SOS Méditerranée at Stopover in Sète: the essential solidarity of seafarers

SOS Méditerranée at Stopover in Sète: the essential solidarity of seafarers

Sos Méditerranée se mobilise au quotidien pour porter secours aux réfugiés en mer. MAXPPP – DANIELE CAROTTI

The humanitarian association Sos Méditerranée, which saves refugees shipwrecked at sea, will present its actions during the Escale à Sète festival, from March 26 to April 1.

Stopover in Sète would not take on its full meaning if the event did not also evoke the solidarity of seafarers. Especially at a time when migratory corridors, particularly between Libya and Italy, continue to transform the Mediterranean into a cemetery.

Also, the citizen association Sos Méditerranée, which mobilizes on a daily basis to help refugees at sea, as maritime law requires, will once again be present at Escale à Sète. The 100 volunteers from the Hérault branch will take turns on the dedicated stand (Escale Solidarité quai du Maroc in Sète) during the seven days of the event (from March 26 to April 1) to detail these humanitarian missions. In addition, an exhibition of 15 photo panels will provide a better understanding of their assistance work.

Law of the sea meetings to come

With, as a highlight, the day of Saturday March 30, dedicated to this theme of solidarity among seafarers, where the general director and co-founder of Sos Méditerranée will be present, in particular, , Sophie Beau for discussions (at Géode quai du Maroc, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.).

In interaction with the Parliament of the Sea and the Occitanie Region, which supports the NGO morally and financially, Escale à Sète will also be an opportunity to discuss the launch of the first conferences in the region on the law of Wed which are to take place on October 17, 2024 in Montpellier. And a dedicated Parliamentary forum has just appeared to justify the need for such a meeting in order to denounce " the unbearable barbarity on the road deadliest migration in the world" which takes place at the gates of Europe.
"The year 2023 was the deadliest in a long time with 2,500 victims. In the current context, it is essential to ask European States for the unrestricted application of maritime conventions organizing rescue in international waters", recalls Didier Codorniou, president of parliament de la mer, co-signer of this forum with its two vice-presidents, Geneviève Tapié and Jean-Pierre Lacan.

Sos Méditerranée is hampered by the Italian authorities

Because the current situation in the Mediterranean is catastrophic: these terrible human tragedies are compounded by the difficulty for NGOs present in the area to exercise their right to relief. They are hampered by the Italian authorities. Sos Méditerranée was thus kept away from the sinking areas for more than 60 days while traveling "2,800 unnecessary km and spending 650,000 € additional fuel costs". Added to this are the arbitrary decisions of administrative detention of ambulance ships which have suffered some 600 days of paralysis without being able to save the castaways from these makeshift boats.

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