Illegal immigration constitutes a serious concern for Malta which, at 1200 persons per square kilometre, represents one of the highest population densities in the world.
Malta retains a strong and long standing commitment to help those who are in need of protection also in line with its millennial tradition of hospitality. Malta will respect its moral and legal duty to protect genuine refugees as well as those entitled to humanitarian assistance as provided by international humanitarian law. However, the rights of such groups must not be undermined by criminal international organisations which exploit their plight for illegal financial gain.
Malta will continue to raise international awareness in the European Union and its Member States and in the international community as a whole, on illegal immigration and human trafficking and smuggling. It shall continue to call for effective action to combat illegal immigration in a holistic and thorough manner.
Malta will continue to work towards resettlement of refugees and persons with valid humanitarian status and the repatriation and reintegration of illegal immigrants. Malta will also continue to support development action in the countries of origin, and increased development assistance for those countries that honour their international obligations to accept back illegal immigrants. In the context of the European Union, Malta will continue to seek more rigorous application of Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement and related articles. Malta will also continue to seek increased policing of borders.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall continue to pursue a proactive approach bilaterally and within the various Mediterranean fora in order to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with its Southern Mediterranean partners on this issue. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will promote the need for countries of origin and transit to bear their responsibilities and to uphold the rule of law by a vigorous pursuit of clamping down on international criminal activity in human trafficking and smuggling. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will seek more active diplomatic engagement with countries from which illegal immigrants transit or originate.