Current Affairs
Sudanese woman who sought refuge in Malta seeks clarification on her rights

Representatives of refugee communities in Malta exchanged experiences during a conference, organized by the University’s Faculty for the Strengthening of Society, dedicated to their integration and difficulties they face in Malta.

Government officials told tvm.com.mt that a policy on integration will be shortly launched to address these issues.

Hadia Bahsir is a Sudanese politician who in 2013 escaped her country with three children due to her opposition to the country’s government. She recounted with tvm.com.mt her decision to leave her country was not a capricious one, adding that her husband was held in custody for a year so that she is forced to return.

Hadia said she was welcomed in Malta but feels concerned with the lack of clarification on her family’s rights. “We need to put a refugees policy, to be clear for us, to plan our future and to plan our children’s future.”

During the conference, Professor Andrew Azzopardi from the University’s faculty said that lack of information and statistics makes it difficult for authorities to examine refugees’ situation.

He stated that contrary to ongoing perception or rumours, refugees who are granted formal status or humanitarian protection are universal citizens and are safeguarded by law on an equal standing with other citizens.

“If I was in the same circumstances in another country, I expect and request to have these benefits for protection because when they arrive here, they are not on holiday but because they face difficulties in their country. On the other hand, I understand the country, people who reason things, the suffering created for certain communities, however responsibility lies also on the state”, Prof. Azzopardi added.

Government officials said that the lack of clarity will be addressed with an integration policy that will be launched next month.

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