Malta’s policy of mandatory detention of irregular migrants continued to be heavily criticised, with UNHCR stating that it is unlawful and arbitrary and there is no evidence that it acts as a deterrent.

The Council of Europe’s anti-racism body also called on Malta to reform detention practices, including by providing for non-custodial alternatives to detention.

Meanwhile, the Maltese government came under criticism for announcing that it plans to appeal two recent European Court of Human Rights Rulings on its detention of migrants.