Editors' Choice News Desk World

Thu 25 November 2021:

After at least 31 migrants drowned in the English Channel while attempting to cross from France to the UK on a rubber boat, the Refugee Council campaign group urged the UK government on Thursday to change its approach and provide safe passage for migrants.

“Surely a tragedy of this magnitude is the wakeup call, our Government needs to change its approach and finally commit to an expansion of safe routes for those men, women and children in desperate need of protection,” Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said in a statement.

A boat carrying migrants capsized in the Strait of Dover on Wednesday. France initially reported 31 deaths, but the figure was later reduced to 27, which included five women and a young girl.

“This is a humanitarian disaster that should never have happened. It’s incomprehensible that so many lives have been lost by people on a desperate and harrowing journey to Britain who were just trying to find safety,” Solomon added.

The UK government must put an end to the “cruel and dangerous tactic of seeking to punish or push away” asylum seekers and instead adopt fairer, more compassionate and effective solutions to the crisis, the Refugee Council director said.

Following yesterday’s tragedy in the English Channel, the UK and French governments have traded accusations, despite UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron agreeing over the phone on Wednesday evening to prevent migrants from making the perilous journey.

Former Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Home Affairs and current House of Lords member Kate Hoey told Sky News that “France has to take great responsibility” for allowing the migrants onto the boat.

The Labour lawmaker also said that people in the UK who are speaking for the refugees “need to be more serious” about who and where they are putting responsibility.

According to official figures, more than 25,600 people illegally crossed from France to the UK in 2021, more than tripling the total for the previous year.





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