News Updates

News Updates for July and August

During the month of July, the HRIU organised the Second Meeting of the IMC Working Group on Criminal Justice & Legislative Amendments. The HRIU attended FAST-FIAU, a roundtable discussion on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Risks and the Financial Sector in Malta. The main focus of this activity was on discussing and developing indicators of human trafficking and red flags from the FIAU to enhance the reporting of suspicious transactions in Malta, among other objectives.

The HRIU also held an event for the UN Blue Heart Campaign. This year's theme was 'Reach Every Victim of Human Trafficking, Leave No One Behind', which encourages all stakeholders to reach out to every victim of human trafficking with a strong appeal to leave no one behind. The event saw prominent national stakeholders from the public service, the private sector, civil society, trade unions and international organisations come together to strengthen their collaboration and multi-disciplinary approach in order to fight against human trafficking. The HRIU also held a presentation at the FSWS Human Trafficking Conference.

During the month of Aug​ust the Third Meeting of the IMC Working Group on Criminal Justice & Legislative Amendments was held. HRIU was also invited to raise awareness on Campus FM, 103 Malta’s Heart and Radju Malta.

News Updates for June

During the month of June, the HRIU organised the third Anti-Human Trafficking Inter-Ministerial Committee Meeting to commemorate World Day Against Child Labour which focused upon  the targeted revision of the 2011/36/EU Directive on Preventing and Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings and Protecting its Victims. The HRIU attended the Second Meeting of the Advisory Group of the COE/EU joint Project “Supporting Malta in the design and implementation of a new anti-trafficking Strategy” as well as Project roundtables and bilateral meetings on prevention, protection and prosecution which shall serve as the last step before initiating the drafting process of the future anti-trafficking strategy.

The HRIU also held a collaboration meeting with FIAU to discuss further avenues for partnership in the fight against trafficking through the cooperation of the National Financial Institutions.

The Anti-Human Trafficking Inter-Ministerial Committee set up a Working Group on Criminal Justice & Legislative Amendments and convened an initial meeting between MHSR and HRD to discuss the Urgent GRETA Recommendations to Malta.

News Updates for May

During this month, HRIU worked to establish cooperation efforts with BeSmartOnline! within the Foundation for Social Welfare Services and met with Focal Persons representing various Ministries to discuss collaboration plans focusing on the prevention of child exploitation. Senior Manager HRIU also participated in the Regional Workshop to Address Technology-Facilitated Trafficking in Human Beings held between 16th – 18th May, at The Hague, The Netherlands.

Additionally, HRIU was also invited on the programme TVAM to discuss the abuse of foreign workers and social injustices.

News Updates for April

During the month of April, the HRIU continued collaboration meetings concerning Action 9 of the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking, which concerns ‘Research among former victims of human trafficking in Malta, with a view to obtaining information about their recruitment and experience, as well as the efficacy of assistance provided’.

Dr Lynn Chircop Faure also represented Malta in Vienna at the 23rd Conference of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons and in Brussels at the Meeting of the EU Network of National Rapporteurs and Equivalent Mechanisms on Trafficking in Human Beings. The aim of the Conference was to strengthen the response of all States to prevent and eradicate human trafficking, by generating the necessary political will to tackle the issue. “Political will is the single most important ingredient for our success,” said the OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Valiant Richey, who gave his last speech during this event. He represented the OSCE at the political level on anti-trafficking issues since 2019. In January 2022 he visited Malta and offered his assistance in the development and implementation of anti-trafficking initiatives. A set of recommendations to Malta were drawn by his office. Malta has been working on the new Strategy to combat human trafficking since then.

Additionally, the National Awareness Campaign on Human Trafficking continued through the launch of a new billboard in Qormi, a series of new bus shelters across the Island and an invitation to the radio programme ‘Campus Magazine’.​

News Updates for March

During March, HRIU attended and assisted in the organisation of EU/CoE Joint Project events. The first event, the Capacity Building Session on Investigation and Prosecution of Cases of Trafficking in Human Beings was held at the Academy for Disciplined Forces on 1st March 2023. This training was presented by two experts of the Council of Europe, Mr Bernie Gravett and Mr Colin Carswell, and focused upon victim identification, investigating human trafficking, organised crime, and Joint Investigation Teams. Amongst the participants were the Malta Police Force, the Office of the Attorney General, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, the National Statistics Office, Jobsplus, Victim Support Agency, the Foundation for Social Welfare Services as well as NGOs. The second event was Webinar entitled ‘Preventing and Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings for the purpose of Labour Exploitation in Malta’, which was held online on 20th March 2023. The Webinar focused upon the 4P’s: Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnerships, as well as corporate responsibility.

The HRIU also held the second Anti-Human Trafficking Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting on 23rd March 2023. Presentations were given by:

  1. The Council of Europe on the Joint Project ‘Supporting Malta in the design and implementation of a new National Anti-Trafficking Strategy’
  2. The Permanent Representation of Malta to the European Union relating to the proposal for the revision of the 2011/36/EU Directive on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Protecting its Victims
  3. The Foundation for Social Welfare Services on the findings of the ‘All Equal- Supporting Victims of Human Trafficking’ Project 

Additionally, the Unit was invited on national radio and television stations to raise awareness on the crime of human trafficking.

Thursday, 23rd February 2023 – 10:30hrs - ‘Ghall Kulhadd’ presented by Ms Christine Delicata on Radju Malta

Monday, 6th March 2023– 10:30hrs - ‘BRUNCH’ presented by Marbeck Spiteri on NET TV .

Monday, 6th March 2023 – 11:00hrs - ‘Fost il-Ġimgħa' presented by Matilde Balzan on ONE TV

Tuesday, 7th March 2023 – 21:00hrs - ‘REALTÁ’ presented by Brian Hansford on TVMNews+

News Updates for February

  1. Regional Train the Trainer in Tunisia
    ​​Senior Manager HRIU attended the Regional Train the Trainer organised by the “Fifth South Program South Programme and the Bodies Support Program” of the Council of Europe in Tunisia. This Training was attended by members of the Judiciary, Chief Prosecutors, Legal Professionals and leadership of national authorities from the MED Region and focused on the methodology of the European Programme for the Training of Law Professionals in the Field of Human Rights (HELP), and on combating human trafficking.​

  2. Launch of National Awareness Campaign on Human Trafficking
    In February, the Human Rights Initiatives Unit has launched a national awareness campaign to raise the awareness of the public on what constitutes the crime of human trafficking – be sure to look out for our bus shelters and billboards!
  3. Reconvening of the Human Trafficking Monitoring Committee
    The re-composed Human Trafficking Monitoring Committee met on the 2nd February. This meeting kick-started the work of the Committee and allowed for the members to be updated on the work conducted by the Human Rights Initiatives Unit. 
  4. Regional Train the Trainer in Strasbourg
    Senior Manager HRIU attended training on criminal investigation, prosecution and adjudication of human trafficking cases, and strategic partnerships at the Headquarters of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France and visited the European Court of Human rights between the 6-10 February 2023. The aim of this ToT was to constitute a pool of regional multi-agency focal points from different countries to build and support a solid regional cooperation on combatting trafficking in human beings.
The Human Rights Initiatives Unit within the Human Rights Directorate is the national coordinator of the Anti-Trafficking Reform.

With the technical support of the Council of Europe, engaged through a Joint Project funded by the European Commission, and the Inter-Ministerial Committee, Malta is currently drafting a National Strategy on Human Trafficking which seeks to close the gaps in the system and identify the tools required for the effective implementation of a New Action Plan.

This Joint Council Europe/European Union Project was officially launched on the 6th of December 2022 through a Kick-Off event which brought together the members of the Anti-Human Trafficking Inter-Ministerial and other representatives from national public and private organisations which are of great importance in the fight against the crime of human trafficking.

Ms. Stephanie Burel - Programme Manager at the Council of Europe Anti-Trafficking Division, presented the preliminary findings of the Inception period of the project to the Advisory Group in a meeting convened on the 30th of January and the Human Trafficking Monitoring Committee on the 2nd of February. This Committee is chaired by Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality and shall serve as a vital mechanism to monitor this project among other functions.