The maritime search and rescue operational response to migration

Date: 22 October 2018

Venue: University of Antwerp, Room A.202 - Building A, Prinsstraat 13 - 2000 Antwerp (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Time: 11:00 AM

Short description: Business economics seminar - Michele Acciaro, Vasileios Kosmas and Maria Besiou

The last protracted disasters have pushed many people to look for refuge in safer places. In their effort to cross sea borders, many migrants lose their lives. The Mediterranean and the Rohingya cases are characteristic examples. This research looks at search and rescue operations linked to mixed migration by sea with an aim to improve its operational effectiveness. Interviews are conducted with the engaged participants.

The paper builds a theoretical framework based on the literature and presents the factors and their interactions, which affect the operational effectiveness. The identified stakeholders are the: mixed migrants, illegal networks, humanitarian organizations, security forces, shipping companies, public opinion, media and lobby groups opposing to migration. The recent Mediterranean migration flows are used as a case study to validate the model. At an operational level, beyond the challenges of asset availability and capability, cooperation and coordination should be enhanced through resources and information-sharing for increasing operational effectiveness. Nonetheless, the discrepancies in the stakeholders’ missions and mandates act as a barrier.