Malta’s asylum reception centres are set to be reorganised amid attempts to improve procedures to identify people in clear need of international protection as part of a new strategy published today.

The strategy (see pdf link below) was published by the Home Affairs Ministry following public consultation. It also sees the maximum detention period being reduced to nine months.

Speaking during a meeting with non-governmental organisations in the migration field, Minister Carmelo Abela remarked that the strategy ensured the adoption of a comprehensive approach to the reception of asylum seekers and irregular migrants.

It sought to draw a balance between humanitarian needs and security requirements and aimed to ensure that the rights of asylum seekers were secured without jeopardising the country’s security.

The minister said the measures met the criteria required by the European Court of Human Rights in its judgments relating to Malta. It was also in line with the high standards deriving from EU legislation, through the European Reception Conditions Directive.

The document provided for a system for the initial reception of recently-arrived migrants, as well as for initiatives relating to detention and open centre accommodation.

It met the government’s pledge not to detain minors and vulnerable persons.

The ministry would now be working towards implementing the strategy, addressing the re-organisation of Malta’s reception systems, and strengthening procedures that identified those who were in clear need of international protection.


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