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Title: Poverty and inequality in Maltese society? Excluded groups in pursuit of social justice
Authors: Camilleri-Cassar, Frances
Keywords: Social justice -- Malta
Poverty -- Malta
Income distribution -- Malta
Equality -- Malta
Malta -- Economic policy
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Malta. European Anti-Poverty Network
Citation: Camilleri-Cassar, F. (2008). Poverty and inequality in Maltese society? Excluded groups in pursuit of social justice. Malta: European Anti-Poverty Network.
Abstract: European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) Malta was set up in May 2004 as a network of Maltese NGOs involved in the fight against poverty and social exclusion. EAPN Malta has 53 member organisations and is a member of EAPN which is a network of 21 national networks and European organisations that aim towards the eradication of social injustice. The aim of EAPN Malta is to bring together all those with the capacity and the will to eradicate poverty and social exclusion. One of the core roles and functions of EAPN Malta is to seek to influence public policy and national action plans for the eradication of poverty and social exclusion. Main strategies set up by EAPN Malta to fulfil this role and function, include research that adopts a qualitative approach for data collection through focus group interviews with those at the margin of society. This report documents the research data drawn on such interviews, often quoted verbatim, that reflects the drive of EAPN Malta to support the development of existing national strategies for social protection and social inclusion in Malta. Specific populations taking part in the focus group sessions give an insight into the needs and contradictions faced by persons on the fringe of society. These include widows and widowers, LGTBs, lone mothers, third country nationals, persons outside the formal labour market and ex-convicts. An attempt was made to hold a focus group with persons suffering from terminal illness – however, requests to give a voice to the terminally ill were refused on grounds of privacy and inaccessibility. The focus group meetings were undertaken during June and July 2008. The uniqueness of this research project is that the participants in the focus groups were not their NGO or agency representative, but those persons themselves who face inequality and are at risk of social exclusion. This report has three main parts: the first part provides a brief discussion of social inclusion, solidarity, social cohesion, the open method of coordination and access to services. The second part raises the question of who are the poor in Malta and links with groups most at risk. It also presents the challenges faced by the socially vulnerable, their satisfaction, if any, with service provision, and finally their recommendations and salient needs. The report concludes with a discussion that is of particular relevance to policy makers and civil society.
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