As a non-governmental search and rescue organisation, we strive for a world in which the human rights of all are respected. SOS Humanity stands for humanity at sea and on land. We are committed to ensuring that no person drowns while fleeing at sea and that everyone is treated with dignity.
Seven years of rescuing, protecting and testifying
Founded 2015 in Berlin as SOS Mediterranee Germany we have been operating in the central Mediterranean Sea since 2016. During this time, as part of the european SOS Mediterranee network, we have rescued 34,631 children, women and men from drowning and have brought them to a place of safety. As part of the European network, we operated two rescue ships: first the Aquarius until the end of 2018 and later on the Ocean Viking from 2019 to the end of 2021.
As of January 1st, 2022, we continue our work as SOS Humanity – independent from the previous european network – and send our own ship to the Mediterranean Sea in August 2022.
With our rescue ship Humanity 1 we want to save even more people. Additionally, we also seek to highlight the consequences of the EU’s inhumane policy of closed borders.
With our ship Humanity 1 we will rescue people fleeing from distress in the central Mediterranean Sea starting August 2022.
We provide the rescued people on board with clothing and food, as well as medical and psychological care. Furthermore, we identify special protection needs and communicate them to the respective agencies on land.
We document the stories of survivors and release information on abuses such as human rights violations in the central Mediterranean Sea.
We inform the public about the inhumane consequences of European migration policies. On a political level we advocate for the rights of people fleeing across the sea.
Implement applicable law
EU states must ensure that international law is respected and implemented in the central Mediterranean Sea. Obligations under international law must not be knowingly circumvented. This includes, among other things: the duty to rescue at sea, state coordination of search and rescue operations, and the fastest possible allocation of a port of safety to disembark persons rescued at sea.
Establish a European search and rescue programme
The EU member states must finally establish a search and rescue program in the central Mediterranean Sea that is organised and financed by Europe and also state-coordinated. Sufficient ships must be deployed for the purpose of search and rescue. People in distress at sea must be rescued and then brought to a port of safety as quickly as possible, in accordance with international law.
End the funding and training of the so-called Libyan coast guard
EU states must not elude their responsibility to perform search and rescue by outsourcing it to Libya. The deliberate enabling of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard to intercept people on the high seas and force them back to Libya in violation of international law must end. The direct or indirect involvement of EU states in the return of rescued people to Libya is a violation of international law.
Stop hindering civil search and rescue activities
It must be ensured that civilian search and rescue in the Mediterranean Sea can continue without any restrictions and that it is neither blocked nor criminalized. must receive full support from the coordination centers during search and rescue operations.
Founded by citizens in 2015 in response to the deaths in the Mediterranean and the failure of the European Union to prevent these deaths, SOS Humanity reflects different personal and professional backgrounds. SOS Humanity lives from all the people opposing the dying in the Mediterranean: civil society, members, board members, the teams ashore and at sea, volunteers and donors.
The ordinary members of SOS Humanity determine the principles of our life-saving work and elect the board. The honorary board manages the association in accordance with our statutes and the resolutions of the general meeting.
The team at the office in Berlin implements the goals of SOS Humanity.
The future crew on board rescues, accompanies the rescued on board and collects their stories. You want to join our crew? Read more.
The members of the now seven volunteer groups in Germany multiply our work and are our anchor in civil society. In direct interaction with citizens, they create much-needed awareness for the situation in the Mediterranean.