Closing safe and legal options for people to each Europe pushes them further into people smugglers' networks. In Libya, the detention of migrants and refugees is a thriving enterprise of kidnapping and extortion.
MSF has worked in Search and Rescue in the Central Mediterranean. We also provide assistance to people in Libyan detention centres and those arriving in Europe.
Forced to End
Since the start of its search and rescue mission in February 2016, the Aquarius has assisted nearly 30,000 people in international waters between Libya, Italy and Malta.
The Aquarius’ last active period of search and rescue ended on 4 October 2018, when it arrived in the port of Marseille following the rescue of 58 people.
MSF and SOS teams remained on board the vessels until 20 December 2018, when the Aquarius was returned to the ship owner.