Human Dignity & Rights

Water and integral human development; the cry of the poor and of the Earth

“I thirst” These words were uttered by Jesus on the cross.  “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink” (Jn. 7:37) Jesus’s words attest to the fact that water is essential for the survival and well-being of all human beings.  The very definition of life requires water.  Astronomers look for water when evaluating the possibility of life on other planets. Aqua fons vitae (the document recently published by the Vatican) identifies three main dimensions relevant to water and its management: water for human use, water for human activities and water as space. 

The World Health Organisation has recognized that safe access to drinking water and sanitization is a human right.   Yet, several poor areas have their access to safe drinking water threatened by high prices imposed by the market.  Periods of drought remove freely available freshwater sources.   Lack of sanitation facilities expose women to sexual abuse and keep girls away from schools.  Chemical substances released into the waters from agricultural and industrial practices lead to bioaccumulation inside humans, and can potentially lead to irreversible detrimental health effects.  This underlines the importance of investing in sustainable water infrastructure in these countries.  It is worth noting that for every dollar invested in water and sanitation, it is possible to save up to 12 dollars in health costs alone.  It is everyone’s duty not to waste water and moderate consumption.  Wastewater treatment is beneficial and has a role in implementing a circular economy.  With everyone’s efforts, resources can be directed to help the poor achieve integral development… Read more »

International Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking

On this international day of prayer against human trafficking it is the right occasion to remember those who are still suffering due to such activity.  Over the years, human trafficking has been witnessed under various forms and conditions, however it still carries the same devastating and destroying effects.  A living example of this, is the story of St Josephine Bakhita, the patron saint of human trafficking survivors… Read more »

Indigenous peoples are a living appeal for hope

On the occasion of the Human Rights Day (10 December 2019), the Executive Committee of Justice & Peace Europe issued a statement entitled “Indigenous peoples are a living appeal for hope” focusing on the rights of indigenous peoples and of those defending them. The selection of this theme was inspired by the Synod on the Amazon, recently concluded in Rome.

Whilst the plight of indigenous people might seem as something remote, it is worth noting that many times, our daily choices have a direct impact on these peoples, and there are ways how we could help these minorities who are suffering because of injustice in the world… Read more »

The Reform on Human Trafficking and Prostitution

The Archdiocese of Malta, through the Justice & Peace Commission of and Caritas Malta, have participated in the presentation of a joint submission to the Maltese Government, on the proposed reform for the legalisation of prostitution and human trafficking.

The joint submission, endorsed by several organisations, speaks of three main goals that are complementary and cannot be enacted separately, essential for the human dignity of the victims to be safeguarded. 

  • To decriminalise those who are prostituted ‑ Conscious of the fact that most sex workers are caught up in prostitution against their will and are the main victims of a broken system which enslaves them.  They should not be criminalised or victimised further for the abuse they endure…
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The need for responsible dialogue

In view of the current discussions on the amendments to the Embryo Protection Act, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Malta calls for an attitude of responsible dialogue that veers away from polarised positions but which is focused on the common good of all, without demonising those holding opposing views. 

It is not the intent of the Justice and Peace Commission to repeat what the Church has already clearly expressed regarding the proposals… Read more »

Called to work for Justice and Peace

In a document published one month from the day that journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in a premeditated attack on our society, the Church Commission for Justice and Peace urged all citizens to reflect on the current state of our society, to take concrete action to work for the common good and to promote peace.

The Commission said it is no doubt necessary to pray and ask God for the gift of his peace… Read more »