Local Integration Charter and Action Plan

 

Preamble

1. Background

Our country is open, dynamic, and a member of the European Union. From a colony we have become a country that due to its economic successes, workers from every corner of the world are coming to work here and to live along with their families, while at the same time contributing to further development. Against this background, in 2017 the Government adopted the first national “Migrant Integration Strategy and Action Plan, vision 2020”. This Local Integration Charter is a tool for Local Councils to support each other in order to respond to the integration needs within the increasingly diverse communities by means of the action plan.

2. Principles

-        ​​Utilization of inclusive discourse and the promotion of diversity

-        Fostering a climate and opportunities for dialogue at a local level

-        Organizing events that will bring together different communities

-        Promoting the involvement of migrant communities in the work of this entity

-        Committing to attending and participating in the meetings of the Charter and implementation of the Action Plan

-        Voluntary participation in integration and anti-racism projects.​

3.      Objective

The integration of the individuals and communities at the local level as a basis for integration at national and EU level.

4.      Accession

The accession to the Charter and implementation of the Action Plan occurs by means of a letter addressed to the Head of the Intercultural and Anti-Racism Unit in the Human Rights Directorate (HRD) within the Parliamentary Secretariat for Equality and Reforms - Ministry for Justice, Equality and Governance (MJEG).

5.      Monitoring

The Local Councils Association (LCA) appoints a committee, which includes a representative from the HRD, so that the accession leads to a close collaboration in the implementation of the Action Plan.

6.         Recognition

A participatory recognition shall be given to the Local Councils that are actively implementing all of the measures of the Action Plan.​

Action ​Plan

(i) The dedicated Councilor with the responsibility of Social Integration acts as the focal point in the implementation of this Local Integration Charter and other aspects of integration. This Councilor and the Community Integration Officer of the HRD shall work closely together.
 
(ii) A mapping exercise shall be carried out continuously (e.g. by means of mailing shot or other models) so that the Council will have a better picture of the situation, even if it is not the complete reality of the locality. A database shall be set up (with the consent of the concerned residents) with a list of all migrant residents in order to facilitate communication. The HRD, the migrant communities and other parties can contribute if the Council so requests.
 
(iii) A meeting between the Local Council and invited residents shall be held, dedicated to integration in order to propose ulterior measures which can be carried out in the locality. The members of the Forum for Intercultural Affairs (migrant communities) shall be invited. This meeting shall ideally be held twice a year.
 
(iv) Jum il-Lokalita’ or another major activity shall be held with the theme/aim of integration (e.g. cultural and/or sport activities, etc).
 
(v) Through the collaboration between Local Councils, HRD and migrant communities, important awareness campaigns (such as domestic waste disposal, street gatherings, etc) shall be held and important information translated to the relevant main languages.
 
(vi) Information and registration for the I BELONG courses (Maltese, English and Cultural Orientation courses, offered by HRD, free of charge) shall also be provided from the Local Council’s premises.
 
(vii) To address situations of tension related to social cohesion in the locality, the Council together with the HRD and leaders of the concerned migrant communities should meet with other relevant government agencies (such as the police) to establish a constructive dialogue.
 
(viii) Local Councils shall explore various opportunities to obtain funds for local integration measures. The HRD may be asked to help in the process.