Measures to help promote migrant integration were launched in a new charter on Friday. 

They include measures for migrants to have easier access to the services provided by the Integration Unit and aim to facilitate migrant access to Maltese and English language learning, as well as cultural orientation.

The Local Integration Charter comes one year after Equality Minister Helena Dalli launched a national integration strategy.

Speaking during the government’s annual integration conference, Dr Dalli said the charter followed up on the action plan which was being led by the newly set up Human Rights and Integration Directorate.

Dr Dalli told the conference that a “healthy” number of applications had already been received by the Integration Directorate for introductory integration programmes.

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These specialised courses were designed by the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology and the University of Malta to help ease migrants’ integration into Maltese society.

Dr Dalli also lauded the Integration Directorate’s efforts to improve its integration services, highlighting the recruitment of a group of community integration officers as a first.

These officers support migrants in submitting an integration request, walking them through the process and helping them overcome obstacles.

The directorate said these officers had already received specialised training co-organised with the UN’s human rights office.

Dr Dalli also acknowledged the support of the Local Councils Association, which had seen a first batch of local councils sign the charter earlier this year.

Together with the directorate’s integration officers and the migrant communities themselves, local councils were “bringing the national policy closer to where it needs to be”.

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“A momentum has been created, and this now needs to be sustained,” Dr Dalli said.

In conclusion, Dr Dalli said integration was only made possible when those who decide to try and integrate in Maltese society, had proper access to services and support.