This year the International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th, will be the opportunity for free discussion and dialogue on the issue of gender and equal opportunities in SOPHIA Operational Headquarters.
The mentioned topic has always been considered relevant, not only to ensure the personnel well-being, but also to facilitate the activities in the different branches of the organization.
Moreover, it is fully managed in the OHQ by the presence of two Gender experts, among which one Gender expert and one Traffickers and Smugglers Analyst, one Cultural Advisor, a Human Rights Advisor and a Women and Social Affair Advisor, who daily contribute to the execution of the assigned tasks.
The Command of EUNAVFOR MED, operational since May 2015, collects in its staff a large female group, perfectly integrated and highly determined, included in all the staff departments, from the operational area to the logistic and administrative branches.
Thus far, following EUNAVFOR MED activities, 137 suspected smugglers and traffickers have been apprehended by SOPHIA units and 537 boats were prevented from being re-used by smugglers.
Additionally, from October 2016, operation SOPHIA is fully involved in the training of the Libyan Coastguard and Navy and in the implementation of the arms embargo off the coast of Libya according to UNSCR 2292 (2016), extended following UNSCR 2357 (2017).
Regarding the training of the Libyan Coastguard and Navy, up to now 201 Libyans were trained by SOPHIA crews.
On 25 July 2017, the Council extended the mandate of EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia until 31 December 2018, adding some integrations in the supporting tasks.