A Mapping Platform to Monitor the Maritime Borders of the EU for Violations of Migrants’ Rights

While Boats4People’s Oloferne is at sea, many other people are contributing to the campaign from land in Africa, Europe and even as far as the USA. Amongst them, researchers of the Forensic Oceanography research project at Goldsmiths, University of London, who, in the frame of the B4P campaign, have launched a new online mapping platform to monitor in almost real time the death of migrants and violations of their rights at the maritime borders of the EU.

Acting as a “civilian watchtower” over the Mediterranean, WatchTheMed aims to collect information concerning incidents at sea from all possible sources, such as distress signals send out by the Coast Guards, different types of documentation coming from seamen, the press and migrants themselves, as well as satellite imagery. It inscribes these incidents within the complex political ecology of the Mediterranean, an area criss-crossed by overlapping Search and Rescue zones, maritime patrols, radar coverage areas, maritime traffic patterns, fisheries and oil rigs.

By assembling these multiple sources of information and spatialising this data, the WatchTheMed platform aims to become a new tool to bring an end to the persisting impunity towards migrants across the Mediterranean Sea.

WatchTheMed is a pilot project that will be tested and refined during the three weeks of the B4P journey. Help us monitor the maritime borders of the EU by reporting an incident occurred at sea, maritime patrols or means of surveillance on www.watchthemed.crowdmap.com or send us an email at: obs@boats4people.org.

For more information on the Forensic Oceanography project visit:

Press contacts:

Lorenzo Pezzani: 0039.340 775 1303

Charles Heller: 0041 76 383 64 45