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Boat ride to detention : adult and child migrants in Malta

Author: Alice Farmer; Human Rights Watch (Organization)
Publisher: [New York, N.Y.] : Human Rights Watch, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Since 2002, approximately 15,000 migrants have landed on the tiny European island nation of Malta, arriving in the country by boat without permission, or "irregularly." Malta has placed virtually all of these migrants--many of whom are fleeing violence or persecution--in detention. This automated, indiscriminate, and blanket detention policy violates international law at the very border of the European Union. The  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Farmer, Alice.
Boat ride to detention.
[New York, N.Y.] : Human Rights Watch, ©2012
(OCoLC)802639586
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Alice Farmer; Human Rights Watch (Organization)
ISBN: 1564329143 9781564329141 1564329186 9781564329189
OCLC Number: 805937929
Notes: "July 2012"--Table of contents page.
"This report was researched and written by Alice Farmer, researcher in the Children's Rights Division."--Page 50.
Description: 50 pages : maps ; 27 cm
Contents: Summary --
Recommendations --
To the government of Malta --
To the Ministry of Home and Parliamentary Affairs --
To the Malta Police, Immigration Section --
To the Detention Services --
To the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers --
To the Office of the Refugee Commissioner --
To the European Union --
Methodology --
I. Migrants and asylum seekers in Malta --
Arduous journey --
Flight from poverty, persecution, war, and violence --
Asylum in Malta and international burden sharing --
Maltese institutions responsible for migrants --
II. Automatic, arbitrary detention --
Taken from boats to prolonged detention --
Lack of capacity to challenge detention --
Inadequate justification for detention --
Detention without realistic prospect of removal --
III. Treatment of unaccompanied migrant children --
Detention of unaccompanied migrant children --
Lengthy and incomplete age determination procedures that prolong detention --
Lack of legal representation in asylum proceedings and in challenging detention --
IV. Conclusion --
Acknowledgements.
Other Titles: Adult and child migrants in Malta
Responsibility: [Alice Farmer].

Abstract:

"Since 2002, approximately 15,000 migrants have landed on the tiny European island nation of Malta, arriving in the country by boat without permission, or "irregularly." Malta has placed virtually all of these migrants--many of whom are fleeing violence or persecution--in detention. This automated, indiscriminate, and blanket detention policy violates international law at the very border of the European Union. The central Mediterranean migration route--through which migrants from sub-Saharan Africa typically travel from Libya to Malta or to Italy in rickety boats--is a major entrance point to the EU. This report documents the experiences of migrants, including unaccompanied children, who reach Malta by boat, or whose boats are intercepted at sea by the Armed Forces of Malta and taken directly to detention. Under international law migrants who do not have permission to enter or stay in a country may be subject to detention, in certain circumstances, and subject to safeguards. However in Malta, detention is automatic and prolonged, without safeguards. Asylum seekers who arrive by boat are detained for up to 12 months, and migrants who do not apply for asylum (or who are rejected) can be detained for up to 18 months. Even the most vulnerable migrants--such as families with children, elderly people, and people with mental or physical disabilities--are taken to detention. Malta routinely detains unaccompanied migrant children pending age assessment. "Unaccompanied migrant children" are children traveling without parents or other guardians; typically they travel in dangerous conditions for many months before reaching Malta. As the children lack documents proving that they are under 18 years old, Malta detains these children until they have been through a formal age determination procedure. This means children can be detained for months; the average length of time in detention for our interviewees was 3.4 months. During this period, children are detained with unrelated adults without any special provisions for the fact they are minors. Malta should urgently revise their detention policies to detain migrants only in exceptional circumstances in accordance with the law, and should refrain from detaining those requesting age determination until they have been found to be adults."--Page 4 of cover.

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