SOS Mediterranean Entitled to an Alternative Nobel Prize

SOS Mediterranean Entitled to an Alternative Nobel Prize

SOS Mediterranean, a refugee rescue group, is one of the 

winners of the 2023 Right Livelihood Award.

SOS Mediterranean, a non-governmental European organization providing assistance in maritime emergencies, has been awarded the Right Livelihood Award for its life-saving and search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea. Every year, thousands of people die trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea with the dream of reaching Europe. According to estimates by the United Nations Refugee Agency, more than 2,400 people tried to cross the Mediterranean in the hope of reaching Europe in 2022 alone. But the exact number is still uncertain. According to SOS Mediterranean, the organization has rescued more than 36,000 people in emergencies at sea since the start of its operations.

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Humanitarian Crisis and the Role of this Organization

On Thursday, September 28, the NGO was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, dubbed the "Alternative to the Nobel Prize." This award is given annually to individuals and organizations who are committed to building a peaceful, sustainable and just world. SOS was also awarded the prize because it continues to remind European institutions and the public about the plight and problems of illegal immigrants.

Ocean Viking

It was the lack of attention and inaction of these European institutions towards this humanitarian crisis that led to the establishment of SOS Mediterranean in 2015. The founders of this organization are German captain Klaus Fogel and French anthropologist Sophie Bayou. The organization bills itself as the "European Humanitarian Organization for Rescue in the Mediterranean". The ship "Ocean Viking" has been sailing the Mediterranean since 2019 to participate in the activities of this aid organization.

The Mediterranean and the flood of illegal immigrants

Recall that the Italian government recently declared a state of emergency to deal with a "significant increase" in the number of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean. The state of emergency will last for about six months, while five million euros were announced to deal with the migrant crisis in the south of Italy.  This money will be given as funds for the establishment of new reception centers for immigrants. Meanwhile, according to the International Organization for Migration, since the beginning of 2023, more than seven thousand migrants have been stopped during sea travel.

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