Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Freedom House highlights EASO in Malta...trigger for improvement?

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports the expansion of freedom around the world. Freedom House supports democratic change, monitors freedom, and advocates for democracy and human rights. We support nonviolent civic initiatives in societies where freedom is denied or under threat and we stand in opposition to ideas and forces that challenge the right of all people to be free. Freedom House functions as a catalyst for freedom, democracy and the rule of law through its analysis, advocacy and action.”

Every year it publishes a world report surveying 193 countries, providing useful data on the extent of rights enjoyment around the globe. Interestingly, under the section ‘Political Rights and Civil Liberties’ for Malta in Freedom in the World 2011: The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy Freedom House thought it relevant to include the fact that Malta won the bid to host EASO.

I doubt Malta’s EASO bid was successful due to the high level of rights enjoyment by asylum-seekers and migrants, but there definitely is at least some hope that EASO’s presence in Malta and the potential spin-offs from this presence could lead to some improvements on the ground, especially with regard to Malta’s severe detention policy, conditions within the detention centres, living conditions of refugees outside detention and the sheer absence of anything even close to a integration policy.

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