Watch The Med Alarm Phone was initiated in October 2014 by activist networks and civil society actors in Europe and Northern Africa. The project established a self-organized hotline for refugees in distress in the Mediterranean Sea.
Our main objective is to offer boat people in distress an additional option to make their SOS noticeable. The Alarm Phone documents the situation, informs the coastguards, and, when necessary, mobilises additional rescue support in real-time. This way, we can, at least to a certain extent, put pressure on the responsible rescue entities to avert push- backs and other forms of human rights violations against refugees and migrants at sea.
The responsible coast guards have been informed about this project and we are pursuing a respectful and cooperative way of interacting with them. The critique of the deadly border regime is directed first and foremost towards the political actors of the EU. If coast guards do not act promptly, it will be sought, on the one hand, to enforce rescue operations through public pressure. On the other hand, attempts will be made to alert cargo ships and commercial vessels in the vicinity to the boat in distress.
The Alarm Phone number is disseminated mainly through direct contacts with migrant and refugee communities in the important transit countries of Northern Africa as well as in Turkey. Moreover, we are distributing leaflets that inform about the risks of crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
The project is actively involved in all three regions where migrants and refugees attempt to travel to the European countries:
The Aegean Sea (between Turkey and Greece)
The Central Mediterranean Sea (between Libya/Tunisia and Italy)
The Western Mediterranean Sea (between Morocco and Spain).