Who are we?

We are Proactiva Open Arms

Proactiva Open Arms is a non-governmental, non-profit organization whose main mission is to rescue refugees from the sea that arrive to Europe fleeing wars, persecution or poverty. Born from a rescue and first aid at sea company with extensive experience in the Spanish coasts.

We specialize in surveillance and rescue missions of boats carrying people who need help in the Aegean and Central Mediterranean sea, as well as raising awareness of all the injustices that are happening which have been untold.

It all started with some pictures of children that drowned on a beach. We thought: if we dedicate ourselves to this and we do it on our beaches, why are they dying there and why is nobody helping them?

With your help we continue to save lives

With the help of lots of people who collaborate with donations, we were able to increase our resources and save more lives every day.

These donations also helped us to be able to rotate our teams. Our volunteers rotate every 15 days due to the physical and emotional impact of the situation.

After the agreement between the UE and Turkey, we are also in the Mediterranean Sea with a rescue and surveillance boat.
We do not want to lose one more life to the sea, neither do we want to allow the sea to silence the injustices that happen there.

Field team

We also work with an essential team on land: a group of psychologists specialized in crisis situations, emergencies and victims of terrorism who support the lifeguards at all stages of their work.

Upon returning, they offer necessary psychological support in order to help manage the situations that the volunteers have survived, prevent the manifestation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and help them return to their everyday reality, while ensuring their emotional stability for future interventions.

Accreditations and certifications

Proactiva Open Arms is a member of the International Maritime Rescue Federation, being nowadays the only “full members” from the Spanish State.


Proactiva Open Arms is a “supporting entity” of Human Rights at Sea, which is an independent international platform for the preservation of human rights at sea.


UNE-EN ISO 9001:2008 UNE-EN ISO 14001:2004 OHSAS 18001:2007

ISO 14215     ISO 60816     HRAS

Awards and honours

The work and initiative of Oscar Camps and his team of volunteers, has been recognized by awards detailed below:

  • Climent Guitart Solidarity Award 2017

    Awarded by the Guitart Hotels company

  • Plácido Fernández Viagas Prize 2017

    Awarded by the Law and Democracy Association

  • UNICEF Spanish Committee Transforma Award

    Awarded by the Spanish Committee of Unicef

  • ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism

    Awarded by the Puffin Foundation and the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA)

  • Il·lustre Col·legi de l'Advocacia de Barcelona Medal

    Given by the Illustrious Bar Association of Barcelona ("Il·lustre Col·legi de l'Advocacia de Barcelona" (ICAB))

  • Olof Palme Medal 2017

    Awarded by the International Olof Palme Foundation

  • "Valors" Solidarity Award 2016

    Awarded by the Consell de l'Advocacia Catalana (CICAC).

  • European Citizen’s Prize 2015

    Given by members of the European Parliament

  • H.E.R.O Awards

    Given by the International Maritime Rescue Federation

  • Catalan Prize 2015

    Awarded by “El Periódico” readers

  • Pie Derecho Award – 9th Edition

    Given by “Cadena 100” to the most outstanding citizen solidarity initiatives

  • Trencant Invisibilitats Award 2015 – 13th Edition

    Given by Badalona’s City Council

  • Honours to the humanitarian work done in the Lesvos island

    Given by Lloret de Mar’s City Council (February 2016)

  • Pere Casaldàliga a la Solidaritat Award 2016 (Navarcles)

    Given by the International Festival of Solidary Cinema (“Festival Internacional de Cinema Solidari”)

  • PROCURA Solidarity Prize

    Given by the Spanish College of Lawyers

  • Canary Islands Gold Medal 2016

    Given by the Governing Council of the Canary Islands (“Consejo de Gobierno de Canarias”)

  • ADECOSE Prize

    Given by the Spanish Association of Insurance Brokers

  • Jesús Vicente Chamorro Prize for the Defence of Human Rights

    Awarded by the Progressive Union of Prosecutors

  • Impacte Award 2016

    Given by the College of Advertising and Public Relations of Catalonia (“Col.legi de Publicitaris i Relacions Publiques de Catalunya”)

  • International Prize for the Rights of Minors

    Given by the online magazine, Dirittominorile.it

  • Sol D'Or Award

    Given by the International Environmental Movie Festival

  • Roig Toqués Award

    Given by the Vilanova i la Geltrú’s City Council

  • IWater Award

    Given by the 1st edition of the IWater show

Funding and expenses

In 2016, up to September 30th 2017, contributions reached 3,6 million euros. Open Arms has total economic independence thanks to all the small contributions from private individuals.
Of the total funding we received, 96% came from the private donations of 28.000 people who helped us with small contributions, ensuring the organisation’s economic independence.
The remaining 4% comes from official organisations and local administrations.

Private funds Public funds

In 2016, up to September 30th 2017, the direct costs of our two missions came to 3,6 million euros. Of the total costs, 94% went towards direct action to be able to carry out the rescues and direct intervention in the sea. The remaining 6% were structural expenses, including communication costs.

Mediterranean operations Lesvos operations Administration and fund raising costs