1,928 applications received for international protection in 2016
|Email item||Print item||
Data released by the National Statistics Office to mark World Refugee Day today, show that a total of 1,928 applications for international protection were received by the Office of the Refugee Commissioner during 2016 – an increase of 4.6 per cent over the preceding year.
The NSO said that no boat arrivals with asylum seekers were registered during this period, with only 24 persons being airlifted out at sea and brought to Maltese shores. The absolute majority of these persons were citizens of African countries, the NSO said.
Data also shows that when analysing asylum applications in the context of the European Union, Malta ranks fourth after Germany, Austria and Greece when considering applicants per million population.
A total of 1,928 applications were lodged with the Office of the Refugee Commissioner – an increase of 4.6 per cent over the previous year, the NSO said.
It also noted that almost three-fourths of the applicants were citizens of African countries, with over a third (34.5 per cent) being Libyan citizens. A further 17.1 per cent of the applicants were Syrian citizens. A large proportion of the applicants (42.4 per cent) were males aged between 18 and 34.
The Office of the Refugee Commissioner processed a total of 1,435 applications during 2016, it said that: 83.1 per cent were granted a positive decision at first instance, while the remaining applications were rejected.
“Nearly two-thirds (64.2 per cent) of the applicants who were granted asylum during the year under review were citizens of African countries, while a further 32.7 per cent were citizens of Asian countries, the NSO said.
Of all the applicants granted international protection during 2016, 44.5 per cent were of Libyan citizenship while 30.1 per cent were of Syrian citizenship.
There was an increase of 11.4 per cent registered in the resident population of open centres and other institutional households, when compared to the preceding year.
Just over half of these persons were residing in Hal Far while 28.4 per cent were living in Marsa. The NSO added that, a further 272 persons were residing in other institutional households, excluding open centres. The majority of the residents were males while almost a quarter were of Eritrean citizenship.
461 third-country nationals were resettled in another country in 2016 – a decrease of 19.1 per cent over 2015. Another 14 persons benefited from assisted voluntary return programmes, the NSO said.