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Rainbow Support Service: MGRM offers various support services to individuals as well as their families and friends who are encountering difficulties relating to their sexuality or same sex-relationships. These include the National Gay Helpline, the weekly LGBTIQ Youth Drop-In, face-to-face meetings and on-line support. This office is also responsible for delivering talks and training to raise awareness on LGBT issues among students, professional bodies, employers and the general public.
Communication: MGRM has its own website, facebook page and twitter account through which it shares information on local and international events affecting the LGBT community in Malta. MGRM also writes letters to newspapers and issues press releases on various LGBT events and issues throughout the year as well as participating in TV and radio programmes.
Legislation and Policy Change: In line with its strategic plan, MGRM is campaigning for a number of legislative and policy changes to be introduced. These include the legal recognition of same-sex couples and their families; a new gender identity act for Malta; the inclusion of sex reassignment under the National Health Service; and the introduction of anti-discrimination legislation in the provision of goods and services. MGRM is also advocating for an anti-homophobic and transphobic bullying policy in schools and better response by the police to hate crimes.
MGRM was instrumental in the correct transposition of the European Union (EU) Directive, Council Directive 2000/78/EC within the Employment and Industrial Relations Act that protects LGB persons from discrimination in employment. It also lobbied for the correct transposition of the European Union Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, otherwise known as the Freedom of Movement Directive. It was also instrumental, together with other organisations to the widening of the NCPE remit to include sexual orientation and gender identity and the extension of homophobic and transphobic hate crime legislation to cover these grounds.
Research: Research on Transgender issues was undertaken in 2008 through ESF funding. MGRM also conducted surveys on LGBT discrimination in Malta carried out in 2001 and 2008. It also participates in various research projects carried out by NCPE, FRA and ILGA-Europe.
International Office: This involves building networks with other organisations and entities on an international level. MGRM delegates attend conferences and seminars which focus on LGBTI issues and rights. MGRM is a member of IGLYO, ILGA, TGEU, EAPN, ENAR and MCWO. MGRM members also participate in ILGA-Europe’s Advocacy Network. Such opportunities help us to build links with other organisations, serve as a means for training of volunteers and enable the sharing of good practice.
MGRM successfully hosted the ILGA-Europe 2009 annual conference as well as the transgender pre-conference. Ruth Baldacchino served as a member of the ILGA-Europe board for five years Gabi Calleja has been a member of the ILGA-Europe board since 2010 and currently occupies the post of co-chair.
Events and activities: The main events are Pride Week which occurs in July and the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) celebrated on the 17th May of each year.
Capacity Building: In order to function effectively MGRM works to improve its administrative capacity and to gain knowledge and skills that can help with lobbying and advocacy as well as with providing a service to the community. In 2009 MGRM worked on developing a strategic plan for the organisation covering the period 2010 to 2014. MGRM is always on the lookout for funding possibilities and has over the past 10 years managed to benefit from grants from the Sigrid Rausing Trust, ILGA_Europe, IPPF, the Civil Society Fund, ESF, Youth in Action and the Voices Foundation. In 2013 MGRM was successful in obtaining a capacity building grant through the Norway/EEA NGO Fund; a Grant from the US Embassy to establish the Rainbow Support Service and a Grant through the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme to undertake a number of training mobilities.
Membership: Becoming a member, is a way of supporting the MGRM’s work as well as lending it credibility in its role as main national organisation advocating for LGBT rights in Malta. Your €10 annual contribution helps us cover our ongoing expenses and makes it possible for us to co-fund projects and events. To become a member kindly go to our membership page.