The Times of Malta newspaper reports that during a conference marking five years since Malta joined the European Union, the topic of immigration was at the forefront.
The forced return of migrants was described as a “loss for humanity” in a statement issued by the Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Malta, Fr. Joseph Cassar.
“Forcibly returning people to a country where they may face ill-treatment and be pushed back into the arms of their persecutors, without an assessment of their need for protection, violates international law,” he said.
“A solution achieved at the expense of human rights cannot be hailed as a victory – it is a loss for the whole of humanity.”
He pointed out that in Malta alone more than half of those who applied for asylum were granted some form of protection.
“They use an irregular route because it is impossible for them to reach a place of safety in any other way,” Fr. Cassar added.
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