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Title: “Human rights for the Maltese first” : irregular migration, human rights and the need for a cosmopolitan approach
Other Titles: Migration and asylum in Malta and the European Union : rights and realities
Authors: DeBono, Daniela
Keywords: Human rights -- Malta
Refugees -- Malta
Illegal aliens -- Malta
European Union countries -- Emigration and immigration -- Case studies
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Malta University Press
Citation: DeBono, D. (2012). “Human rights for the Maltese first” : irregular migration, human rights and the need for a cosmopolitan approach. In P. G. Xuereb (Ed.), Migration and Asylum in Malta and the European Union: Rights and Realities (pp. 257-275). Msida: Malta University Press.
Abstract: In 2002 Malta, a small island state in the Mediterranean, witnessed a sudden increase in the arrivals of irregular immigrants. The vast majority of migrants arrived by boat from Libya and almost all were directed towards Italy (mainland Europe). The immigrants originate from 47 different countries. In tandem with this social development, Malta was severely reproached by authoritative human rights organisations for not meeting its obligations to safeguard the human rights of the irregular immigrants. This widespread criticism, which resonates with similar situations in Europe, stands in contrast to the relatively good, almost untainted, reputation of respect to human rights that Malta had so far enjoyed. The migrationist Russell King, using the case study of Malta, shows that in the contemporary era characterised by globalisation and increased mobility, small islands have a particularly uneasy relationship with migration- "being good at emigration... but bad at coping with new immigration". This echoes the notion of ambivalence which the anthropologist Jon Mitchell aptly observed in Maltese political culture following a period of fieldwork in the late 1990s. Understandably Malta faced with such an unpredicted increase of irregular migrants needed time to set up a proper migration management system. This Chapter looks at these attempts from the point of view of human rights.
ISBN: 9789990945652
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtAS

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