Forming just 3% of the Maltese youth population, migrants are suffering from severe social exclusion. This is according to a new national draft policy, launched today by Youth Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius, which addresses many issues related to young people. The document values the integration of asylum seekers in schools and the community through adapted training programmes and non-formal teaching.
Social inclusion for all youths is the ultimate target of the policy, presented during a press conference at the Agenzija Zghazagh centre by Ms Miriam Theuma; chairperson of the consultative committee behind the drafting.
There will be 6 months of public consultations with relevant entities. The aim is to fulfill the action plans proposed in the document by 2020. Secretary Agius said it is important to update youth policy so it can constantly reflect contemporary society.
Social exclusion based on sexual orientation and disability are also addressed, since the committee feels that more acceptance of diversity is necessary. This is a must since both national and European legislation define this type of exclusion to be outright discrimination.
The document currently up for discussion promises more training for youth workers, tackling early school leavers and illiteracy, as well as improvements in the Juvenile Court. Furthermore, it proposes the extension of new youth hubs in higher secondary institutions as well as in Gozo.
An informational seminar for youth organisations and workers will be held in September, and the draft policy itself is available online.