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South African delegation in Malta to exchange best practices on LGBTIQ equality

Reference Number: PR191809, Press Release Issue Date: Aug 30, 2019



The Human Rights & Integration Directorate is holding two days of discussions with a delegation from South Africa which includes Mr John Jefferey, Deputy Minister for Justice, and Mr Njabulo Nzuza, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, as well as several high-level officials and civil society representatives. The exchange is focusing on Malta’s Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act, which is globally recognised as a model legislation, and its effective implementation.

In his address, Minister for European Affairs and Equality Edward Zammit Lewis stressed that while legal and policy reform are essential, changing societal attitudes is an ongoing process that requires knowledge, commitment and resources. Minister Zammit Lewis held that political leadership, coupled with civil society involvement, is crucial to ensure that any measures adopted address real issues and concerns and that they are effectively enforced and mainstreamed across all sectors.

To that end, the Minister concluded that the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy, the Equality Act and the Human Rights and Equality Commission Act, both of which are currently before Parliament, are a great step forward and reiterated his commitment to leave no stone unturned in the Ministry’s mission to wipe out all forms of discrimination which, despite the Government’s best efforts, persist to this day. “Equality for all is a must”.

During the visit the delegation met with officials from a number of Ministries including the Attorney General’s Office, the Notarial Chamber, Identity Malta, the Ministry for Education, the Ministry for Health and the Ministry for Home Affairs as well as with a various academics from the University of Malta. Civil society representatives were also invited to participate.

A return visit by a Maltese delegation to South Africa will take place in December.

The study visit is part of a project co-financed by the European Union under the South Africa – EU Strategic Partnership, Dialogue Facility. The partners in the project are:

The Human Rights & Integration Directorate at MEAE; the Gender Studies Department of the University of Malta; the Ministry of Justice of South Africa; the Ministry of Home Affairs of South Africa; the Department of Health of South Africa; Iranti and the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa).​