The updated AIDA report on Malta documents a decrease in the use of detention of asylum seekers in 2015. This is due to the fact that, following an informal agreement between Italy and Malta, only 99 persons reached Malta by boat this year, marking a sharp decrease in arrivals compared to the past years. The majority of asylum seekers in Malta for 2015 arrived regularly by plane and as a consequence have not been detained. As a result, Lyster Barracks, one of the detention facilities, was closed in mid-2015 as no persons were detained there.
Moreover, an Initial Reception Centre with a capacity of 200 places was set up as in early 2015 for unaccompanied children and children accompanied by up to two family members. This centre is aimed to avoid the detention of minors, yet it is unclear whether the conditions of stay in that centre would amount to deprivation of liberty in practice.
The report, written by aditus foundation and Jesuit Refugee Service Malta, also refers to amendments to the asylum procedure entering into force as of March 2015. The amended Refugees Act has aligned the grounds for applying the accelerated procedure with the recast Asylum Procedures Directive, although no claims have been processed under the accelerated procedure since the beginning of the year.