2,437 people were illegally in Malta in 2013
Over the past year, 2,437 people were illegally in Malta. This means that there was an increase of 8% over the previous year. Out of these, 82.8% were African and 13.6% were Asian - mostly from Syria and Palestine.
In a statement issued by the National Statistics Office on the occasion of Refugee Day, it stated that 67.2% of those who were illegally in Malta last year were between the ages of 18 and 34 years. 460 people were sent back to their countries.
Last year there were 299 people who were denied entry after arriving at Malta International Airport. More than half of them were stopped due to the fact that they did not have sufficient means to support themselves. There were also 19.1% who did not have a valid visa or a residence permit, while 15.4% had no justified purpose to live in Malta.
During 2013 there were 428 people which after receiving asylum in Malta started a new life in another country, eight more people when compared to the previous year. There were also 55 other people who have benefited from assisted voluntary return programs.
In the statement it also said that last year around 24 boats carrying 2,008 illegal immigrants arrived in Malta. This was the largest number when compare to previous years indicating an increase of 6.2% over 2012. Nearly half of illegal immigrants arrived in July. The overwhelming majority were African immigrants, 0.8% to 49 Somali and 25% are from Eritrea.
During 2013 the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees received 2,246 new application for international protection, which means an increase of 8% over the previous year. More than half of these applications were men between the ages of 18 and 34 years and in the vast majority of cases the applicants were African.
The same office last year processed 1,905 applications, of which 84.3% were positive decision while the rest were rejected. The largest number of applicants granted asylum were coming from Somalia and Eritrea.
During 2013 there was also a reduction of 14.2% in the number of people living in open centres and other places institutionalized. The largest amount of people (72.1%) were living at Hal Far, while 23.5% were living in Marsa. More than three-quarters of residents were male.