'Less than human': the detention of irregular immigrants in Malta

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'Less than human': the detention of irregular immigrants in Malta


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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title 'Less than human': the detention of irregular immigrants in Malta
Author DeBono, Daniela
Date 2013
English abstract
The treatment of irregular migrants in Malta is problematic from a human rights perspective, for it contravenes the principle of universalism that is intrinsic to human rights philosophy. Malta is unusual among states in that it imposes mandatory detention on such migrants, including asylum seekers. Based on a reading of foundational documents of the modern human rights movement, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the article argues that the principle of human dignity underlies the concept of human rights, but that the bypassing of this principle enables the Maltese government to continue its detention policies while claiming to uphold human rights. It is an approach contested by NGOs in this area, which point to the dehumanising effects of detention on migrants. It is not just the appalling conditions in which migrants are held that renders their lives miserable, but the dehumanisation produced by detention itself.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0306396813497880 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Publisher Sage
Host/Issue Race and Class;2
Volume 55
ISSN 0306-3968
Language eng (iso)
Subject asylum seekers
human dignity
human rights
immigration policy
irregular migrants
migrant detention centres
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::LAW/JURISPRUDENCE
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/16075 Permalink to this page

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