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Title: 'Less than human': the detention of irregular immigrants in Malta
Authors: DeBono, Daniela
Keywords: Malta -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy
Malta -- Emigration and immigration
Human rights
Emigration and immigration law -- Malta
Immigrants -- Civil rights -- Malta
Immigrants -- Social conditions -- Malta
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Sage
Citation: DeBono, D. (2013). ‘Less than human’: the detention of irregular immigrants in Malta. Race & Class, 55(2), 60-81.
Abstract: The treatment of irregular migrants in Malta is problematic from a human rights perspective, for it contravenes the principle of universalism that is intrinsic to human rights philosophy. Malta is unusual among states in that it imposes mandatory detention on such migrants, including asylum seekers. Based on a reading of foundational documents of the modern human rights movement, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the article argues that the principle of human dignity underlies the concept of human rights, but that the bypassing of this principle enables the Maltese government to continue its detention policies while claiming to uphold human rights. It is an approach contested by NGOs in this area, which point to the dehumanising effects of detention on migrants. It is not just the appalling conditions in which migrants are held that renders their lives miserable, but the dehumanisation produced by detention itself.
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCPSEI

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