The sea rescue association SOS MEDITERRANEE wins the Right Livelihood Award 2023


An article from SOS Mediterranée

As the humanitarian crisis intensifies in the Mediterranean, the humanitarian and maritime organization SOS MEDITERRANEE is the winner of the Right Livelihood Award 2023, considered the “alternative Nobel Peace Prize”.

In 2023, the Mediterranean saw the highest number of deaths since 2017. A dramatic observation for a humanitarian crisis that continues. A crisis recognized and highlighted by the presentation of the Right Livelihood Award to the SOS MEDITERRANEE association, for having provided assistance to more than 38,500 people in the central Mediterranean.

“There are already more than 2,000 deaths recorded in 2023, just in the Central Mediterranean region. » declares Caroline Abu Sa’da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Switzerland. “For us, it is therefore extremely important that the Right Livelihood Award highlights the situation of these thousands of people who are trying to cross the Mediterranean, risking their lives. »

The humanitarian and maritime organization is honored to be among the winners of the Right Livelihood Award 2023. For more than 40 years, this award has recognized and supported individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to solve the world’s greatest challenges. SOS MEDITERRANEE thus joins the prestigious list which notably includes the Ukrainian human rights defender, Oleksandra Matviichuk and the Congolese doctor Dr. Denis Mukwege.

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The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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The Right Livelihood Award provides valuable visibility on the dramatic situation at sea, as well as on the new constraints weighing on the association, such as the considerable increase in the price of fuel or the allocation of very distant disembarkation ports, after the rescues.

SOS MEDITERRANEE would like to warmly thank all its volunteers, donors, partners and supporters who make its mission possible. “This award is the result of collective work and the commitment of many people dedicated to sea rescue.” concludes Caroline Abu Sa’Da.


SOS MEDITERRANEE is a maritime and humanitarian organization rescuing people in distress at sea. It was founded by European citizens in 2015 and launched rescue operations in the central Mediterranean in February 2016. Since then, the organization has provided assistance to more than 38,000 people at sea. More than 9,000 people have been rescued by the Ocean Viking since it began operating in August 2019. The non-profit organization, based in Switzerland, France, Germany and in Italy, is mainly financed by donations.

About the Right Livelihood Award:

For more than 40 years, Right Livelihood has honored and supported courageous people working to solve global challenges. Each year, Right Livelihood highlights changemakers with an award. To date, 194 winners from 76 countries have received this distinction. By recognizing the actions of these visionaries and making meaningful connections around the world, Right Livelihood encourages urgent, long-term societal change.

The prize was created in 1980, after the Nobel committee rejected a proposal to create two new prizes to recognize those who work for social justice and environmental protection.

(Thank you to Kiki Adams, the CPNN reporter for this article.)