UNHCR launches report on the public’s view about refugees and migrants

The UNHCR Malta office has published a survey on perceptions in Malta regarding refugees and migrants. The report presents a picture of how refugees are viewed and received by the population in Malta. It describes to what extent interaction is happening at the local level and it seeks to assess […]

The UNHCR Malta office has published a survey on perceptions in Malta regarding refugees and migrants. The report presents a picture of how refugees are viewed and received by the population in Malta. It describes to what extent interaction is happening at the local level and it seeks to assess the general public’s awareness about key obstacles to integration.

The results from the survey reveal that there are many different views and opinions on these issues within the Maltese population:

• The majority of respondents disagreed with the statement that high levels of immigration constitute a threat to the way of life in Malta.
• But more than two thirds of people surveyed say that they do not know any refugees or migrants personally, and almost half of those interviewed have never spoken with any such individuals.
• At the same time most people say that they are well aware of discrimination affecting those who are trying to settle in Malta.
Read the attached report to find more interesting results.

‘We have asked the public’s opinion on this issue not only to learn about their views, but also to help us to improve the situation both for refugees and for local communities. More needs to be done to facilitate a positive integration process in Malta’, said UNHCR Malta Representative Jon Hoisaeter.

Facts on the survey:

After a decade of boat arrivals and at times heated public debate, UNHCR considered it timely to test some of the assumptions often made about what people in Malta really think about asylum and refugee issues. To find answers around 400 randomly selected respondents living in Malta and Gozo were interviewed face to face in their own localities. The survey took place during the month of January 2012 and it was conducted by Informa Consultants, an independent research company, on behalf of UNHCR Malta.

Copies of the report will be delivered to different news outlets in the coming weeks. The full report may be downloaded from HERE