Human Dignity & Rights

Season of Creation: A Home for All

A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God is the theme of this year’s Season of Creation, during which Christians of all denominations will join in prayer and action for our common home in a bid to renew the Oikos of God. 

But what does Oikos mean? Oikos is the Greek word for “family,” or “home.” Our family is made up of the whole of humanity and each of the species that inhabit this planet, our common home… Read more »

Let us Dare to Bother

Rising temperatures and sea-levels, stronger and more frequent storms and heat waves, combined with intense drought and desertification, are unavoidable in the coming years, according to a new report released on the 9th of August by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel (IPCC) on Climate Change.

The report makes for sobering reading and should truly serve as a moral and spiritual wake-up call. The authors do not mince their words in describing the catastrophic consequences which we will all face if we fail to act now and decisively to at least avert the most serious predictions outlined in the report… Read more »

Authorities asked to drop terrorism charges against the El Hiblu teenagers

The Migrants Commission, JRS Malta and the Justice and Peace Commission urge the authorities to drop the charges brought against three youths who are being prosecuted for terrorism.

Then aged 15, 16, and 19, the three youths were part of a group of over 100 men, women and children who were rescued by cargo ship El Hiblu 1 on 26 March 2019. The rescue was coordinated by an EU naval operation that ordered the ship to take the rescued persons back to Libya… Read more »

Human Rights – key to a just recovery from the pandemic

At the end of this year nearly 70 million people will have been infected by Covid-19 worldwide and more than 1.5 million will have died in relation to the virus. In Europe 14 million people were infected and 350.000 people died because of or with the virus. Our health systems are tested to their limits, the economy is in the middle of a severe recession, poverty and unemployment are on the rise again, cultural life is severely limited, religious services are restricted in many countries, sometimes unduly… Read more »

Appreciating our elderly

Whilst the general consensus is such that living to an old age is a blessing, not a curse, the recent spike in Covid-19 deaths has given rise to a heated debate about our elderly and their role within society. Listening to the ever-increasing number of deaths of old people, one will most definitely come across remarks which show a lack of empathy as we blame the natural cycle of life for their death… Read more »

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 »