Signing the UN conventions on statelessness risks absorbing Malta’s human resources and choking up the system with numerous irregular migrants saying they are stateless, according to Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela.

The government is analysing the provisions of the 1954 and 1961 UN conventions on stateless people before deciding whether Malta should become a signatory to one or both.

Malta is among only four EU member states (together with Cyprus, Estonia and Poland) that are not party to either of the UN statelessness conventions.

“If we had a system in place to assess statelessness, all undocumented migrants could potentially declare themselves to be stateless,” Mr Abela told the Times of Malta.

“You could have scenarios where certain migrants would already have applied for inter­national protection and, having been denied it and having been issued with a return decision, they might decide to latch on to this.

“They would know that the chances of a successful application are minimal but would decide to give it a go anyway,” Mr Abela said.  

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