The rescue ship Humanity 1 is still waiting for the assignment of a place of safety with 398 people rescued from distress at sea in the Mediterranean. Drinking water will run out by the middle of the week and supplies of adequate food will also be exhausted by then. The 55 children and 110 unaccompanied minors are particularly suffering under the conditions. Infectious diseases continue to spread.
“The law says that every child who seeks protection must be taken care of,” stresses Pietro, SOS Humanity’s protection representative on the ship. “The unaccompanied minors are at higher risk and therefore need more care and protection than adults.” Many of the children on board are suffering from fever, diarrhea, and exhaustion.
The crew of the Humanity 1 who had to seek shelter with the ship off Sicily because of strong winds and high waves, has already made eighteen requests to the authorities for a port for the rescued, so far without success. The psychological strain on board is growing. On Sunday, one person jumped off the ship in desperation as the families of three babies were being evacuated for medical emergency by Italian authorities.
“The crew is also at the end of its tether,” reports SOS Humanity’s head of ship operation, Till Rummenhohl. “A rescue ship can only provide emergency aid and is not designed to adequately care for around 400 people over a longer period of time. We’re not only running out of fresh water, which has been rationed for days already, but the rampant infectious diseases are now also spreading to the crew. It is irresponsible that we do not get a port immediately.” It has been almost two weeks since the first rescue of the crew of the Humanity 1, and six days since the last.
Currently, 398 people are still on board the rescue ship after 16 people were evacuated by Italian authorities for health reasons over the weekend. Of these, 178 are minors under the age of 18, 110 of whom are travelling unaccompanied. Of the minors, 55 are children under 13, including an eleven-month-old baby.
Your contact person:
Petra Krischok | Spokesperson SOS Humanity | firstname.lastname@example.org | M +49 (0)176 552 506 54