Reports & Publications

Reports and publications by JRS Malta


Struggling to survive: An investigation into poverty among asylum seekers in Malta

The main aim of this research was to shed light on the issue of poverty among the asylum-seeking population in Malta and the potentialimpact of inadequate income and resources on the individual’s well-being and daily life. To this end, this quantitative study recruited a sample of 75 households, covering 125 asylum seekers residing in Malta, to investigate the risk-of-poverty rate and the relationship between poverty and psychological well-being and perceived physical health in this population.

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Make a Difference: A Case for Support

JRS Malta is currently running several projects which require a considerable amount of resources in order to make them sustainable. Over the two-year period 2016-2017, we are determined to achieve a set of goals which will not only help refugees but also benefit the wellbeing of local communities. With your support we will be able to make this happen! 

Read through our latest publication which gives an overview of the different ways in which JRS Malta is responding to the needs of refugees.

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No Giving Up: stories of unfinished journeys

A JRS Malta publication on the experience of Somali women seeking asylum in Malta.

Through this publication the women voice their fears, but also their dreams. They speak about the reasons they left their country and the challenges they faced throughout their journey, which is as yet unfinished. They make a strong appeal to our solidarity as they persist in their search for protection and for a life of freedom and dignity.

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Care in Captivity? Analysis of the provision of care for detained asylum seekers experiencing mental health problems

Over the years, close contact with individuals held for months in detention centres has made JRS acutely aware of the psychological difficulties detainees face, and the myriad adverse mental health consequences they suffer. In the course of their work JRS team members have witnessed first-hand the efforts made by individuals in the national health service to provide appropriate and dignified care, and tirelessly strive for change in a field fraught with challenges and complexity. However, having also witnessed the acute levels of distress experienced over a long period of time by a considerable number of detainees, the Jesuit Refugee Service is also concerned about the overall efficacy of mental health services for this population.

JRS therefore set out to understand the current situation in greater depth by looking at all the relevant information pertaining to mental health care provision gathered over a 6 month period from our work with these individuals in detention. The report Care in Captivity? aims to analyse how the needs of detainees with mental health problems are currently being met, evaluate the extent to which these vulnerable individuals receive the care and protection they need, and provide recommendations on how to improve the current state of affairs. 

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Beyond Imagination

In 2009, JRS Malta published a booklet about life for asylum seekers in Libya, entitled Do they know? At the time, Gaddafi was still in power and asylum seekers and migrants were subjected to arbitrary detention, torture and xenophobic violence.

By all accounts, the post-Gaddafi era is even worse. Since Malta has very actively considered push-backs, JRS decided to issue Beyond Imagination, a publication about life for asylum seekers in Libya today, so that the consequences of returning anyone there will be clear to all.

Beyond Imagination focuses specifically on asylum seekers from Eastern Africa, bringing you the voices of Eritrean and Somali asylum seekers who passed through Libya in 2012 and 2013 and who were interviewed after their arrival in Malta.

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One of Us - Towards full integration of refugee children in schools

Promoting the Integration of Refugee Children in Maltese Schools through Awareness Raising, a project which was partly funded by the European Refugee Fund (2011) and the Children’s Foundation of the Malta Financial Services Authority, set out to obtain a deeper understanding of the experience of refugee children within local schools.

The aim of the project, implemented between July 2012 and June 2013, was to improve the overall integration of refugee children within the Maltese education system, by raising awareness of their experience and advocating for better support and a coherent set of national and well-monitored policies.

To this end, research was conducted with a view to gaining a deeper understanding of what refugee children, their families and their teachers are currently experiencing within the Maltese State school environment, as well as of what is being done to promote integration. One of us, which outlines the research findings, seeks to highlight good practice and specific areas of concern, and makes a number of recommendations for improvement. 

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Protection Interrupted. The Dublin Regulation's Impact on Asylum Seekers' Proection

This report was prepared by JRS Malta as part of the Dublin's Impact on Asylum Seekers' Protection project. The objective of this project, coordinated by JRS Europe, was to study the level of fundamental rights protection asylum seekers have access to under the Dublin Regulation and to examine the implementation of the Regulation at national level. This took place through listening to migrants who have experienced Dublin procedures, by obtaining information from the authorities involved in implementation at national level and from practitioners at JRS Malta engaged in providing legal and psychosocial assistance to migrants within Dublin procedures. 

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Bridging Borders. Report on a project to provide sheltered accommodation and psychosocial support to vulnerable asylum seekers to whom such services are not otherwise available

Bettween July 2011 and June 2012 JRS Malta implemented a project, funded by the European Refugee Fund 2010, local charities Istrina 2010 and Voices, and other benefactors. The project aimed to provide sheltered accommodation and pyschosocial support to vulnerable aslyum seekers to whom such services are not readily available. The primary aim of the project was to increase JRS' capacity to respond to the growing number of requests for assistance and to consolidate the services being provided both by the organization and by other stakeholders, with a view to maximising available resources and ensuring that all who need support and services are able to obtain them.

Our work in this area brought home the reality that mainstream health and social welfare services are often inaccessible to migrants and asylum seekers, in spite of the good intentions of many of the professionals working within these structures. Throughout the project, staff worked to facilitate asylum seekers' access to mainstream services, by assisting beneficiaries to obtain services and by providing information, assistance and support to mainstream service providers who were encountering difficulties when working with asylum seekers. 

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Becoming Vulnerable in Detention (National Report Malta)

This report was prepared by JRS Malta as part of the DEVAS project. The objective of this project, which was coordinated by JRS Europe, was to investigate and analyse vulnerability in detained asylum seekers and irregular migrants: both the way in which pre-existing vulnerable groups cope with detention and the way in which detention can exacerbate vulnerability in persons who are otherwise healthy. As part of this project, research was conducted in 23 EU Member States. 

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ANDES - A report on a pilot study on destitution amongst the migrant community in Malta

This report (March 2010) contains the main findings of a qualitative pilot study undertaken by the Advocacy Network on Destitute Forced Migrants in order to gain a clearer picture of the situation of destitute migrants, or migrants at risk of destitution in Malta. It explores the correlation between current law and policy and the situation of destitute migrants in Malta. 

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Issues of Concern

This document contains relevant background information on a number of issues of concer, which are of particular relevance to this population: sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), including: rape, domestice violence, and female genital mutilation (FGM); human trafficking; mental health and substance misuse. This information was included in a diary, published as part of the JRS Malta Project to provide sheltered accomodation and psychosocial support to vulnerable asylum seekers to whom such services are not otherwise available. The project, which was co-financed by ERF 2010, was implemented between June 2011 and June 2012. 

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Keeping your Mind Healthy. A Self-help Guide to Pyschological help

In 2011, a team of psychologists from JRS conducted a series of group sessions in detention with the aim of helping detainees cope with the stressful situations they live in detention. This self-help guide is the result of the issues which came up during these group sessions and is directed primarily towards detained asylum-seekers. It aims to help asylum-seekers recognize the most common psychological difficulties experienced in detention, help them understand what causes these difficulties, as well as suggesting some ways in which they can cope with these difficulties and feel better. 

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The publication is also available in Somali, Amharic and French. Send us an email on info@jrsmalta.org if you are interested in getting a copy. 

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Social Security in Malta. A Guidebook

As part of its Legal Assitance for Integration project JRS Malta published a guidebook intended to equip organizations, working in the field of migration in Malta, with the necessary knowledge to assist their client group in accessing social security benefits. The provision of social security benefits can be regarded as essential for the successful integration of migrants into Maltese society. The published document is meant to serve as a guide to the national social security regime in so far as those benefits which are, or may be, of relevance to the migrant population in Malta are concerned. 

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Do They Know? 

Do They Know? is a collection of testimonies from asylum seekers who were granted protection in Malta, highlighting their experiences of life there.

Published by JRS Malta to coincide with International Migrants' Day 2009, the testimonies reveal the unthinkable hardship many migrants face in Libya, which is almost an obligatory transit country for sub-Saharan Africans fleeing widespread violence and human rights violations in their countries.

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Try to Understand

Between 2002-2009, Malta received an increasingly large number of migrants who departed from Libyan shores in a desperate bid to reach the European mainland.

All, including women and children, were detained on arrival for illegal entry in terms of the Immigration Act; most applied for asylum and whether this was granted or otherwise, most were eventually released to live in the community.

In 2007, UNHCR decided to focus on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in response to a felt lack of awareness of the problem in policy and practice. A project was set up in Malta to provide hitherto insufficient psychosocial and legal services to those affected by SGBV, and to prevent further incidents occurring in immigration detention centres or in the community. JRS Malta implemented the UNHCR-funded project entitled SGBV Prevention and Response in the Context of Mediterranean Arrivals between April and December 2007. 

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Id-Detenzjoni Għoddha Qerditli Ruħi

This publication conveys in a few words interspersed with images the feelings of hopelessness, uncertainty, rejection and deep inner pain which asylum seekers go through while held for several months in administrative detention.

The simple booklet would like to engage the reader with the asylum seeker as a person, often traumatised by previous events in the country of origin or transit and newly subjected to a harsh experience that gnaws away at the fibre of one's humanity. [Printed version only. Out of print]

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Dinja Waħda Ferħana

This publication introduces secondary school students to people from different countries of origin now living in Malta. The booklet contains basic information about a number of different countries and regions, cultures and traditions, and something unique which each person featured contributes to making this small publication a source of intercultural awareness.
The aim of Dinja Waħda Ferħana is to bridge cultural differences and show that every person, of whatever race or nationality, has the same fundamental human rights which are to be respected by all. Published by JRS Malta as part of the campaign Saħħa fid-Diversità, jointly implemented by Jesuit Refugee Service and the National Commission for People with Disability. [Printed version only. Out of print.]

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