SOS MEDITERRANEE is an initiative of European citizens (Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Greece…) who mobilize skills in the maritime, humanitarian, medical, legal, research fields, and others. The association has set itself the mission of rescuing the migrants in distress and testifying about their situation. To this end, it sets up rescue vessels in order to operate on the various crossing routes of the Mediterranean.
The association has gradually built the conditions for launching rescue operations in the winter of 2015-2016, using a first operational boat in southern Italy between Sicily, Lampedusa and Libya.
The aims: rescue, protect, testify
>> Save human lives
- By rescuing vessels in distress
- By providing emergency care on rescue vessels
>> Protect and support
- By providing support toward the information and assistance facilities to the migrants existing on European territory
- Through listening and psychological support on land
>> Testify on the realities and faces of migration
- To inform European public opinion about the situation of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, humanize migrants ashore and restore missing persons’ dignity
- To inform migrants in their countries of origin and/or transit, on the reality of the conditions of access to Europe and the dangers to they expose to
- To demonstrate the consequences of the closure of European borders to institutions, national governments and European public opinion.
National associations and a european network
SOS MEDITERRANEE is structured around national associations with an identical mandate, constituted as a European network. The first associations of the network were created in May 2015 in Germany and June 2015 in France. It was necessary to gather human and financial resources, other national associations will be created to relay this mobilization within the member countries of the European Union. Beyond setting up maritime operations, the aim of each national association is to mobilize citizens around the project, to develop fundraising, testimony and advocacy.
Prospective and Cooperation brings support to this initiative to:
- help in the structuring of SOS MEDITERRANEE association in France and to set up a European coordination,
- mobilize networks of European, Mediterranean and African actors in support of the initiative (institutions, NGOs);
- participate in the construction and dissemination of advocacy for the respect of the rights of refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean Sea
- participate in raising awareness of public opinion in France and in the countries of the Southern Mediterranean,
- set up the evaluation of actions,
- ease the development of research projects in the home countries of migrants in partnership with university laboratories.