UNHCR welcomes Prime Minister of Malta's statement on detention of children

UNHCR welcomes the Prime Minister of Malta's statement which indicates an end to detention of children asylum seekers in Malta. We consider this to be a positive signal that the Government is prepared to make important adjustments to the current reception system.

 It is our firm belief that legitimate concerns and interests of States can be effectively addressed while maintaining a reception system which is in line with international standards.

Jon Hoisaeter, UNHCR Malta Representative:

"The Prime Minster has signalled a change that will have a direct impact on the well-being of vulnerable children. UNHCR will continue to work with the relevant Maltese authorities to contribute to further improvements to the system."

In September 2013, UNHCR published a comprehensive legal analysis of the current reception system in Malta, raising concerns about the use of detention, including for children: http://www.refworld.org/docid/52498c424.html