5 March 2012
The Malta Gay Rights Movement together with Integra Foundation, Drachma, LGBT Labour and We Are welcome the government’s announcement with regard to proposals for the extension of hate crime legislation to include the grounds of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, colour, language, ethnic origin, religion or belief or political or other opinion.
The enactment of such legislation sends a strong message that bias motivated crime is not acceptable in a society that aims to provide equal treatment to all its citizens and offers much needed protection to a wider range of vulnerable groups. We hope that this will also be accompanied by appropriate training to the police force with respect to the identification of hate crimes, accompanying measures aimed at reaching out to potential victims and adequate data collection of such crimes.
We also commend the proposal to extend the NCPE remit beyond that which is based on gender and race to incorporate other grounds including gender identity and sexual orientation. This will enable NCPE to go beyond its current efforts which, when addressing such grounds have been limited to research and awareness raising. Providing that legislation is also accompanied with the additional resources required NCPE would also be able to offer support to victims of discrimination.