ir-responsabilta’ tagħna, bħala individwi u bħala nazzjon, li nsalvaw il-ħajja akkost ta’ kollox. Id-dmir li nsalvaw il-ħajja m’hijiex biss legali imma wkoll dmir morali li qatt ma jista’ jkun sottomess għall-kondizzjonijiet politiċi, bħad-disponibilita ta’ offerti konkreti ta’ rilokazzjoni jew il-biża li jinħoloq preċedent.

F’dan il-punt, il-mistoqsija li rridu nirrispondu hija din: X’inhu l-iktar importanti, li nagħmlu punt politiku jew insalvaw il-ħajja?

Għalina, l-organizzazzjonijiet firmatarji, hemm biss risposta waħda possibli: in-nies huma iktar importanti.

Illum qegħdin hawn biex nieħdu pożizzjoni favur il-ħajja u d-dinjita’. Nagħmlu appell lil Malta biex nagħtu priorita’ lill-ħajja u niftħu l-bibien tagħna illum.


This statement is being issued by: 1. aditus foundation 2. African Media Association Malta 3. agara foundation 4. Allejanza kontra il-Faqar 5. Allied Rainbow Communities 6. Caritas Malta 7. Catholic Voices 8. Christian Life Community (CLC) Malta 9. Department of Gender Studies, University of Malta 10. Department for Inclusion and Access to Learning, University of Malta 11. Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Malta 12. Department of Youth and Community Studies, University of Malta 13. Drachma LGBT 14. Drachma Parents 15. Fondazzjoni Ejjew Ghandi 16. Integra Foundation 17. International Association for Refugees 18. Isles of the Left 19. Jesuit Refugee Service Malta 20. Kopin 21. Kummissjoni Gustizzja u Paci 22. Kunsill Studenti Universitarji 23. LGBTI+ Gozo 24. Malta Catholic Youth Network 25. Malta Chamber of Psychologists 26. Malta Emigrants’ Commission 27. Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement 28. Maltese Association of Social Workers (MASW) 29. Moviment Graffiti 30. Migrants Women’s Association Malta (MWAM) 31. Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Social Wellbeing, University of Malta 32. Paulo Freire Institute 33. Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta 34. PRISMS 35. Richmond Foundation 36. Salesians of Don Bosco 37. Segretarjat Assistenza Socjali tal-Azzjoni Kattolika Malta 38. Society of Jesus in Malta 39. Solidarity with Migrants Group 40. SOS Malta 41. Spark 15 42. St Jeanne Antide Foundation 43. Studenti Harsien Socjali (SHS) 44. The Critical Institute 45. Troupe 18:45 46. University of Malta Chaplaincy 47. Victim Support Malta 48. Women’s Rights Foundation

‘Nibnu Darna fuq il-Blat’ Rents, affordability and poverty Catholic Voices Malta Colloquium 17th November 2018

Housing, affordability and poverty are becoming more pressing issues, with increasing signs that Malta’s economy is growing asymmetrically. As a result, many families are being marginalised and impoverished because they cannot afford appropriate housing that allows them to live with dignity. This is not only true for vulnerable family units, but also for young couples planning to form new families.

Catholic Voices Malta organised its first public seminar on this topic. This took the form of a Colloquium that will focused on the effect the rapid rise in housing prices and the impact these are having on social cohesion, social justice and families in Malta.

The Colloqium provided the space for a heathy debate amongst those whose interest is to alleviate the difficulties of families living on the margins of society because of lack of provision of social housing the rapid rise in the cost of affordable housing.

Now you can watch all the event on our website and YouTube channel.


Why is “sex” work for women and pleasure for men?

“Why is sex work for women and pleasure for men?” asked Ms Kaysa Wahlberg – Detective Inspector, Head of the Swedish Police Authority’s Human Trafficking Unit.

The message from all the experts speaking in a conference with the theme “Combating Human Trafficking Today – Taking stock of evidence-based research and sharing experiences from Europe” organised by the Association for Equality, the Centre for Labour Studies at the University of Malta and Dar Hosea, was for the Government to adopt the Nordic Model in reforming our laws dealing with prostitution.

The message to policy makers was loud and clear, criminalise the pimps and those who seek the services of prostitutes (the Johns) but not the prostitutes who are vulnerable and victims, that need protection and not imprisonment.
The Parliamentary Secretary Hon Julia Farrugia Portelli in introducing the Conference stated that sharing the concerns and the need to protect the vulnerable, was yet not committed to a model and stated that Malta should have its own model.

Many of the speakers emphasised that legalising or regularising prostitution has one outcome increasing the demand for human trafficking as you increase the demand for sexual services. With the intention of reducing crime what has happened in countries like the Netherland and New Zealand, more vulnerable people are forced and trafficked into the so called industry and other related crimes like drug abuse, rape, theft etc. increase.

The solution found by Nordic countries like Sweden was to put the criminal burden and responsibility on the person seeking sex. When you criminalise who is creating demand, that demand will fall and will and thus reduce human trafficking.

It also is a lie that women enter the industry freely, while exceptions always exist, these exceptions should not be used as human shields to justify decriminalisation that effected negatively the remaining vast majority trafficked. Stories and research presented during the Conference by various speakers showed that vulnerable women trafficked into prostitution, are generally women that have been victims themselves of child abuse, were sever poverty and deprivation and other social difficulties. Many times they find themselves forced, coerced and trapped in becoming prostitutes.
Ms Julie Bindel a journalist, broadcaster and writer, author of the book The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth spoke at length on her research in the field and she concludes that “trafficking would not exist if our countries would not have a vibrant sex industry”. Bindle’s appealed to Malta to tackle the men running the industry and adopt the Nordic model and make Malta a no go area for traffickers.

Ms. Helen Burrows UK a moderator in one of the discussions asked how Malta a Catholic country was still lagging behind and in the protection of women trapped in prostitution and had not yet adopted the Nordic Model.

The answer to the question was strangely and unintentionally given by Ms. Kaysa Wahlberg Head of the Swedish Police Authority’s Human Trafficking Unit who stated that Sweden is a moralistic society i.e. the morals of the nation influences legislators. It seems unfortunately this is no longer the case in Malta, where Catholics in Malta have since the divorce referendum campaign been brainwashed to believe that as long as it is ok for others it’s is ok for you, and that today being part of secular society our moral values should not come in the way of whatever is presented as civil rights.

As described in the introduction, liberal Sweden teaches us otherwise, that morals and values should be the guiding principles of any legislation.

See the detailed report of the proceedings in our Blog

Combating Human Trafficking Today Conference Detailed Report


The Archbishop of Malta leads by example

Malta Today on Sunday carried out a story that the Marsa Holy Trinity Band Club had adopted “a members only” policy that however did not apply to Maltese people not members to the club.

However, MaltaToday knows of at least one case when a black person, who happens to be Maltese, was refused entry on the basis of a members-only policy.

Ahmed Bugre, a black Maltese national since 1990, director of the Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants (FSM), and a practising lawyer and pastor, was refused entry to the club last July.

He recounts, “I was meeting two friends in Marsa and I decided to go have a coffee in the square. I did not want to go to another shop as I didn’t feel that the appropriate hygienic standards were met, and so I decided to go to this band club. As soon as I walked in I could feel their eyes looking at me, and I knew exactly what was going to happen… I was so upset that I didn’t even say anything. I know that if I had quarrelled with them, it would make it even harder for the next dark-skinned individual who unsuspectingly walked in.”

It appears that the individuals responsible for running the bar that day asked Bugre and his friends to leave the premises because the place was only for members.

Band club President Clinton Sammut when contacted had denied the existence of a members, insisting the premises was “open to all”.

Mons. Charles J, Scicluna was scheduled to celebrate mass at the Marsa parish church yesterday evening and asked Bugre to join him. After the mass, the Archbishop and Bugre, accompanied by the parish priest went Mons. Carmelo Aquilina, went over to the Holy Trinity band club where they met committee members.

In comments to the media the Archbishop said the meeting helped bring together different parts of society, in an effort to increase understanding between all sides of the community.

“The informal meeting helped us in understanding better the needs of the community like hygiene and respect, in an effort to achieve a more meaningful integration,” Scicluna said. He insisted the discussion started today should continue.

Bugre praised the Archbishop’s efforts in bringing together the club’s officials and himself. “The band club officials showed willingness to help solve this issue and have committed to moving forward with the migrant community,” Bugre said.

Video clip from Malta Today

Important Agreement between Holy See and China

A Provisional Agreement on the appointment of Bishops was signed by the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China, in the hope that it will contribute positively to the life of the Church in China, the good of the Chinese people and peace in the world.

The Provisional Agreement, has been agreed following a long process of careful negotiation and foresees the possibility of periodic reviews of its application. It concerns the nomination of Bishops, a question of great importance for the life of the Church, and creates the conditions for greater collaboration at the bilateral level.

As of yesterday, for the first time all the Bishops in China are in communion with the Bishop of Rome. In fact, on the day the Provisional Agreement on the Appointment of Bishops is signed by the Holy See and China, Pope Francis decided to readmit into full ecclesial communion eight Chinese Bishops that had been ordained without the Pontifical Mandate.

Pope Francis hopes that, with these decisions, a new process may begin that will allow the wounds of the past to be overcome, leading to the full communion of all Chinese Catholics.

The accord was signed in Beijing during a meeting between China’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, Wang Chao, and the Vatican undersecretary for state relations, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, a Maltese prelate.

The agreement comes in a period that has seen China’s government most intensive crackdown on Christian congregations in Beijing and several provinces, destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith, according to pastors and a group that monitors religion in China.

Chinese law requires religious believers to worship only in congregations registered with the authorities, but many millions belong to so-called underground or house churches that defy government restrictions.
Chinese Catholics that had been faithful to the Holy See and refused to join the state Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association where also considers part of underground Christianity and who paid the price of remaining faithful to Rome during years of persecution.

There was also no immediate mention in the deal of the status of several underground bishops named by the pope, however Pope Francis has expressed the hope that the agreement will assure a new impetus towards healing and reconciliation.

Is this the deal everyone had hoped for, certainly not, and also the Vatican admits that this is a step in a long journey, but an important step none the less. ‘The objective of the Holy See is a pastoral one.’ as emphasised by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, when commenting on the Provisional Agreement on the appointment of Bishops signed by the Holy See and the Republic of China.

China Communist Party is not the easiest to handle especially in a moment when the ruling Party is actually cracking down on religious freedom to consolidate its power.   The Vatican is hoping to build a bridge of trust, and to help to create the condition, of a greater freedom, autonomy and organization, in order that the Catholic Church can dedicate itself to the mission of announcing the Gospel and also to contribute to the wellbeing and to the spiritual and material prosperity and harmony of the country.

Let us remember that Pope Francis for year as a Jesuit Provincial Father and as a bishop pastored to the Argentinian community under totalitarian regimes.  The Church cannot run away from these situations and abandon the faithful to make political stands, its mission is first and foremost a pastoral one and not political.


Catholic Voices Malta joins the 36 organisations in condemning femicides

Catholic Voices Malta associates itself unequivocally with the 36 organisations that joined forces to condemn femicides.

We are saddened to see that yet another woman has been killed in her home within weeks of the previous murder, making this the fourth femicide this year in Malta. Since 2000, for every 4 femicides in Malta, 3 have been murdered by partners/husbands, ex-partners/ex-husbands or a close family member.

Despite the implementation of the Istanbul Convention in our laws, we are angered by the fact that women’s lives are still being taken away by those that claim to love them because the very authorities that are meant to protect them are not ensuring their safety and protection.

Living free from violence is a fundamental human right and it is the State’s responsibility to see that this human right is upheld. It is a tired and worn out assumption that femicide happen because victims do not seek help.

Countless victims try to access protection and justice services with no success and it has become an unacceptable state of affairs to have women that are on daily basis being forced to live in violent situation in their homes.

We therefore call on the State to ensure that:

1. Domestic violence is dealt with the seriousness that it deserves. It is not a private matter but a crime that affects us all as a society;

2. The state adheres to its positive obligation to ensure that all women and girls are protected and live free from violence;

3. Risk assessment tools are identified, codified and that ALL police officials, including front-liners in our police stations receive the necessary and good quality training to recognise domestic violence and understand the correct procedure that should be followed since the enactment of the Gender based Violence and Domestic Violence Act, to evaluate risk and ensure the safety of the victim and other family members;

4. Different government departments, agencies and ministries work in cohesion to implement processes and strategies that will bring a measure of safety to victims and hold perpetrators accountable;

5. Courts see all cases of domestic violence through to the end, holding perpetrators accountable, even if the victim feels pressured to refrain from testifying against the perpetrator;

6. Police officials have the necessary tools, such as body cams, to gather additional evidence during house calls.

7. A clear political commitment, an adequate budget, a well-resourced unit whose members focus and work exclusively on the issues of violence, and clear targets with strict timelines that are monitored.

In the current situation, the next femicide is just waiting to happen. How many more women need to die before violence against women is truly taken seriously?

This press release is being issued by the following 36organisations:
St Jeanne Antide Foundation, aditus foundation, Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta (PHROM), Women’s Rights Foundation, Merħba Bik, Department Gender Studies (Faculty of Social Wellbeing, University of Malta), The Critical Institute, SOS Malta, Allied Rainbow Communities (arc), Richmond Foundation, YMCA, African Media Association Malta, Association for Equality (A4E),Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO), KummissjoniEjjew Għandi, Dean’s Office (Faculty of Social Wellbeing, University of Malta), Men Against Violence, Attard Ladies Cultural Club (ALCC), Malta Association of Women in Business (MAWB), MGRM, We Are,Group of Independent MCWO Members (GIMM), Women’s Study Group (WSG), Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN), JRS, Drachma LGBTI, Drachma Parents’ Group, Integra Foundation, SPARK, Department for inclusion and Access to Learning (Faculty of Education, University of Malta), Solidarity with Migrants Group, OASI Foundation, Social Assistance Secretariat of Malta Catholic Action, Victim Support Malta, Dar tal-Providenza, Paolo Freire Institute.