Five people die while crossing the English Channel to the UK | Migration News

A child is among the dead, hours after the British government approved legislation to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Just hours after the British government approved legislation to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda, five people, including a child, were caught crossing the English Channel from France to the UK in a crowded small boat. An asylum seeker dies.

The boat, carrying 112 people, set off from Vimereux, about 32 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of the French port of Calais, to transit one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

Rescue teams rescued 49 people and four were taken to hospital, while others remained on the boat and continued their journey to the UK.

“A tragedy occurred early this morning on a boat full of migrants. We regret the deaths of five people: a seven-year-old girl, one woman and three men,” local governor Jacques Billand told reporters on Tuesday. told.

“The engine stopped a few hundred meters from the shore, and several people fell into the sea.”

The French coast guard said 58 people remained on the ship and the search for other survivors continued.

“They didn’t want to be rescued. They managed to restart the engine and headed towards Britain,” Virant said.

More than 6,000 people have arrived in the UK this year in small, overloaded boats, risking exposure to waves as they try to reach British shores.

The British government has spent two years trying to win approval for a divisive policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. The British Parliament finally passed a bill overnight allowing deportations.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he expected the first flights to take off in 10 to 12 weeks to allow time for further legal challenges from charities, campaigners and trade unions.

Sunak told reporters on Tuesday that the government was acting out of compassion to stop smugglers from forcing vulnerable people out to sea.

“They are cramming more and more people into dinghies that are not seaworthy. Over the past few years that number has increased significantly,” he said. “This is a tragic event.”

Under Rwanda’s plan, anyone arriving in the UK by irregular means after January 1, 2022 will be sent to Rwanda, around 6,400 kilometers (4,000 miles) away. According to official figures, more than 50,000 people have arrived since that day.

The United Nations refugee agency and the Council of Europe on Tuesday called on Britain to reconsider its plans, saying it could damage international cooperation in tackling the global migration crisis.

The first deportation flight to Rwanda, scheduled for June 2022, was blocked by a European judge. The following year, Britain’s highest court ruled that sending asylum seekers on a one-way trip to Kigali was illegal and would put them at risk.

Other European countries, including Austria and Germany, are also considering agreements to process asylum seekers in third countries.

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