EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia

Rescued refugees on board of a EUNAVFOR ship.

Rescued refugees on board of a EUNAVFOR ship., © dpa/ picture alliance

03.02.2016 - Article

The aim of EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia is to take action against criminal traffickers who put the lives of thousands of people in danger in unseaworthy dingies and rowing boats in the southern Mediterranean. Rescuing shipwrecked refugees is the priority for the crew of the navy ships in the mission.

The German Bundestag agreed to Germany’s current involvement in the military operation on 1 October 2015.

Since June 2015, Germany has been participating in the EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia as part of a European approach. As well as combating traffickers and cooperating more with countries of origin and transit, the aim is to prevent refugees drowning in the Mediterranean. The ships help investigate trafficking networks and are authorised to take action against boats being used by traffickers on the high seas. The ships also continue to rescue those shipwrecked.

The mission was named after a girl born on a frigate off the coast of Libya on 24 August 2015 after her mother had been rescued. The EU ambassadors agreed to rename the operation Sophia after the start of phase two on 7 October.

Find out more about EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia on the European External Action Service website

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