Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Is EASO interested in Malta's detained asylum-seekers?

The EASO Monitor has been silent over the past few weeks as I took my summer holidays. I just returned to Malta and started looking into a protest organised by asylum-seekers and migrants detained in Malta's Safi Detention Centre, ending rather badly (read the news item here and a commentary here).

Sadly, we're not surprised at the news as we've been having similar incidents almost every year since 2002, with detained persons complaining about an extremely strict and legally questionable detention policy that is further exacerbated by absolutely awful living conditions.

Is this relevant for EASO? We definitely think so. A Common European Asylum System does not stop at the creation of a harmonised legal regime but - more importantly - needs to be seen in the manner the EU MS receive and treat asylum-seekers.

We sincerely hope that EASO's efforts vis-√°-vis Malta will not be limited to pushing for intra-EU relocation of refugees but will also highlight the severe deficiencies in the country's reception standards, within its closed and open centres.

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