Drei Frauen mit Rettungswesten von der Seite auf einem Schnellboot der Humanity 1.
Nicole Thyssen / SOS Humanity


For women

on the move

We are all human...

For the past eight years, we have been documenting the stories, experiences and dreams of the survivors on board our rescue ships. They highlight the courage and strength of the people we rescue, the desire for autonomy and a life in peace. At the same time, they are brutal testimonies of Europe’s inhumane foreign policy.

For #InternationalWomensDay, we are putting a focus on the experiences of women on board the Humanity 1. But we still know:

A single day is not enough! The rights of women and girls must be considered and protected always and everywhere.

Starke Wellen und dunkles Meer.
Nicole Thyssen / SOS Humanity
Women on the run
70 %

off all women and girls are affected by poverty.

49 %

 of the world’s refugees are women and girls.

Reasons of flight (in general)

Inter alia: political persecution, war and conflict, environmental disasters and pverty. 

Reasons of flight (specifically)

Inter alia: threat of female genital mutilation, forced marriage, violence in the name of honour, sexual assaults and domestic violence. 

Zwei Frauen und ein kleines Kind sitzen am Boden an Bord der Humanity 1.
Camilla Kranzusch / SOS Humanity

Many of the women and girls we rescue from distress at sea in the central Mediterranean have had a long and dangerous flight.

Ange* and Anna* as well as Celine* told our crew on board about their reasons to leave, the violence they experienced in Tunisia and what they hope finding in Europe.

These texts are depressing and at the same time impressive as they show how courageous and multi-faceted the people are that we are privileged to welcome on board.

Safe on board

On board our rescue ship, women and girls find safety for the first time in a long while. After the rescue, they can rest in a female-only shelter to which neither male crew members nor male survivors have access.

The most important contact person is the midwife on board. Rescued women and girls can talk to her – often for the first time – about what happened to them during their journey. You can read about the importance of the midwife’s role and what else is part of her duties here.

We also often have pregnant women and mothers with new-born babies on board. For most pregnant women, it is the first time they have had an ultrasound. Many babies receive their first medical examination on board.

Pregnancy tests and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases are also available at our onboard clinic. Of course, period products are also in stock for everyone who needs them.

Help us ensure the care of rescued women on board Humanity 1.

Donate now!

Zu sehen ist die Bordklinik. Auf der linken Seite eine Krankenliege. Dahinter und rechts im Bild Regale mit Materialien.
Max Cavallari / SOS Humanity
Eine Gerettete und ihr Kind zusammen mit einem Crewmitglied, dass Seifenblasen bläst, an Bord der Humanity 1.
Camilla Kranzusch / SOS Humanity
Eine Gerettete und ihr Kind tagsüber auf der Humanity 1 nach der Flucht übers Mittelmeer
Raphael Schumacher / SOS Humanity
Eine Frau mit kleinem Kind und Tellern in der Hand, die lächelt. Oft öffnen sich Frauen nur der Hebamme gegenüber.
Nicole Thyssen / SOS Humanity
Im Woman Shelter mit bunt bemalten Wänden und Vorhängen auf der Humanity 1 gib es einen abgetrennten Bereich für die Hebamme.
Max Hirzel / SOS Humanity
Frau mit Kind im Women Shelter der Humanity 1 (Rettungsschiff der SOS Humanity)
Nicole Thyssen / SOS Humanity
Drei weibliche Crewmitglieder - eine mit hochgestrecktem Arm - sind auf einem Schnellboot von SOS Humanity zu sehen.
Danilo Campailla / SOS Humanity

A well-balanced crew is not only important for living together on board. Rescued women have told us that they feel relieved as well as safer when they can approach female crew members with their concerns.

During the seventh mission of Humanity 1 in 2023, the crew consisted mainly of women for the first time; the RHIB crew for our speedboat “Bravo” was even only femaile. In an interview, they describe their work, the differences and similarities to male colleagues and the prejudices that still exist today against women on board.

Rolling Safe Space von ROSA e.V. in Griechenland.

Not victims and not helpless: Women are often assumed to be generally vulnerable due to their gender and sexual orientation. Caro has been active at ROSA e.V. for around a year and knows that it is the structures that make them vulnerable in the first place. The non-profit organisation is committed to spreading safer spaces for women on the run and in Germany.

Under “Voices of civil society“, Caro describes the precarious conditions to which women are exposed within the prevailing patriarchal and capitalist system when fleeing. In addition to safe escape routes, she also calls for the special challenges faced by women to be recognised by politicians.

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SOS Humanity e.V.
Postbox 440352
D-12003 Berlin

Phone +49 (0) 30 2352 5682


SOS Humanity e.V.

IBAN: DE 0410 0500 0001 9041 8451