/ 26 November 2021

Migrant tragedy on the English Channel

Image source: Reuters
Image source: Reuters

Twenty-seven asylum seekers have drowned at sea in the freezing English Channel after their inflatable boat sank. Fishermen sounded the alarm after seeing the “extremely fragile” vessel in trouble and several people in the sea off the coast of Calais in France. The International Organisation for Migration said it was the single biggest loss of life in the Channel since it began collecting data in 2014. Five women and a girl were among the dead. UK PM Boris Johnson has agreed to step up efforts to stop the people smugglers, and French President Emmanuel Macron said France “won’t let the Channel become a graveyard.” The nationalities of the dead haven’t been confirmed, but sprawling migrant camps in France are home to people from the Middle East and Africa. Migrant groups have been critical of British authorities, who they say have adopted an increasingly harsh stance on asylum seekers and threatened to push boats back to France.

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