Rising migrant death tolls, an increasing concern for Britain and France

On Wednesday 24 November, the English Channel faced its worst tragedy as 27 people drowned trying to cross from France to the UK.

Migrant tragedy on a rise
© Getty Images
Migrant tragedy on a rise

At least 27 people, including a pregnant woman, drowned yesterday while crossing the English Channel. According to the International Organization for Migration, this has been the most catastrophic migrant disaster since 2014.

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According to the Pew Research Center, unauthorized migrants in the UK are between 800,000 and 1.2 million. Migrants often cross the English Channel, from the port of Calais in France to the port of Dover in the UK.

An ardent plea is being made to the British government, to put a stop to these tragic deaths by creating safe and lawful asylum pathways in the UK.

Call for action

As stated in Downing Street, Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on Wednesday evening to step up coordinated measures to prevent the crossings and deter thugs from putting people's lives at risk.

Only four arrests have been made so far, near the Belgian border.

British PM added:

We suspect that they were directly linked to this particular crossing.

After safely crossing the Channel, the immigrant must provide proof of their migratory status. They must demonstrate that they are seeking asylum because it is not available in their own country.

They are then granted a legal refugee status and are permitted to perform only odd jobs, in an attempt to discourage obtaining employment through migration. Johnson added:

It shows how vital it is that we now step up our efforts to break the business model of the gangsters who are sending people to sea in this way.

Britain has also pledged France a lump sum amount of €62.7m (£54m) during 2021-22, to assist in increasing police patrols along the coastline, increasing aerial surveillance, and improving port security infrastructure.

Decathlon stops canoe manufacturing

In collaborative efforts, the sports and leisure conglomerate, Decathlon, has come forward to stop the production of canoe sales in Northern France that are widely being used to cross the English Channel.

This announcement was made mid-November and is an attempt to discourage people from risking their lives to get to England using the merchandise.

Decathlon told AFP that:

The purchase of canoes will no longer be possible, given the current context.

Even though the sales of canoe will continue online, the Decathlon stores in Calais and Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, will still have other safety equipment, such as life jackets and thermal protection.

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