Photo Credit: SOS MEDITERRANEE rescuers help a Somali woman off their rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) so she can board the Aquarius. October 11, 2017 ANTHONY JEAN/SOS MEDITERRANEE
It has been almost 3 years since thousands of men and women began crossing the Mediterranean Sea searching for a better future. According to Human Rights Watch, it is the deadliest migratory journey in the world, with over 15,000 deaths recorded since 2014. In 2017 alone, almost 3,000 people have gone missing or lost their lives trying to reach the other side of the Mediterranean. The fact that thousands of people are willing to risk their lives is proof of their desperation and their determination to flee from famine, repression, harmful traditional practices or other hardships at home.
In this report, Judith Sunderland, Associate Director for Europe and Central Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, talks about her journey last October aboard SOS Mediterranean’s ship Aquarius.
“For 10 long days in early October, I wondered whether we would make any rescues. I didn’t want people to be at risk, I just wanted our ship to be there if they needed it. Then the Aquarius rescued 606 people in 36 hours.”
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