Video footage has emerged of migrants chanting the Partit Laburista anthem ‘Viva l-Labour’ aboard one of the Captain Morgan ferries currently docked outside Maltese waters.
The video, which is being published by Lovin Malta, offers the first glimpse of life aboard the ferries for the migrants, some of whom have been kept there for just under a month.
It shows a group of ostensibly Maltese men orchestrating the ‘Viva l-Labour’ anthem as the migrants cheer, dance and clap their hands. One of these Maltese men is then hoisted into the air to more cheers from the migrants.
Malta has adopted an unorthodox policy to migrant rescues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the island closing its ports to migrants and with barely any assistance offered by EU member states, Malta has decided to house migrants picked up by its armed forces aboard vessels usually used for day tours and parties.
While Italy has gone down the route of quarantining migrants aboard ferries for a 14-day period until they test negative for the coronavirus, Malta is keeping them on board indefinitely until other EU member states pledge to relocate them.
Meanwhile, children, their parents and pregnant women are being brought to Malta for humanitarian reasons.
As it stands, around 290 migrants are currently aboard three Captain Morgan vessels, docked just outside Maltese waters, with the first group sent there on 30th April and the most recent one sent there last Friday.
So far, only two counties have offered Malta help with relocation – France has offered to relocate 30 of them while Portugal has offered to take six.
The migrant hotline Alarm Phone has warned it has received information from people on board the vessels that the situation has deteriorated to the point where some people had gone on hunger strikes and attempted suicide.
However, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri has said he is not aware that this is the case, and the video being published today shows that life on board includes celebratory moments.
What do you make of this video?