If Maltese institutions claim that anything below the average wage is a poverty wage, isn’t it time for other authorities to take action? If below-average wages effectively discriminate against those with dependent family members, why is it legal for employers to pay such wages?
The asylum applicants are met with two contradictory demands: to be traumatised and persecuted enough to be recognised as refugees, and to be physically and emotionally fit in order to contribute to the host country’s economy.
Suffering seems to be an obligatory justification to enter Europe. In a fairer and more balanced system, economic migrants would have not had to take a perilous journey just to find work. But if trauma is the expectation, they get traumatised, too.
Precarious, unpaid or underpaid writing is similar to what unpaid internships—initially developed to help young people learn job skills—have become in many industries. It seems to be the only stepping stone into an employment security, if it ever comes.