Part mapping platform, part reporter/monitor/information hub, and part legal action, Watch the Med’s (WTM) focus is the deaths and violations of migrants’ rights at the maritime borders of the European Union. Border deaths and missing people, distress calls, and interceptions are captured on their online interactive map in order to give a visual representation of the perilous journey which migrants make while entering the EU. Frontex patrols, coastal radars, mobile phone coverage, and border police areas can also be added as layers for a broader understanding of jurisdictional issues where tragedies occur.
Using transnational cooperation between migrants, activists, researchers, and organizations, WTM’s purpose is six-fold:
(1) Inform people about rights and security of migrants;
(2) Reporting on situations at sea;
(3) Monitoring, reconstructing, and determining responsibility for events which happen at sea;
(4) Put pressure on authorities to respect obligations and save lives;
(5) Filing legal cases with support of information gathered; and
(6) Receiving outside support to continue its missions.
Using these six facets, WTM attempts to make changes to the restrictive border security which is causing those who attempt to transverse this line grave danger. By exposing the tactics and tragedies of border securitization, WTM adds valuable information to BOb’s goals of counting and accounting for border deaths, protecting the human rights of asylum seekers, and questioning the authorities who create and enforce border securitization.
Reflecting on the recent Lampedusa tragedies and the freshly implemented European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur) in the pursuit of further border securitization of the EU, WTM questions the response of governments to these tragedies in an article and calls for action to protect migrants. In order to champion human rights and freedom for all, WTM calls for bridges and not walls in the African-European relationship of shared seas and responsibilities to safety.
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