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Malta urged to improve the protection and integration of migrants

Letter
Strasbourg 01/02/2018
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Malta urged to improve the protection and integration of migrants

In a letter addressed to the Minister for Home Affairs and National Security of Malta published today, Commissioner Muižnieks urges Malta to improve the protection and integration of migrants.

Expressing appreciation for Malta’s policy changes to end the automatic detention of migrant and its participation in the EU refugee relocation programme, the Commissioner underscores the need to lift obstacles to migrant integration, such as the lack of affordable housing, distinctions between refugees and beneficiaries of other forms of international protection concerning social security benefits, bureaucratic barriers to migrants’ access to the labour market and their exploitation, as well as barriers to quick and effective family reunification and access to citizenship. “Family reunification and access to citizenship are crucial elements to get migrant integration right. Malta should ensure that all migrants in need of international protection are entitled to family reunification in a prompt, flexible and effective manner and should facilitate the access of long-term residents to citizenship.” The Commissioner also invites Malta to tackle shortcomings in the work of the Refugee Appeals Board and to provide a full judicial review of its decisions.