A study by the UNHCR Malta office revealed that half of the 400 respondents have never spoken to a refugee or migrant in their lives. However the same respondents said that they don’t see immigration as a threat to Maltese way of life.
The study published today is the result of a survey on perceptions in Malta regarding refugees and migrants. The report presents a picture of how refugees are viewed and received by the population in Malta. It describes to what extent interaction is happening at the local level and it seeks to assess the general public's awareness about key obstacles to integration.
The results from the survey reveal that there are many differing views on these issues within the Maltese population.
Primarily the majority of respondents disagreed with the statement that high levels of immigration constitute a threat to the way of life in Malta.
But more than two thirds of people surveyed say that they do not know any refugees or migrants personally, and almost half of those interviewed have never spoken with any such individuals.
At the same time most people say that they are well aware of discrimination affecting those who are trying to settle in Malta.
For this survey 400 randomly selected respondents living in Malta and Gozo were interviewed face to face in their own localities. The interviews took place during January 2012 by an independent research company, on behalf of UNHCR Malta.
The full report may be downloaded from the UNHCR Malta website www.unhcr.org.mt