Laurin Schmidt

Between 2015 and 2019, over 20,000 people died while trying to cross the Mediterranean.
The vast majority of them were attempting to flee Libya to go to Italy,
which made the central Mediterranean the world’s deadliest migration route.

SOS MEDITERRANEE was created in 2015 based on a movement of European citizens who had decided to act
in the face of this tragedy of recurrent disasters at sea.
Convinced that it is not acceptable to leave thousands of people drown before our eyes at the gates of Europe,
the Association continues its fight to save lives at sea,
protect survivors and testify to the public opinion on this tragedy.

© Laurin Schmidt

The project

Thanks to an exceptional mobilization of the European civil society, SOS MEDITERRANEE conducts rescue operations in international waters off the Libyan coasts. Associations have been created in France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland to support this tremendous momentum of solidarity which keeps getting stronger.

In permanent liaison with the competent sea rescue authorities, the search and rescue teams of SOS MEDITERRANEE and Doctors Without Borders, the medical partner on board, have thus been able to rescue, gather and treat nearly 30,000 people since the beginning of operations in February 2016.

Among them, 23% of the survivors were minors, of whom more than 80% were unaccompanied.

Our engagement

The rent for a rescue vessel which is able to navigate in both winter and summer, its crew, fuel oil, and all the necessary equipment to take care of the survivors generate very heavy costs.

Funded at more than 90% by private donations, SOS MEDITERRANEE calls for support and the mobilization of all the stakeholders of civil society: individuals, NGOs, foundations, philanthropists, businesses and public authorities, in order to be able to continue its rescue mission.

Since 2018, our support totaled 160,000 €.

© Laurin Schmidt
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