• Gine Skov
4. semester, Global Refugee Studies, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The focus of this thesis is on the refugee situation in the small Mediterranean state of Malta and why it has become as threshold. More specifically, it examines the paradox of why recognised sub-Saharan refugees have the aspiration for leaving Malta, when they have in fact been granted protection, as well as how such a position of being inbetween is characterised. Many choose to travel to other places within the European Union, but such secondary movement within Europe has consequences, namely transferral back to the responsible Member State. Thus, this thesis investigates what happens as a result of the transferral back to Malta. It may also prove helpful in providing an overview of the Maltese reception and asylum system, however this is not the main research objective.

The work of Henrik Vigh, Victor Turner, Hannah Arendt and Giorgio Agamben serve as the point of departure in understanding the in-between situation I have found refugees in Malta to be in. Their thoughts are applied in the analysis of the causes and effects of being caught in-between. They can be viewed as being in-between social realities, sovereigns or suspended structures.

The present case study is based on empirical data produced in the Fall of 2012, where I conducted qualitative interviews with persons belonging to the following three groups: 1) Beneficiaries of protection who had experienced transfer back to Malta, 2) Non-governmental organisations and one international organisation working with refugees in Malta, and 3) Maltese authorities involved in dealing with decisions related to refugees. The main focus throughout is the social and structural reality of the refugees. Whereas, the two latter groups are applied to vary the picture and understand the positioning and categorisation the refugees encounter.

The links explaining the paradox are found to be complex and involve different aspects ranging from inequality in rights, citizenship and policies to conditions, communities, lack of possibilities for achieving ‘a full life’ and a firm belief that life chances are better elsewhere. The refugees are granted a set of rights, but on the basis of a provisional subsidiary protection status and without the possibility of making their influence clear and are simultaneously included and excluded. Hence, the refugees find themselves in transit, leading to secondary movement. Upon transferral, which is perceived as a form of forced migration, subordination is reinforced. The consequence is the creation of a group of people who are constantly in-between. This thesis aims to investigate exactly that space.
Udgivelsesdato1 apr. 2013
Antal sider72
ID: 75085424