In recent years human displacement has reached unpreceded levels, giving rise to a migration crisis. Of all the routes attempted by migrants trying to reach Europe, crossing the Mediterranean Sea has proven the most dangerous – the central Mediterranean route from the North African coast to Italy is by far the deadliest, with over 2,700 migrants losing their lives in the first eight months of 2016. One of the lesser-known aspects of what is often a journey lasting years is the ordeal of those intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, where they are sent to one of the country's 30 detention centres.
The Dead Sea is a short film powerfully depicting the appalling conditions and human rights violations to which migrants are subjected in Libyan centres. The film was introduced by the Director, Stuart Gatt, and was then followed by a panel discussion with representatives from humanitarian organisations.
Konstantinos Antonopoulos is a Policy and Advocacy Advisor at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). While working with the organisation, he has spent several years in the field as a Programme Coordinator and in logistics in the DRC, Burundi, Zambia, Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea. Antonopoulos's expertise lies in advocacy and politics, with a special focus on humanitarian security, forced migration and project management. He holds a Master's degree in Political Science and recently joined the MSF Programmes Unit to support advocacy and policy analysis in forced migration and the MSF Access Campaign.
Stuart Gatt is an award winning British filmmaker of Indian descent whose films are often influenced by current social themes. His last project, 'My Beautiful White Skin', tackled skin lightening amongst the Indian diaspora and his latest film, 'The Dead Sea', deals with the current refugee crisis sweeping Europe.
Markus Geisser is a Senior Humanitarian Affairs and Policy Advisor at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the United Kingdom and Ireland. His first ICRC assignment was in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1999, followed by several years of managing field operations in Myanmar, Thailand, Liberia, Darfur and then again in the DRC. From 2006 until 2013, he worked in senior management positions in countries involved in the so-called ‘Global War on Terror’, mainly in Iraq and Jordan, Afghanistan and then Washington DC. From 2013 until 2015, he served as Deputy Head of the division working on humanitarian policy and multilateral diplomacy at the ICRC's headquarters in Geneva.
This event was chaired by Virginia Comolli, Senior Fellow for Security and Development, IISS. It took place in the fifth-floor Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room at Arundel House, 13-15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX*.