Working migrants shared the highs and lows of their life in Malta with Archbishop Charles Scicluna last month, in an event commemorating the feast of St Joseph the Worker. 

The group of people, who hail from sub-Saharan and West Africa and South and Southeast Asia, shared their stories with the Archbishop in an event organised by the Church’s Migrants Commission and Justice and Peace Commission. 

In a statement, the Curia said that during the event, migrants said that while Malta has become their home, where they feel safe and are able to form meaningful relationships, they also face abuse and exploitation at work and struggle with xenophobia and bureaucratic delays. 

“Those present reported experiences of deep suffering when facing asylum procedures, or when attempting to obtain or renew the single work permit. One issue that deeply impacted all workers’ quality of life - of whatever nationality - was the exorbitant increase in housing costs witnessed over the last few years,” the statement said. 

The participants also talked about wanting to find more stability and security for their children born in Malta as, despite living and working in the country for many years, they still lack proper and secure documentation and live in constant fear of being deported.

The group discussed the need for there to be more transparency on pathways to long-term residency and citizenship. 

Sciculuna said that the experience underscored the importance of honouring human dignity in all spheres of life.

“We need to listen to one another and we need to be able to give hope to each and every one of us,” he said.

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