The truth about dangerous Channel crossings
Care4Calais’ founder, Clare Moseley, has written a new piece for The London Economic about the dangers of crossing the Channel using extremely flimsy dinghies. This is an unimaginable decision that many refugees will be making this summer, all in an effort to find some peace again.
It’s bad enough to hear that people we know are risking their lives in unsuitable ‘dinghies’, but this vessel does not even deserve that name. This boat was the flimsiest craft you can imagine. Made of the thinnest strips of wood, half covered in flaking paint, a gaping hole in the stern.
How could anyone decide to board such a fragile craft and take on a crossing of the English Channel – the world’s busiest shipping lane? The thought that a friend of mine was driven to those lengths moved me to tears.
If you want to measure the desperation of people living Calais’s refugee camps, ask yourself this: how terrified would you have to be to get onto a rickety raft and paddle out to sea, facing great metres of swell, thundering oil tankers and the very real possibility you will drown to death?
In the article, Clare posits that the simplest solution to these life-threatening crossings is clear: a safe and legal process by which people who have a legal right to claim UK asylum can have their claim heard in France, before they get to Britain.
This would stop the chaotic Channel crossings in an instant. The people I work with in Calais are only asking for a fair hearing for their claims. If they have the option of a safe, legal process, they’ll choose that every time.
You can read the article in full here.
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Photo credit: Steve Finn Photography, taken from The London Economic website