English Channel crossings
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
The journey to the #UK across the #EnglishChannel is extremely perilous, with death being a very likely outcome. However, many refugees see no alternatives.
Last year, 28,526 #refugees are known to have crossed the English Channel in small boats - up from 8,404 in 2020. This year's figure is set to be much higher, according to #BorderForce union officials.
Recently, there has been a greater mix of nationalities making the crossing. #Iranians made up 30% of small boat arrivals last year, 21% were #Iraqis, 11% #Eritreans and 9% #Syrians.
The crisis for refugees gained traction in the UK among the #ConservativeParty and right-wing groups as the numbers climbed to the highest recorded yet. Notably, Home Secretary #PritiPatel announced in April that #asylumseekers would be sent to #Rwanda for processing.
The policy has been criticised as “unethical and unworkable” by the #LabourParty, with crossings continuing despite the threat of being sent 4,500 miles away.
The first flight to Rwanda, which had been planned for June 14th, faced a last-minute cancellation following an order from the European Court of Human Rights (#ECHR).
Ongoing court battles have created uncertainty over when any further attempts to fly asylum seekers to the African country will be made, although Patel has stated unsympathetically that the government "will not be put off by the inevitable last-minute legal challenges".
The crisis for refugees in the UK is overshadowed by dizzying statistics. If we want to help them, we need to change public attitudes by humanising refugees and pressurising our governments to do more to solve situations that force human beings to seek asylum.
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