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Migrants’ push-back not an option - UNHCR

 - Thursday, 04 July 2013, 13:14

Yesterday and this morning 4 overcrowded vessels were rescued at sea by Italy and Malta. As a result of cooperation between the Armed Forces of Malta and the Italian Coast Guard almost 800 people have been brought to safety, some requiring urgent medical attention. Those in need of international protection will now have the opportunity to have their asylum claims assessed. UNHCR Malta commends all entities and individuals involved in this effort.

The situation of asylum seekers in Libya remains an issue of grave concern. Recent reports describe a context of lawlessness and impunity, where foreign nationals from sub-Saharan Africa are at constant risk of exploitation, arrest and indefinite detention.

“In this situation it is evident that forced return or push-back of asylum seekers to Libya is not an option, as this would constitute a breach of international law," Jon Hoisaeter, Representative at the UNHCR Malta office said.

Meanwhile work continues in Malta to facilitate longer term solutions. UNHCR considers that a combination of solutions will continue to be required – including local integration, resettlement/relocation and return for those who are not in need of international protection. So far in 2013, around 600 asylum seekers have arrived in Malta, while almost 200 beneficiaries of protection have been assisted to settle in the US and other countries offering support, which is unique in the EU context.

The number of arrivals in Malta in 2013 is lower when compared with the same period last year. Nevertheless, while the country has managed to establish an effective asylum procedure, the irregular arrival of asylum seekers continues to present significant challenges for Malta.

UNHCR intends to continue to work closely with the authorities and other partners to improve the situation both as regards the immediate reception arrangements and the achievement of long term solutions. We stand ready to support further steps by the new Government to address and manage the situation in a comprehensive manner.

37 comments

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Michael Walter says:
07 July 2013 00:49

These illegal immigrants will suck you dry and destroy any remaining cultural heritage you retain.Look at Britain as one example.They have put the original inhabitants into the position of being second class citizen.White British people are discriminated against.
Many cities in the UK,have enclaves which have become no-go areas for white people,and even the police will not enter.The National health service and social benefit service are at the point of collapse due to the tremendous burden these immigrants and their dependents are imposing.
Open your ears and listen to what the man in the street is saying throughout Europe.

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Joseph Gaffarena says:
04 July 2013 20:07

Norman Lowel was right from the beginning.In less tiume we are going to be invaded by these illegals,and the govt, will not stop them.Our suppose friendly Libya is leaving all these illegals go from their shore to our country.What amaze me in this situation is that each  time i visit non euro countries I, will be given few weeks to stay in that country.Why people coming from an euro country like Libja and turkey,will stay in malta forever,they work here illegaly and bring their family as well, we have hundreds of these illegally working people, taking our jobs.

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Louise Vella says:
04 July 2013 19:21

Push back is very much an option if the overwhelming majority of the common people of Malta say "enough is enough". UNHCR or no UNHCR.

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Eddy Priviteera says:
04 July 2013 17:33

What is the UNHCR' s solution to Malta's illegal immigration problem, which is comparatively the most serious of all the EU states ???

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Carmel Camilleri says:
04 July 2013 16:39

@ John Vella.  Remember that the EU countries have enough problems with these immigrants and expect help from them is beyond expectations.. This is one of the problems that this Govt like the previous one has to face. Don't expect others to do our work.

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Eddy Priviteera says:
04 July 2013 17:30

Carmel, "Don't expect others to do our work" you wrote. So where is that famouus "SOLIDARITY" which was bandied about infront of the Maltese people befor Malta joined the EU ? Didn't we show FINANCIALSOLIDARITY with other EU states who were and still are in financial difficulties ? IT'S TIME THE MALTESE GOVERNMENT NOW SHOWS SOLIDARITY WITH ITS OWN PEOPLE ! This is what Dr. Muscat has said !

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John Vella says:
04 July 2013 20:06

@Carmel Camilleri you are either momma's baby, naive or silly?  Are you saying we should leave the EU? what for are we in the EU? so as other suck it to us? If Australia a land of emigrants and emigration is turning back illegals. If Russia is turning back illegals if Saudi Arabia is turning back illegals why should a 90 mile rock stand along and do not expect that the might of France, Germany, Poland and others not stand by us? If that is the case then the ONLY choice is get the bloody hell out of this so called Union and let it be what it be!

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Carmel Camilleri says:
04 July 2013 16:32

Now Joseph is no longer on the opposition benches criticising everything under the sun and having easy solutions. Now he is feeling  the weight of Administering these islands. I have no doubt that excuses will be found.

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John Azzopardi says:
04 July 2013 16:08

WE should and are obligated to save these people and bring them on land .  Once that is done, Malta has no obligation to keep them here. The UNCHR was not elected by the maltese to act as our government. We have been doing our worldwide obligation, but not to have illegal migrants that we cannot afford to keep here. Talk is cheap, Is the UNCHR paying income tax and other taxes. No. So they are in no position to talk. As for those who see everyone speaking against illegal migration as xenophobic, they do not know the meaning of the word. Malta is too small and those big EU countries who have many more land area than little Malta are not doing anything to help.

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Gorg Sciberras says:
04 July 2013 16:50

You are wrong. Malta has an obligation to save these persons, bring them on land, and allow them to apply for asylum/humanitarian protection. If they are not granted protection, then I agree, they should be repatriated as quickly as possible.
All this talk about Malta not affording to take care of migrants is crazy. We are discussing a multibillion euro bridge between two islands and we cannot seem to afford a couple of million to help people in need.

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GL Sammut says:
04 July 2013 17:56

Mr Gorg Sciberras we are not xenophobic at all, on the contrary, We are realistic and if you stop to think for a minute you will be too. This illegal immigration problem is going to grow. Yes it is nice to help others but charity starts at home. I want to ask you one question and you do not have to answer. First of all I do not put my children or grandchildren before anybody, nobody. Do you have any idea what is going to happen to Malta and the Maltese people in the next ten years or so? You can see these illegal immigrants spreading all over the island already and not too far in the distant future Maltese citizens, including you will become the minorities. How are you going to explain that to your children and grandchildren. Are you that naive not to see what is happening? I support our Prime Minister on this one. Push them back. It is the only option we now have.

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Gorg Sciberras says:
04 July 2013 19:04

Of course you are xenophobic and of course I will reply. The reality is that with all this hullabaloo, migrants in Malta are only a very small community. Hopefully our children and grandchildren will get used to seeing black people in the streets and will not have the attitudes many of us have. The usual rhetoric about migrants over-running the country and whites becoming minorities is rubbish. There is absolutely no evidence to support that. We Maltese are not European, we are just a bunch of heartless xenophobes.

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Eddy Priviteera says:
04 July 2013 20:00

Gorg Sciberras: How many illegal immigrants have you accomodated in your residence ???? We have the examples of France, UK, Holland etc..Do we want to finish like them ? I am certain that over 90% of the Maltese, do not want this .

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Gorg Sciberras says:
04 July 2013 20:19

Eddy: that was quite a childish comment. I pay taxes and expect the government to use my taxes to support migrants.
Do you seriously consider France, the UK and Holland to be disasters? I agree integration is difficult and cannot be perfect anywhere, but this is exactly the reason why we should support migrants and focus our efforts on supporting those who cannot move to other countries to become part of Maltese society rather than bumping them back to Libya.

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Stefan Vella says:
04 July 2013 23:25

Yes, I definitely want Malta to be a multi-ethnic society instead of the insular, parochial, xenophobic mess we have now.

For a declared Catholic state, Malta is a disgrace to its much vaunted values.

Progressive and moderate my foot.

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Eddy Priviteera says:
05 July 2013 10:17

Stefan: If you wish so much to live in a multi-ethnic society why don't you go and live in London, Birmingham, Marseilles etc.. ? What you are saying is that you wish the Maltese people to finally become also an ethnic group in our own country !!! In fact this is what will happen unless we take drastic action the soonest possible.

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John Azzopardi says:
05 July 2013 01:02

Mr Sciberras, yes we onlyl have one obligaton  and that is to safe their lives, but that obligation ends once they are safe. Their next step is up to them and not up to us maltese. Our only alternative should be to repatriate them Left left a place illegally and that is their choice, but we should not be saddled with that problem. I as a citizen and taxpayer, say enough is enough. The time has come to have a concrete policy, supported by all political parties for our own good and the nations' good. WE cannot keep going on this way.

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GL Sammut says:
04 July 2013 15:49

"MIGRANTS’ PUSH-BACK NOT AN OPTION - UNHCR. PUSH BACK  IS THE ONLY OPTION to stop the illegal immigrants from coming to our shores. The UNHCR is a profitable organization that takes advantage of situations like these and so do the profitable NGOs. Why not ask Jon Hoisaeter, Representative at the UNHCR Malta office what his salary is? If the UNHCR and Jon Hoisaeter are so worried about these illegal immigrants, why not do the right thing and go to the sub-Saharan Africa and try to take care of the problem there? And why is our Government sitting still and let the other 27 EU States dictate to us what to do, when they refuse to abide by the Sharing Agreement? Hotel Malta is already full and cannot accept anymore unwanted guests. This is the beginning of Summer and Malta has no choice but to PUSH BACK these illegal immigrants. before things get worse for the Maltese people.

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ray sammut says:
04 July 2013 17:25

what 'sharing agreement' are you talking about? And yes. Malta has a choice unlike what you are saying, and it is doing the right thing. Push back is NEVER an option. Only heartless people state otherwise.

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GL Sammut says:
04 July 2013 19:16

No Mr Sammut, pushback is never an option. It is the only option. By the way let me know when you decide to invite a half a dozen of these illegal immigrants to live in your house. Show me how charitable you are. At least I speak the way I feel, when you are just talk.

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ray sammut says:
04 July 2013 22:01

Yet another uneducated comment from yourself. This is not the only option and contrary to your sad wishes it will never be done. No matter what you wish.

Insofar to your other insinuations, let me tell you that I know these people and have spoken with them regularly -unlike you, who most probably have never talked to one in your entire  life and yet decide on their well (or should that be -ill) being.

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R Bugeja says:
04 July 2013 14:53

As much as I agree with all of you re.sending back the illegal immigrants, & I agree with the PM on this one, yet we are bound by International Law..and NO we can't react as we please ! There's diplomacy and laws which need to be safeguarded or else more problems loom for Malta.
We can't react with passion in such instances but with reason and dialogue.

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GL Sammut says:
04 July 2013 16:00

Mr Sciberras and A Bezz since you are so sympathetic to these people why not may invite a half a dozen of these illegal immigrants to come and stay at your homes and do the right thing? See talk is cheap and I invite you to integrate with these illegal immigrants and let them live with your families, yes in the same house. If this keeps up, none of us will have much choice but to take and accept these people into our homes because Hotel Malta is already full. Do the charitable thing and invite some of these illegal immigrants to live in your homes. Noting can be more noble than that. Explain to your wife and children that you are very sympathetic people. How do you think the people of Birzebbugia, the people of Marsa and the people of Hal Safi feel?

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ray sammut says:
04 July 2013 17:22

GL Sammut, if push comes to shove, I prefer to invite these immigrants to my house than a xenophobic 'person' like you.

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Gorg Sciberras says:
04 July 2013 14:37

The usual xenophobic comments, of course. An ounce of humanity would help. Its not UNHCR which should be ignored, but the humiliating comments below.

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A Bezz says:
04 July 2013 14:55

Well said, Mr Sciberras!

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Emmy Scerri says:
04 July 2013 16:31

Do not be so naive.  This is being done in order to usher in one world government.  The UNHCR is an organ of the Rockeffeller controlled UN - the Rockeffeller and their many think-tanks and councils such as the CFR (Council on Foregin Relations) dictate where the world is going - and by the looks of it, to hell in a basket. Good hearted people or useful idiots are they are known privately by these multi-billionaires are thinking they are doing Christ's work when this is the work of Satan.  One world government needs open borders and no nationhood.  Once this is accommplished then there will be little or no resitance to draconian fascist world government that preys on the poor to enrich the wealthy.  The elite are pushing for a borderless, one world government! We are paying the price for immigration quotas dictated by the UN in Brussels. UN dictates immigration quotas for the all member nations of the European Union.

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Gorg Sciberras says:
04 July 2013 18:07

Ah, its tin-foil hat time now. Or is it the sun?

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Emmy Scerri says:
10 July 2013 05:02

You obviously have no idea about the UN or who you are dealing with here do you? It is better that you laugh at my expense now that I am trying to alert  you, because you will have plenty of time to cry for yourself and your children in the future.   As they say, a prophet in his own country is not believed or appreciated until it is too late.  Too bad that those that have more sense have to suffer with you when the time comes -  foolish people you should all band with your patriotic PM to save your country.  Make no mistake about it, you are under siege and are being invaded.

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Gorg Sciberras says:
10 July 2013 09:35

Let me wind you up a bit more. I have worked for both the UN and the EU, so yes I know what I'm talking about. Oh and with migrants directly too. And I am a migrant myself.

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Emmy Scerri says:
11 July 2013 06:01

So you think that you know the EU and the UN because you worked for them?  Then you should know about the UN being in the control of one particular wealthy family, (who are on record for having their company guards open fire on striking workers, killing men, women and 11 children) in 1914 and who donated the land where the building stands and that the OIC (Organization of Islamic countries) which work for the promulgation of Islam and Muslims throughout the world.

And as for the EU, do you know about its Nazi origins?  

http://www.relay-of-life.org/nazi-roots/chapter.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV-6pHdUpfk


I have worked abroad too with 'immigrants' and their social service frauds, perpetrated with the blessings of the powers that be. And I am a immigrant myself also (we have so much in common) but we are on opposite sides of the spectrum on this issue.  Time will tell the wiser.

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A Bezz says:
04 July 2013 14:32

Great to hear this!!  These people are human beings just like each and every one of us, and it is against fundamental human rights to refuse them asylum.  Some of the people arriving yesterday had gunshot wounds ... are we seriously thinking that it is humane to push them back to wherever they came from, know that they will probably perish at sea??  Thanks UNHCR!!

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Eddy Priviteera says:
04 July 2013 17:35

A Bezz: Prove to us that you believe what you wrote - take some of them in your own house !

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Shaun Anthony Camilleri says:
04 July 2013 14:32

The UNHCR can dictate all it wants. So what is its solution allow everyone to come here. We should do like in Egypt and get rid of the UNHCR as they don't care about us.

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godwin scerri says:
04 July 2013 13:58

Mr.Jon Hoisaeter, push back is the only solution, or else take them to your country.

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Louise Vella says:
04 July 2013 13:41

UNHCR it has always spoken and acted against Malta's national interest and should just be ignored.


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John Vella says:
04 July 2013 13:31

I am baffled!
Here we have the UNHCR dictating to a small island who has been built out of local citizens hard work and sweat.
Please go tell your friends in Germany, Holland, France and Belgium E.U., that the U.S. did more for us then all of Europe combined.
How for Christ sake can we integrate with these people when they say they are Camel herders? or is it for you are we no better?


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