Airborne is a department of Sea-Watch e.V. which monitors the Central Mediterranean using the reconnaissance aircraft Moonbird and Seabird, in order to document human rights violations and spot people in distress. These operations are conducted together with the Swiss NGO Humanitarian Pilots Initiative.
The purpose of the following Annual Report 2020 is to provide an overview of the most frequent situations encountered by Airborne’s crews during operations. This year, crews again witnessed the ongoing illegal cooperation between the authorities of European Member States and Libya along with the so-called Libyan Coast Guard (1). Instead of applying and respecting the law, Airborne witnessed many situations of non-assistance and/or pure delegation of the duty to render assistance to the so-called Libyan Coast Guard. It was observed that the people in distress at sea often also become victims of a continuous shifting of responsibilities between the Italian and Maltese authorities (2), as a result of the solidarity crisis among European Member States. Finally (3), Airborne’s crews documented the deadly consequences of current European migration policies.