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alarmphone
April 23rd, 2016

No rescue, but Alarm

type:Donation, NGO, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The death of refugees and migrants at sea could already be a matter of the past if the border- and visa-regimes were dissolved. It’s a fact that without a radical change the recent tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea will be followed by many more deaths to come in our future. This is why the Watch The Med Alarm Phone was started in October 2014 by activist networks and civil society actors in Europe and Northern Africa. The project set up a self-organized hotline for refugees in distress in the Mediterranean Sea.

It offers the affected boat-people a second option to make their SOS noticeable. The alarm phone documents and mobilises in real-time. In this way, pressure to rescue is built-up, wherever possible and push- backs and other forms of human rights violations of refugees and migrants at sea can be opposed. Thus, the Alarm Phone is not a rescue number, but an alarm number to support rescue operations.

In this respect, the responsible coast guards are informed of the launch of the project. The critique of the deadly border regime is directed first and foremost to the politically responsible 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 vicinity to the vessel in distress.

The number of the Alarm Phone will be disseminated mainly through direct contacts with migrant and refugee communities in the important transit countries of Northern Africa and in Turkey. The NGO is also distributing leaflets that inform about the risks of crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Besides notes on how to reduce the risks, the Alarm Phone number is provided.

The project is actively involved in all three regions through which migrants and refugees attempt to reach the countries of the EU: The Aegean Sea (between Greece and Turkey). the Central Mediterranean Sea (between Libya/Tunisia and Italy) and the Western Mediterranean Sea (between Morocco and Spain).

Support this necessary and useful project and help them maintaining and extending their strucutures and services for refugees in distress!

alarmphone.org