Local Integration Charter launched in Malta
On 14th December 2019, the Maltese Ministry for European Affairs and Equality launched the Local Integration Charter at the first Annual Integration Conference. The Charter addresses tensions related to social cohesion and presents community dialogue as a tool in addressing these tensions. The Charter will be implemented by the Integration Unit of the Human Rights and Integration Directorate (HRID), the Local Councils Association, and participating local councils.
This comes one year after the government launched its first Migrant Integration Strategy and Action Plan. The creation of the Charter was foreseen in the Action Plan as a measure to consolidate existing integration initiatives and activities carried out by local councils and to encourage further cooperation, noting the increasingly diverse communities in various Maltese localities.
The Charter is a tool for Local Councils to support each other and respond to the integration needs of residents. The principles of the Charter are:
- Inclusive discourse and the promotion of diversity
- Fostering a climate and opportunities for dialogue at the local level
- Hosting events to bring communities together
- Involvement and participation of migrant communities at the local level
- Voluntary participation in integration projects
The Charter also foresees the appointment of one of the councillors in each locality as a focal point in the implementation of the Charter and other aspects of integration, who will work closely with the Community Integration Officer of the HRID. A mapping exercise will be carried out in participating localities to assess the integration measures in place and the profile of those residing there. Dedicated meetings between the Local Council, residents, and members of migrant communities will take place to discuss integration matters. Moreover, the HRID and migrant communities will assist with informing residents and providing translation of important notices on local matters such as waste disposal.
The Local Councils Association will appoint a committee to monitor the implementation of the Charter. The first signatories of the Local Integration Charter are Cospicua, Msida, Mtarfa, Pembroke, Sliema, San Pawl il-Bahar and Birkirkara.