Updated 7pm

Ninety-two NGOs including some of Malta's largest civil society organisations have jointly called for the government to withdraw and new laws regarding fundraising and charity shops.

Their joint call has been echoed by the National Band Club Association, which in a statement said that the new laws would disrupt the work done by the 90 band clubs it represents. 

The new laws seek to strengthen transparency and accountability by NGOs collecting money to finance their activities. Passed last year, they are due to come into force in July.  

But NGOs says the laws will add a lot of red tape to organisations that are not prepared for it and were introduced without any consultation, despite legislation for the sector encouraging it. 

In a joint statement, the 92 NGOs said the new laws “are going further than their declared scope and in certain aspects are introducing unnecessary duplication of work that is going to result in a huge loss in financial income” for organisations that are already cash-strapped following the pandemic. 

Signatories range from smaller NGOs to national ones such as Dar tal-Providenza, Puttinu Cares and Moviment Graffitti. 

NGOs said the new laws were not practical and would put a “huge strain” on their resources.   

“It would be a lot wiser to embark on serious consultations with all voluntary organisations for the best way forward to be found in this regard for the good of the voluntary sector, the organisations, employees, volunteers and beneficiaries,” the NGOs said. 

They said the government should withdraw the new laws and start a serious consultation process to introduce better ones. 

In a separate statement, the National Band Club Association said that the 90 band clubs it represents only raise money for local causes and that the new laws, intended to combat money laundering and terrorist financing risks, should not apply to band clubs. 

Forcing band clubs to comply with the new laws would strangle the sector and the work done by its thousands of local volunteers, the association added.  

Nationalist Party MP Kevin Cutajar said he sympathised with the NGOs opposing the new laws and said the PN was keen to hear their ideas and proposals, unlike the Labour government which had not consulted with the sector at all.  

Responding later on Saturday, the government said the legal notices were devised with the intention of strengthening transparency, but that groups' concerns would be addressed.

It said the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector had consulted with hundreds of voluntary groups and would be publishing its position on the proposals after an internal process.

NGO signatories

1. Dar tal-Providenża VO/1066 
2. Action for Breast Cancer Foundation VO/0058
3. Aditus Foundation VO/0512 
4. African Media Association VO/0997
5. Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar VO/0816
6. Anti Poverty Forum VO/0271
7. Association of Podiatrists Malta VO/0588
8. Association of Speech Language Pathologists VO/0301
9. Assoċjazzjoni Radju Marija Malta VO/1584
10. Azzjoni Kattolika Maltija VO/1743
11. BoscoCrew VO/0716       
12. Chorus Urbanus VO/1542
13. Dar Hosea VO/1365
14. Don Bosco Foundation VO/1725 
15. Equal Partners Foundation VO/044
16. Families for Christ Community VO/1383
17. Fondazzjoni Arka VO/0032
18. Fondazzjoni Assistenza Soċjali VO/1571
19. Fondazzjoni Caritas Malta VO/1576
20. Fondazzjoni Kana VO/1269
21. Fondazzjoni Nazareth VO/0336 
22. Fondazzjoni Opri Soċjali VO/1415
23. Fondazzjoni Sebħ VO/1622
24. Fondazzjoni U (Xandir Soċio Reliġjuż) VO/0276
25. Foundation of the Malta Emigrants’ Commission VO/1565
26. Friends of Villa Frere VO/0847
27. Għajnsielem Redcoats VO/1312
28. Ghana Mission Foundation VO/0486
29. Gozo NGO’s Association VO/0145
30. Gozo SPCA VO/0069
31. Grupp tal-Armar 6 ta’ Diċembru VO/1721
32. Home Away from Home  VO/0774
33. Integra VO/0570
34. Jesuit Refugee Service Malta VO/0064
35. Koperazzjoni Internazzjonali – Malta (Kopin) VO/0200 
36. Kunsill Nazzjonali tal-Anzjani EN 0017
37. Kunsill Studenti Universitarji KSU VO/0531
38. LifeNetwork Foundation VO/1070
39. Malta Association of Crohn’s & Colitis VO/379
40. Malta Association of Occupational Therapists VO/403
41. Malta Beekeepers’ Association VO/1527
42. Malta Federation of Professional Associations VO/0168
43. Malta Health Network VO/0076
44. Malta Trust Foundation VO/1761
45. Maltese Association of Social Workers VO/0189
46. Maltese Association of Youth Workers VO/0459
47. Maltese National Federation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco VO/1250      
48. Mental Health Association (Malta) VO/0317
49. Millenium Chapel VO/0022
50. Missio Malta VO/1178
51. Moviment Graffiti VO/0126
52. Moviment Kerygma VO/1383
53. Moviment Missjunarju Ġesù fil-Proxxmu VO/0140
54. National Association Pensioners VO/0255
55. OASI Foundation  VO/0072
56. Oratorju Salesjan Dingli VO/1618               
57. Osanna Pia Home – Salesians VO/080      
58. Paulo Freire Institute Foundation VO/0009
59. Peace and Good Foundation VO/1301
60. Prisms VO/0357
61. Puttinu Cares Foundation VO/0087
62. Richmond Foundation VO/0017
63. Salesian Brigade VO/623
64. Salesian Oratory Sliema VO/079     
65. Salesian Pastoral Youth Service VO/078  
66. Savio Athletics Club VO/1077
67. Savio Salesian Youth VO/1956     
68. Society of Radiographers Malta VO/0648
69. Society of St Vincent De Paule VO/1370
70. SOS Malta VO/0063
71. St Jeanne Antide Foundation VO/0005
72. St. Patrick’s Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco Association VO/1870  
73. The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation VO/1633
74. The Genetic and Genetic Counselling Association, Malta VO/1831
75. The Past Pupils & Friends of Don Bosco, Salesian Oratory, Sliema VO/1720     76. Women’s Rights Foundation VO/0880
77. YMCA Valletta VO/0028
78. Youth Alive Foundation VO/0777
79. Żgħażagħ Azzjoni Maltija (ZAK) VO/1051
80. Association of Friends of Thouret VO/1365
81. Coeliac Association - Malta VO/030
82. Europa Donna Malta VO/0118
83. Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar VO/0101
84. Malta Gay Rights Movement VO/0039
85. Malta Girl Guides VO/0222
86. Reaching Cultures VO/0870
87. Repubblika VO/1670
88. Soċjetà Mużikali San Ġużepp Ħamrun VO/0761
89. Swieqi United FC – VO/ 1665
90. Ta Cangura Folk Group San Lawrenz VO/0820
91. The English-Speaking Union of Malta VO/0358
92. The Good Shepherd Sisters - Dar Merhba Bik Foundation VO/0007 

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