The Malta Independent 26 September 2018, Wednesday

1,839 applications for asylum, no boat landings recorded in 2017 - NSO

Wednesday, 20 June 2018, 11:12 Last update: about 4 months ago

A total of 1,839 applications for international protection were received by the Office of the Refugee Commissioner during 2017, a decrease of 4.6 per cent over the preceding year, the NSO said today.

World Refugee Day: 20 June 2018

During 2017 no boat landings were recorded in Malta with 20 persons being airlifted out at sea and brought to Maltese shores. All these persons were citizens of African countries.

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A total of 1,839 applications were lodged with the Office of the Refugee Commissioner during 2017, a decrease of 4.6 per cent over the previous year. When analysing asylum applications in the context of the European Union - applicants per million population - Malta ranks fourth after Greece, Cyprus and Luxembourg. Almost two-thirds of the applicants were citizens of African countries, of which 37.3 per cent being Libyan citizens. A further 26.8 per cent of the applicants were Syrian citizens. A high proportion of the applicants (43.1 per cent) were males aged between 18 and 34.

During 2017, the Office of the Refugee Commissioner processed a total of 1,109 applications, 68.7 per cent were granted a positive decision at first instance, while the remaining applications were rejected. When analysing positive first instance decisions in the European Union decisions per million population - Malta ranks fifth after Austria, Germany, Sweden and Luxembourg.

Nearly two-thirds (62.7 per cent) of the applicants who were granted a form of protection status during 2017 were citizens of African countries, while a further 36.2 per cent were citizens of Asian countries.

Of all the applicants granted a form of protection status during 2017, 39.9 per cent were of Libyan citizenship while 31.2 per cent were of Syrian citizenship.

An increase of 34.2 per cent was registered in the resident population of open centres and other institutional households when compared to 2016. More than half of these persons were residing in Ħal Far. A further 259 persons were residing in other institutional households, excluding open centres. The majority of the residents were males while almost a third of the total residents (30.9 per cent) were Somali.

Last year, 173 third-country nationals were resettled in another country a decrease of 62.5 per cent over 2016. Another 19 persons benefited from assisted voluntary return programmes.

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