Throughout the summer months NGOs have been rescuing refugees in the central Mediterranean. However, when the ships Sea-Watch, Open Arms or Ocean Viking approached the nearest port, they found them to be closed by the Italian or Maltese government.
The rescue actions followed by a long and arduous voyage and the resistance of the governments to open the ports has captured the attention of the European and Spanish media as well as stirred the conscience of citizens and public opinion.
Particularly the Spanish government has been actively and directly questioned and involved since the ship Open Arms sailed under the Spanish flag. The European Commission has also felt obliged to get involved by facilitating the search for host countries for refugees. This recent crisis has highlighted the acute contradictions between the humanitarian action of the NGOs, the judicial resolutions that rescuing the shipwrecked is a duty, the resistance of the governments to open their ports and the promotion of cooperation and coordination mechanisms on a European scale to avoid the repetition of future migratory crises in the central Mediterranean.
The Association Salud y Familia, together with ANUE (Association for the United Nations in Spain) have found that this conflict deserves to be documented in real time. Therefore, the two organisations have selected information and opinion articles (in Spanish) featuring the crossings of the ships, the evolution of governmental responses, judicial decisions, media and citizen debates and the controversy over the moral legitimacy and legality of rescues by NGOs. Read the published digital press dossier ‘Human rights and the migration crisis in the Central Mediterranean’ in Spanish.