[ 23. Aug 2014 ]

SABIR FESTIVAL - 'Lampedusa, Peoples and Cultures of the Mediterranean'

From October 1st to the 5th 2014, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the tragedy of October 3, 2013 in which 368 people died and more than twenty have been declared missing, the SABIR Festival: "Lampedusa, peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean", will take place in Lampedusa.


The event is supported by the Arci association, the Comune of Lampedusa, and the October 3 Committee.

A number of programs and cultural events will take place during these five days.

The International meeting, Migrants and the Mediterranean, is organized for October 4th. Five workshops will take place: the problematic of borders and of first reception; the relationship between migration and development; the campaign, I, too, am Europe, on the rights of migrants in Europe; the role of unions in the support and promotion of migrants' social and civil rights in countries of transit; and, finally, the problematic of migrants who are reported missing or who perished during their journey.

Below is the text that sets up the workshop on the tragedy of migrant persons who perished or went missing during their journey.

This meeting seeks to strengthen the networking of associations who work on these issues, to bolster the campaign to stop this slaughter, to achieve justice for the victims, and to obtain the truth about the fate of the missing.

We invite the associations to develop this process and to participate in the SABIR Festival.

info (at)

Workshop, Saturday 4th October 2014
"We migrate to live, no more deaths, no more missing people!"

Toward an observatory on migrants lost at sea on their voyage toward Europe

"We migrate to live, no more deaths, no more missing people" was the title given to the Second [urlint]Global Day of Action[/urlint ] against racism and for the rights of migrants simultaneously carried out in many countries on December 18, 2012. On that same date twenty-two years prior, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, a document still not ratified by any countries of the Global "North".

The day of Global Action, decided in Quito at the 2010 4th World Social Forum on Migration, sought to expose the daily loss of life that takes place along borders and migration routes. These are sites that are punctuated by graves, including mass graves, sites where thousands of migrant persons disappear into thin air, leaving their families to suffer the anguish of the uncertainty of their fate.

The Mediterranean Sea is an example of this: From ancient natural border between Europe and the Maghreb, it has now become a sea cemetery. More than twenty thousand people have died in the past twenty years, and many others are missing. The shipwrecking of the so-called carrette del mare, or rickety boats, has become the new normal. It all takes place right in sight of military ships in the region and of Frontex Patrols, the European agency for border control.

The island of Lampedusa has become the symbol of this tragedy. Lampedusa is the door of Europe, the door of life, as migrants call it, but also the site of unmarked graves.

On the occasion of a preparatory meeting for the Tunis World Social Forum and of the Boat4People event of July 2012, a first meeting took place in Monastir between European and African associations (long involved in speaking out against this tragedy) and the families of Tunisian migrants who went missing after the revolution of 2010. The objective of this meeting was to build connections and favor communication around this issue.

At the Third Maghreb Migration Social Forum, also held in Monastir in 2014, a second meeting on this same topic took place. At this meeting, the emphasis was on the importance of learning about, and putting into dialogue, the experiences of the relatives of migrants who died or went missing, with a particular, but not exclusive, emphasis on North Africa.

The workshop that will take place on October 4 in Lampedusa during the SABIR Festival aims to be another step on this path.

We want to continue to support unity across the northern and southern Mediterranean among those who demand justice for migrants who have died or have gone missing. We want to contribute to further consolidate efforts to denounce the ongoing, daily slaughter taking place in the Mediterranean. This is a slaughter for which European States bear primary responsibility due to their anti-immigrant politics aimed at "preserving" Fortress Europe.

We want to state, once again, that as long as there are people who die or who go missing over the course of their migratory journey, there will be a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a friend, a partner who will demand truth and justice!

Have confirmed their participation till now:

  • Association «Terre pour tous» - Tunisia (association of relatives of the missing migrants)
  • Collectif des familles de harraga disparus en mer - Annaba, Algeria (collective families harraga lost at sea)
  • «Comitato 3 ottobre» - Italy
  • Association «Pateras de la vida» - Morocco
  • Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Économiques et Sociaux - Tunisia
  • Social Forum Maghreb
  • Comitato Nuovi Desaparecidos - Italy
  • Archivio Migrante - Italy
  • RAJ - Egypt
Contact about the workshop: Edda Pando (Arci - Italia) eddapando (at)