43 boat landings recorded in 2019

92% increase in applications for international protection

During 2019, 43 boat landings, including persons air lifted from sea, were recorded in Malta with 3,405 persons being brought to Maltese shores. This means an increase of 1,960 persons when compared to the previous year.

This data was published by the National Statistics Office, NSO on Friday to mark the World Refugee Day celebrated on June 20th.

According to statistics, almost 93% of the persons were brought to shore were citizens of African countries while the remaining 7% were citizens of Asian countries.

The highest number of persons on board were recorded during August with a total of 662 individuals, followed by arrivals in June and September, with 599 and 508 individuals respectively.

The data also shows that a total of 4,090 applications were lodged with the Office of the Refugee Commissioner during 2019, an increase of 92% over the previous year.

When analysing asylum applications in the context of the European Union, Malta ranked second after Cyprus when considering applicants per million population.

Most of the applicants were citizens of African countries, 80% with the largest proportion of the total applicants being Sudanese citizens, 26%.  A further 11% and 6% were Syrian and Libyan citizens respectively. Also, a large proportion of the applicants, 71% were males aged between 18 and 34.

During 2019, the Office of the Refugee Commissioner processed a total of 1,040 applications: 39% were granted a positive decision at first instance, while the remaining applications were rejected.

The majority of the applicants who were granted a form of protection status during the year under review were citizens of Asian countries, 72%, while a further 27% were citizens of African countries.

Of all the applicants granted a form of protection status during 2019, 70% were of Syrian citizenship followed by 15% who were of Libyan citizenship.

According to the data published by the NSO, an increase of 38% was registered in the resident population of open centres and other institutional households when compared to the preceding year.

Just over three-quarters of these persons were residing in Ħal Far.

During the year under review, 619 persons were relocated from Malta to another EU+ country, while a further 16 third-country nationals were resettled to countries outside the EU+ group of countries.

The majority of the persons relocated were shared between Germany and France, hosting 42% and 41% of persons respectively.