Ensuring equal pay for equal work, enforcing dignified standards of accommodation and educating people about Malta’s own migration history are all key in battling against racism, the Democratic Party said.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the PD’s four candidates for the upcoming European elections underlined their commitment to the Geneva Convention and to respecting the right to find asylum.

“We have to nip racism in the bud, analyse why it is growing and find workable solutions that address the concerns of locals and respect those who have come to our shores to seek a better life,” they said.

The PD statement comes in reaction to the arrest of two men for the murder of Lassana Cisse, a 42-year-old man who was shot to death last month in what investigators say was a racially-motivated killing.

The two young men accused of the crime deny the charges.

In their statement, PD candidates Anthony Buttigieg, Camilla Appelgren, Martin Cauchi Inglott and Godfrey Farrugia asked why the Prime Minister had waited so long before speaking out strongly about the case.

“One must also question why the Prime Minister needed to wait to discover that Maltese soldiers were behind the murder, resulting in criticism against the government, before taking as strong a stance against it,” they said.

The PD candidates underlined the need for six key changes:

1. Dignified pay for migrant workers
2. European standards of accommodation at affordable rates, “not packing 10; people into a two-bedroom apartment like animals” and undercutting locals seeking a home;
3. Rejecting would-be politicians who stand for hatred, racism and sexism; 
4. Human rights education to teach people that everyone is equal;
5. Reminders that Malta is itself a nation of migrants; and 
6. Community-building and cultural programmes.