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NGOs saving lives of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea - S&Ds nominees for the 2018 Sakharov Prize


Global Europe
Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament jointly nominated eleven NGOs that protect human rights and save lives of refugees and migrants across the Mediterranean Sea for the 2018 Sakharov Prize.
The nominated NGOs are: Proactiva Open Arms, SOS Mediterranée, Médecins Sans Frontières International, Sea-Watch, Sea Eye, Jugend Rettet, Lifeline, MOAS, Save the Children, PROEM-AID and Boat Refugee Foundation.  All these NGOs are devoted to search and rescue missions for migrants and refugees fleeing war and terror trying to reach Europe. They’ve rescued thousands of lives and provided assistance, including medical, to people in distress.
S&D vice-president and spokesperson for the Sakharov Prize, Elena Valenciano, said:
"NGOs have become an essential provider for search and rescue missions around the Mediterranean Sea. They have filled a shameful void caused by the lack of commitment of several EU governments and thanks to their courageous actions thousands of lives have been saved at sea since 2015.
"For their courage, they have experienced pressure, smear campaigns, harassment and even judicial persecution. It is time to speak up. By awarding them with the Sakharov Prize we would demonstrate our solidarity with these NGOs, their workers and volunteers – who, while saving lives, are risking their own - and we would send a strong message to those who are using migration to tear our societies apart, and to bring down the European project."
"These NGOs, these volunteers, have been defending human rights and the respect for international law where it was most needed on behalf of all European citizens, and for the sake of our values and principles. That's why we believe they should be rewarded and not attacked."
Note to editors:
Sakharov Prize is awarded every year by the European Parliament to human rights activists around the world. The vote on the three finalist candidates for the 2018 Sakharov Prize will take place in a joint meeting of the foreign affairs and development committees on October 9. The Conference of Presidents’ decision on the final laureate will be taken on October 25. The prize-awarding ceremony will take place on December 12, during the plenary session in Strasbourg.


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