Malta’s detention regime blasted by the European Court of Human Rights!

Malta must take concrete steps to bring its detention regime in line with human rights standards. The European Court of Human Rights has said this in no unclear teams in a judgement we are celebrating as a victory for human rights in Malta!

Today, the Court delivered judgement in A.D. v. Malta. Together with JRS Malta, we had brought this case in March 2022 whilst AD was in detention and in collaboration with Advancing Child Right Strategic Litigation, ACRiSL.

The Court found a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment), Article 5 (right to liberty) and Article 13 in conjunction with Article 3 (right to an effective remedy).

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European Human Rights Court orders Malta to release children from detention

In yet another critique of Malta’s detention regime, yesterday the European Court of Human Rights ordered Malta to release seven children from a detention centre. In its ruling, the Court indicated that Malta should “ensure that the applicants’ conditions are compatible with Article 3 of the Convention and with their status as unaccompanied minors.”.

This decision, ordering Malta to release the children from detention, confirms that Malta is indeed detaining persons who are in most need of care and protection. It also underlines that this approach is simply unacceptable. 

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Towards ending detention of migrant children: 2 upcoming events

On 23-24 January, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) will hold two events in Brussels on the impact of immigration detention on children and on alternatives to detention for migrant children. On-line participation is also possible! 

The events mark the end of the CADRE project, which the ICJ implemented jointly with national and international partners over the last two years. The project sought to promote the expansion, implementation and improvement of alternatives to detention for migrant children in full respect of their rights in the EU and to contribute to ending the resort to detention of children in migration.

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Our key cases are now online!

We’ve just uploaded our key cases to our Publications page. Under the heading ‘Our cases’, you’ll now find the documents relating to the prominent cases we’ve brought before various tribunals and Courts. We’ve only uploaded finalised cases, meaning for now you won’t find anything relating to, for example, the Captain Morgan case.

In the section you’ll find key cases where we represented children challenging their detention before the Immigration Appeals Board, as well as habeas corpus decisions taken by the Court of Magistrates. Under Maltese law, a habeas corpus application may be filed by any persons who wishes to question the legality of their arrest and/or detention. This is an extremely urgent procedure, as it understands the mere potential of a person being detained in violation of the law. We’ve brought several such applications, mostly successful, against Malta’s terrible detention regime.

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Training materials on Alternatives to Detention for Migrant Children

Throughout 2021 and 2022 we worked on the project that explored the use of alternatives to detention for children: the CADRE project. As part of the project, we developed and published training materials on alternatives to detention for migrant children

The materials cover the international and EU legal framework of alternatives to detention for children and related rights, such as the right to liberty and prohibition of immigration detention of children. The materials aim to support efforts to ensure that children are never detained for purposes of immigration control, in accordance with international standards.

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