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Malta is located in the Central Mediterranean, and most asylum-seekers enter the country following rescue at sea. Malta received 4,090 asylum applications in 2019, making it the EU country with the second-highest number of asylum applications per capita in 2019, following Cyprus.

In 2020, the main countries of origin of sea arrivals were Sudan, Bangladesh and Eritrea. The nationalities of people granted international protection were Libyan, Syrian and Somali.

UNHCR's main objectives in Malta are to monitor access to territory and reception conditions and advocate for an efficient and protection-sensitive asylum system and related policies. UNHCR also aims to improve durable solutions such as local integration opportunities and increase public awareness of refugees and asylum issues. UNHCR works closely with both governmental and non-governmental organisations in Malta to achieve these aims.

Additional information

For information about our work in Malta:

Malta website

Visit the UNHCR Malta website for more information on our work in the area and the latest local news and stories.

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Legislation and guidance

For legislation, case law and UNHCR policy relating to claims for international protection, visit Refworld.

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