All minors who enter the country are regarded as unaccompanied minor if they are without parent(s) or legal representative. Guardianship for unaccompanied minors does not really exist in Maltese law. Unaccompanied minors are placed under the care and custody of the Family and Social Solidarity Minister by virtue of a Care Order issued not by the courts but by the Ministry itself following an establishing of minor age. This care and custody is implemented and monitored by the Children and Young Persons Advisory Board. This is an administrative panel of experts in child issues.
The Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS) is the reception agency, which also provides the social workers who, on a day to day basis, take care of the unaccompanied minor and implement the care plan monitored by the Board.
A lawyer is not being appointed for an unaccompanied minor. NGOs provide information on the asylum procedure and offer to support individual claims. This is not a formal arrangement and it’s only possible when resources are available.
Advise for guardians
Guardian in another EU Member State who assist an unaccompanied minor with a family member or relative in Malta, are advised to find out whether the family member or relative is accommodated in a facility under the responsibility of AWAS. If so, they could be approached to assess the situation of the family member or relative. In case a family member or relative is outside the facility of AWAS, because they are in possession of a permit and their own housing, it is recommended to contact NGOs in order to be assisted further on the necessary contacts.
Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity
Valletta VLT 1101, Malta
Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS)
Belt is-Sebh, Floriana
72, Market Street
FRN1080 Floriana, Malta
Aditus Foundation (NGO)
149, Old Mint Street
Valletta VLT1513, Malta
Jesuit Refugee Service Malta (NGO)
50 Triq ix-Xorrox