14 Oct 15 28 Nov 16

Mediterranean | The Journey - Dying to Reach Europe

Four months since Dignity I sailed from Barcelona to Sicily and then towards the search and rescue zone thirty miles off the Libyan coast, more than 5000 people have been saved from perishing in the Mediterranean sea.

All together the three Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) vessels – the Dignity I, the Burbon Argos and the MY Phoenix have assisted more than 17,000 people since May of this year.

Every week there are more people coming. Yet, these numbers are not enough to explain what can push a person to make such a journey.

The MSF team on board of Dignity I has been collecting stories and testimonies of those rescued in an attempt to see the story that lies behind the numbers. 

Difficult and Dangerous Journeys

In the words of Laura Pasquero, humanitarian officer who interviewed more than 100 people so far: “Through the people we talk to, we rescue the stories of their friends and family members who often don’t make it, for they die in the desert, or at sea, or in one of Libya’s prisons."

"When we talk to people about the boat trip on the sea to Europe, two things come out constantly from all the stories; that the boat trip was their only option to save their life, and that on the boat they were almost sure they were going to die."

"It looks like a contradiction, but it’s their reality.”

Find out more about our work in the Mediterranean