Safe third country



JRS Malta

A safe third country means a country of which the applicant is not a national or citizen and where:

(a)   Life and liberty are not threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion;

(b)   The principle of non-refoulement in accordance with the Convention is respected;

(c)   The prohibition of removal, in violation of the right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as laid down in international law, is respected;

(d)   The possibility exists to request refugee status and, if found to be a refugee, to receive protection in accordance with the Convention;

(e)   The applicant had resided in the safe country of origin for a meaningful period of time prior to his entry into Malta.

Under the Refugees Act, the concept of safe third country can be used to determine if an application should be considered under the accelerated procedure as manifestly unfounded or considered inadmissible.1 In practice, the Refugee Commissioner confirmed that the concept of “safe third country” has never been applied and thus, there is no list of safe third countries available.2

  • 1. Articles 8(1)(g), 23 and 24(1)(c) Refugees Act.
  • 2. Information provided by RefCom, August 2016.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti