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Migrant search and rescue in the Mediterranean - State of play

antomar / Adobestock 2024
Nearly 30,000 people have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea to seek sanctuary or a better life in Europe since 2014. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights continues to outline the struggles civil society organisations face rescuing people in distress in the Mediterranean.

The latest FRA update shows overall rescue capacity at sea remains constrained and inadequate. Out of 20 non-governmental organisations’ (NGO) search and rescue boats and planes in the region, only 11 were operational at the end of May 2024.

The update also shows that, since July 2023, authorities have initiated 18 new legal cases affecting NGO search and rescue operations. This makes it a total of 81 legal proceedings since 2017. Most cases are against vessels. One out of five are criminal proceedings against NGO staff or crew members.

This latest update provides a snapshot of developments from 2018 until 1 June 2024, including an overview of open and closed legal proceedings.