‘Detention: there are alternatives’, joint NGO press statement for World Refugee Day 2013

On World Refugee Day, this 20 June, we call upon the government to look for alternatives to the long-term detention of asylum seekers.

World Refugee Day is an opportunity to recall the plight of refugees around the world, and pledge our continued support for their cause.  It is also an occasion for Malta to look closely at how we receive asylum-seekers and refugees, to ensure that our laws, policies and procedures are in line with our international legal obligations.

We, the local NGOs which work daily with refugees, asylum-seekers and other migrants, reiterate our call to meet the Minister responsible for immigration and asylum and to jointly undertake this assessment.  We hope to reopen the review begun a year ago and establish whether any of our detailed recommendations will be implemented.

“The new government has a rare opportunity to prove that it recognises the humanity of all persons, particularly the most vulnerable. We therefore call on the government to commemorate this World Refugee Day by making its intentions clear and triggering a much-needed review process.” – Neil Falzon, Director, aditus foundation

We are eager to contribute to the process of bringing Malta’s laws and policies on forced migration into accord with its international and regional obligations.