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Press Release by the Ministry for Justice and Governance and the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights: Agreement between the Legal Aid Agency Malta (LAM) and the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS)

16.09.2021 | Press Releases

Reference Number: PR211687

During a press conference addressed by Minister for Justice and Governance, Edward Żammit Lewis, and Minister for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights, Michael Falzon, an agreement was signed between the Legal Aid Agency Malta (LAM) and the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS). This agreement will lead to more effective cooperation within the administration of applications submitted by foreign countries, as regarding the maintenance as alimony for children and/or minors.

In his speech, Minister Edward Żammit Lewis explained that through this agreement, this government is continuing to show the importance it attributes to the rights of children and minors, and that we may observe the children and minors are safeguarded in a factual manner, irrelevant of who they may be or from where they may be coming from. It is not going to be permitted that parents abandon their children, and come to live in our country, so as to escape their obligations. It is precisely because of this concern that this agreement was signed, where these applications will ensure that the rights of children, who are living with a parent in a foreign country, one would be able to proceed in order to enforce decisions by European Courts overseas, or establish maintenance as alimony so that parents would be able to raise their children in the best manner.

Minister Żammit Lewis concluded his intervention by emphasizing the importance of this agreement, since this will continue to strengthen the collaboration between these two important agencies, and will continue to assist towards the citizen being given all of the necessary tools so as to obtain what is his or hers by right, and that decisions are always taken with the best interests of minors.

Minister Michael Falzon stated that in the last two years, 22 cases were identified, where legal assistance was requested from outside our country, due to issues of maintenance. He mentioned that it is essential that obligations tied to maintenance via alimony are respected, because ultimately, these affect children directly. Therefore, Minister Michael Falzon said that this agreement will be enforcing orders originating from outside of the country.

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