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Item 6 Consideration of UPR Reports – Adoption of the Report of the UPR Working Group on Malta
September 23, 2009

Statement by the Delegation of the United States
Delivered by Anna Chambers

Geneva, September 23, 2009

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States recognizes the many challenges Malta faces as it tries to deal with a large number of seaborne irregular migrants, given the country’s small size and large area of responsibility. We welcome Malta’s commitment to continue honoring its international obligations with respect to refugees and persons who qualify for humanitarian protection. We commend the government’s decision to establish a detention service with suitably trained civilians as managers who can help address the humanitarian needs of irregular migrants, and who can work with NGOs to facilitate the provision of legal advice and services. We also join others in welcoming Malta’s cooperation with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.

In addition, we recognize that the irregular migrants from African countries who arrive in Malta en route to Italy and elsewhere may be vulnerable to human trafficking. We urge Malta to increase its efforts to eradicate trafficking in persons, including implementing steps to protect victims and to vigorously prosecute and convict trafficking offenders.

Thank you, Mr. President.