Helping migrants: a perilous mission for humanitarians

NGOs conducting search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean are sometimes accused by European States of complicity with smugglers. On the other hand, these same States only loosely track criminal networks that take advantage of undocumented migrants. Is this a deliberate strategy to ignore the root causes of the problem?


All over Europe, NGOs are being prosecuted for acts of solidarity with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. In a context of increasingly tough migration policies, those who help migrants are accused by governments of collusion with smugglers and traffickers. The criminalisation of solidarity, in addition to being counterproductive in the fight against these large criminal networks, threatens the values on which our European democracies are based. Meeting with Helena Maleno, a Spanish activist who has been investigated for human trafficking because of her work to protect migrants in the Mediterranean, and Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish Iranian journalist imprisoned for six years on the small island of Manus and who has turned his exile into a recorded chronicle relayed on social networks.

The debate will be held in French and English  with simultaneous interpretation.


Sunday 14 March - 20:00

Watch it live on this page or on our Facebook and YouTube pages 


Co-presented with Doctors Without Borders (MSF)


Behrouz Boochani, Iranian journalist, writer and filmmaker

Helena Maleno Garzón, Human rights defender, journalist and researcher

Moderated by

Stephen Cornish, General director of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Switzerland



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