“Every young or old person, with a visible or hidden disability, has the right to a dignified and most independent life possible. No one is a throwaway in our country, and everyone has a contribution to make. I appeal to all the people to keep this in mind and heart whenever they interact with people with disabilities”, said the President of Malta, George Vella, during the ‘Premju Soċjetà Ġusta 2022’ award ceremony organised by the Ministry for Inclusion, Voluntary Organisations and Consumer Rights.
The Premju Soċjetà Ġusta celebrates and recognises the work, commitment, and dedication of various individuals in the disability sector. The President encouraged all the winners and nominees to continue this vocation of being of service to people with disabilities so that they can truly feel like an integral part of society.
President Vella said that while Malta is progressing effectively in the National Strategy on the Rights of Disabled Persons and in international obligations related to equality, he thanked the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability and the Aġenzija Sapport for their work and encouraged collaboration for the implementation of strategies in daily life.
Minister for Inclusion, Voluntary Organisations and Consumer Rights, Julia Farrugia Portelli, said that she is committed to continuing over the next year with reforms for the disability sector. She announced that by the first half of next year, a public consultation will be launched on two important laws – the Bill to protect Adults in Situations of Vulnerability and the Bill on Personal Autonomy.
Minister Farrugia Portelli explained that the two bills will ensure that people with disabilities are more protected and safer in Malta and abroad, as well as guaranteed to live a more independent life.
The Premju Soċjetà Ġusta was won by the Malta Paralympic Committee, which is responsible for the development and promotion of parasports in Malta and Gozo and recent years has worked to increase participation in parasports and collaborates with several national sports associations, sports clubs, coaches, NGOs, and other stakeholders in disability, sport, and education. The Maltese Paralympic Committee has around 50 active para-athletes, with the majority being under the age of 16. Moreover, the organisation has recently entered parasports for the blind and the visually impaired.
The winners of the special recognition and other honours are:
Gilmour Borg – Award for Work in Strengthening the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Villa Bianca, The Malta Trust Foundation – Active Participation in Arts and Culture Award
Siġġiewi Rowing Club – Active Participation in Sport Award
Dr Claire Azzopardi Lane – Lifetime Achievement in the Disability sector Award
PRISMS Malta – Award to the Voluntary Organisation for work to strengthen inclusion
The Estates Facilities & Capital Development Directorate, University of Malta – Award for the most inclusive workplace
Special Olympics Malta – Special recognition for work in the disability sector
Maltese Paralympic Committee – Premju Soċjetà Ġusta