Children who come to Malta to seek asylum through the European Union are being detained in adult prisons for months at a time unless they can prove that they are children. Anyone who doesn't look like a child (meaning anyone who looks older than twelve-years-old) and that is unaccompanied, is at risk.
These children generally leave conflicted countries, and often have lost both of their parents or one. They are unable to travel with identification information like birth certificates.
Detained children experience violence in detention and are taken advantage of because of their ages. They have no access to necessary services or education. They suffer higher rates of mental illness, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression, made worse by symptoms they may have had before from the traumatic events that led them to Malta.
Please tell the Malta government to treat these individuals as children until it is proven otherwise and to keep them out of adult detention facilities!
Dear Malta Government,
A substantial amount of migrant children come through Malta each year to seek asylum through the European Union. Many of these children have come from countries in conflicts, and have lost both parents or one.
Unfortunately, Malta has been treating these children as adults until proven otherwise, sticking them in adult detention centers where they face violence, have no access to education or other necessary services, and experience high rates of mental illness.
Please treat these people like children until proven otherwise and keep them out of adult detention facilities.
Thank you for your time.