72% fewer migrant arrivals to Malta last year

Office of the Refugee Commissioner filed 1,352 applications for international protection in 2014, a decline of 39.8% over the previous year. 

File photo
File photo

569 irregular immigrants were brought to Maltese shores in 2014, a decrease of 71.7% over the preceding year. This was largely due to a political decision by Italy to rescue irregular migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

National statistics show that 67.5% of these 569 immigrants were of African origin while a further 32.3 % were of Asian origin. The majority of them hailed from Syria (134 people), Somalia (118 people) and Sudan (80 people).

In 2014, the Office of the Refugee Commissioner filed 1,352 applications for international protection, a decline of 39.8% over the previous year. The vast majority (1,083 applicants) were male and more than half of these applicants were males aged between 18 and 34. The majority, 69.7%, were Africans, of whom 44.6% were Libyans and 13.6% Somalis. Another 26.9% originated from Asia, predominantly from Syria (84.3%).  

The Office of the Refugee Commissioner processed 1,735 applications in 2014; 72.6% were granted a positive decision, while the remaining applications were rejected. Two-thirds of the applicants who were granted asylum were of African origin (Table 7).

A decrease of 49% was registered in the resident population of open centres and other institutional households. The majority of the persons residing in open centres and other institutional households were residing in Ħal Far (60.2%) while more than a quarter were residing in Marsa (26.6%). The majority of the residents were males and 22.1% were Somalis.  

During 2014, 991 people were found to be present illegally in Malta, a decrease of 59.3% over the previous year. The largest share, 61.3%, were Africans, while a further 26.7% were Asians (mainly of Syrian nationality). Moreover, 61.2% of these migrants were aged between 18 and 34. Of those who were found to be illegally present in Malta, 173 persons were returned to a third country, of whom 69.9% were returned to African countries, predominantly Nigeria.  

Last year, the number of third-country nationals resettled in another country was recorded at 579, an increase of 151 persons over 2013. Another 75 persons benefited from assisted voluntary return programmes 

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