The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

More than 2,000 requests for international protection received in 2018 – NSO

Wednesday, 19 June 2019, 13:29 Last update: about 2 months ago

A total of 2,131 applications for international protection were received by the Office of the Refugee Commissioner during 2018 – an increase of 15.9 per cent over the preceding year, the NSO said today.

During 2018, 16 boat landings (including persons air lifted from sea) were recorded in Malta with 1,445 persons being brought to Maltese shores. The majority of persons brought to shore were citizens of African countries (80.1 per cent) while 19.9 per cent were citizens of Asian countries.

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A total of 2,131 applications were lodged with the Office of the Refugee Commissioner during 2018 – an increase of 15.9 per cent over the previous year. When analysing asylum applications in the context of the European Union – applications per million population – Malta ranked third after Cyprus and Greece. The majority of applications were lodged by citizens of African countries (60.2 per cent). When considering individual countries with regards to the total applications for asylum, the largest proportion of the applicants were Syrian citizens (22.8 per cent). A further 15.0 per cent and 14.5 per cent were Somali and Libyan citizens respectively.

During 2018, the Office of the Refugee Commissioner processed a total of 1,500 applications: 43.1 per cent were granted a positive decision at first instance, while the remaining applications were rejected (56.9 per cent). More than half of the applicants who were granted a form of protection status during the year under review were citizens of African countries (59.3 per cent) while a further 37.8 per cent were citizens of Asian countries. Of all the applicants granted a form of protection status during 2018, 35.3 per cent were of Syrian citizenship while 34.5 per cent were of Libyan citizenship.

An increase of 30.5 per cent was registered in the resident population of open centres and other institutional households when compared to the preceding year. The majority of this population was residing in Ħal Far (71.9 per cent). The largest share of residents were males (77.0 per cent) while 13.8 per cent and 13.0 per cent were Sudanese and Somali respectively.

During the year under review, 79 third-country nationals were resettled to another country – a decrease of 54.3 per cent over 2017. A further 22 persons benefited from assisted voluntary return programmes.

 

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