JRS UK is deeply saddened to learn that a man has died in hospital, following his rescue from a small boat that was sinking in the Channel, while trying to reach the UK.
Sarah Teather, Director of JRS UK said: “This is terrible news. We know very little about the man who lost his life but we know he is someone’s son, brother, father, friend or neighbour. We pray for all who loved him and who will grieve for him.
“The desperation of people making this treacherous journey is an indictment of our failure to provide safe means of sanctuary to those fleeing for their lives. This awful tragedy is yet another chilling reminder that the government has no intention of creating a just and person-centred asylum system. New government proposals will do nothing but force more people into ever more perilous situations like these.
“This tragic and avoidable loss of life must never be allowed to happen again. We urgently need a human-centred approach to those seeking sanctuary, with safe and compassionate routes to safety.”
The tragedy follows the deaths of many who have made the dangerous journey across the Channel to the UK seeking safety in the last year. Among these, are a 16-year-old Sudanese boy, and Rasoul Iran-Nezhad and his wife Shiva Mohammad Panahi, who died along with their three young children, all of whom were remembered in an online prayer vigil at JRS last October.
JRS UK renews calls for safe routes to sanctuary, and a more human approach to those seeking asylum, as outlined in our recent report ‘Being Human in the Asylum System’ . The report seeks to envisage a just and humane asylum system, in the context of new, proposed legislation in the government’s New Plan for Immigration and Nationality and Borders Bill. JRS condemns proposals as unjust, and unworkable as they seek to people for arriving in the UK to seek asylum via the English Channel, and increase barriers to sanctuary for the most vulnerable survivors of trafficking and modern slavery.