World Report 2009 - Malta
|Publisher||Human Rights Watch|
|Publication Date||14 January 2009|
|Cite as||Human Rights Watch, World Report 2009 - Malta, 14 January 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49705f98c.html [accessed 31 July 2015]|
Events of 2008
Malta continued to be criticized for its failure to rescue migrants in distress at sea and unwillingness to allow ships carrying migrants rescued at sea to enter its ports. More than a thousand migrants reached Malta in 2008. In August, 71 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea when their dinghy capsized; eight survivors were rescued by a fishing vessel. The Maltese government has been calling for "burden sharing" among EU states on irregular migration.
Migrants, including children, who come to Malta are held in closed detention centers for up to 18 months while their claims are processed. Detention facilities for migrants in Malta were criticized in a PACE report in May. An investigation ordered by the Maltese government into allegations of ill-treatment against detainees involved in a disturbance in the Safi detention center in March concluded that there had been excessive use of force by staff, but failed to identify those responsible.