Work Abroad

Labor rights and social assistance in Malta

If you are a migrant worker in Malta, then you need to know your rights. This way you will be able to use them.

The social protection system in Malta is well developed and has many types of assistance. The social model in Malta is similar to the British one. In some sectors of the economy (production, public sector) there are strong trade unions. Quite often, the situation in these sectors becomes tense. Given the low level of social standards set by legislation (mostly set by sectoral collective agreements), the social protection of foreign workers, who are rarely members of trade unions, is far from complete.

Labor rights violations and exploitation

The number of illegal foreign migrants in Malta is very small, but foreigners who work in Malta are vulnerable. The occupational safety and health administration, which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of education, youth and labor and consists of representatives of state bodies, trade unions, and employers, conduct regular inspections and identifies offenders. Employers do not always adhere to the standards of labor protection, often there are accidents at work, mainly in construction. These problems also concern workers from Eastern Europe.

Traffickers bring men and women from other countries to Malta for the purpose of forced prostitution. Some women come to Malta by invitation as tourists. Very often, after their arrival in the country, women are subjected to violence or sold to criminal groups that use women as prostitutes.

The government provides protection to victims through the social assistance Agency, which operates under the Ministry of family and social cohesion. The Maltese authorities often treat victims of trafficking as violators of the law (criminal charges are brought against them), which makes it difficult to combat violations of the rights of immigrants.

Malta has often been criticized for keeping illegal migrants in closed detention centers for a very long time and for poor conditions. The main problems are an impressive number of detainees who do not have the opportunity to engage in useful activities, as well as the lack of legal assistance.

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