[WATCH] Malta issues audiovisual brief on how irregular migration affects the island

Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela says procrastination will cause more loss of lives

An audiovisual brief issued by the Ministry for hOme Affairs on the phenomena of irregular migration was prepared ahead of the Valletta Summit.

National statistics published in the summer showed that 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.

The video outlines the assistance and welfare services that Malta provides through a number of Government Departments, particularly Departments falling within the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security’s remit, to beneficiaries of international protection.

These include: the Armed Forces of Malta, the Malta Police Force (Immigration Section), the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit, the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers and Office of the Refugee Commissioner.

Referring to the number of recorded deaths of migrants while crossing to Europe in 2015, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Carmelo Abela remarked that, "statistics are not just figures. They represent families separated forever and regretfully tragic loss of lives”.

“This heart-breaking situation calls for an immediate action from all countries. Procrastination will cause more loss of lives. Europe and the world must act now,” he said.

The United Nations revealed that in the coming year the migration phenomenon is set to reach a new record.

“In the face of this human tragedy, Europe cannot afford to move from crisis to crisis. We need durable solutions. We also have to act in collaboration with our partners on the global level,” Abela added.