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Sophie Beau

Sophie Beau

HRD, Co-Founder

Sophie Beau is co-founder of the SOS Mediterranean Sea Rescue Civil Association, and general director of the French branch of the association. She has directed social and humanitarian programs for twenty years. She has worked as a program manager for Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde on numerous crisis areas in Africa, the Middle East and the Caucasus, as well as in the headquarters of these NGOs in France, the Netherlands and France.

Since 2008, she has coordinated medico-social teams and accompanied the actors of the fight against exclusion and solidarity - associations, local authorities and foundations - as regional delegate PACA within the National Federation of Social Reintegration Associations (FNARS), as consultant and associate director of the Prospective and Cooperation network.

Human rights defenders working on the rights of migrants and asylum seekers face an increasingly hostile environment, with attacks from groups of far-right activists. In 2018, the French Constitutional Court declared that the principle of fraternity covers the freedom to help others at risk, notwithstanding their legal status. However, national courts continue to convict HRDs who have provided humanitarian assistance to migrants of facilitating illicit entry into the country, thus criminalising their legitimate work on the protection of human rights.