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Saving Lives at Sea

A Two-week Rescue Mission with SOS Mediterranee

Men dangle their legs off the side of an overcrowded rubber dinghy in international waters off Libya. October 11, 2017.


The Mediterranean is the deadliest migration route in the world, with over 15,000 deaths recorded since 2014. That so many are willing to risk their lives is a testament to their desperation and determination to escape persecution, violence, and hardship at home. Human Rights Watch researcher Judith Sunderland spent two weeks on board the rescue ship Aquarius, patrolling international waters near Libya, and talked with the crew about the European Union (EU) policies that prompted this Mediterranean mission.