August 19, 2020
A 16-year-old Sudanese boy has drowned in the English Channel while trying to reach the UK.
Sudanese Teenager Drowns In English Channel Trying To Reach UK
The discovery of his body followed a huge search and rescue effort. French authorities say they were notified at 1.09am that a migrant suffering with hypothermia had been found on the beach at Sangatte.
He was taken to hospital and told authorities that he had been on a makeshift boat that had capsized.
His companion, who could not swim, might still have been in the water, he said.
At 8am border police were informed of the discovery of a body on Sangatte beach.
Marlène Schiappa, France’s citizenship minister, tweeted that she felt “immense sadness” after the teenager’s body was found on Wednesday morning. 
“A 16-year-old Sudanese migrant who disappeared at sea last night has been found dead on Sangatte beach this morning,” she said.
“This unbearable tragedy moves us even more with [French interior minister] Gérald Darmanin against smugglers who take advantage of the distress of human beings.”
Migrants making the perilous crossing of the English Channel have been a focus of the UK government amid a record number of journeys.
The official resettlement scheme has been closed since March 30, giving refugees no safe or legal route into the UK. The programme was announced in September 2015 by prime minister David Cameron, in response to a national and international outcry over the global refugee crisis.
Home secretary Priti Patel spoke of an “upsetting and tragic loss of a young life”.This is an upsetting and tragic loss of a young life.This horrendous incident serves as a brutal reminder of the abhorrent criminal gangs and people smugglers who exploit vulnerable people. Working together we are determined to stop them. https://t.co/ARZovx8RUf— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) August 19, 2020Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said on Twitter of the 16-year-old’s death: “Utterly heartbreaking. By closing safe routes to seek asylum we are pushing desperate people into dangerous situations with devastating consequences.
“Our govt must make protecting and saving lives a priority in their approach to English Channel crossings.”
Laura Padoan, of UNHCR, said: “It is absolutely tragic to hear that a 16 year-old has drowned trying to cross the Channel. This shouldn’t have happened and we have been warning that saving lives should be the priority.”Utterly heartbreaking. By closing safe routes to seek asylum we are pushing desperate people into dangerous situations with devastating consequences.Our Govt must make protecting and saving lives a priority in their approach to English Channel crossings. https://t.co/cnzuxAzcAu— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) August 19, 2020Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, said it was “devastating” to learn of the death, and called it “horrifying but wholly expected”.  
She added: “We have repeatedly warned Priti Patel it was only a matter of time before her toxic policy to deny safe and legal routes to the UK would cost lives.
“This death lies firmly at her door. She should consider her position.”We knew this would happen, and now it has.Things need to change. We need a way for people's asylum claims to be fairly heard without them having to risk their lives. We need this before someone else dies.— Care4Calais (@Care4Calais) August 19, 2020It was revealed this week that vulnerable asylum-seeking children arriving by sea are being held in a Border Force processing centre after Kent’s council reached capacity.
Large numbers of children reaching the UK have led to an “unthinkable” situation where Kent County Council says it “cannot safely accommodate any more new arrivals”.
Clare Moseley, founder of charity Care4Calais, said: “We can only imagine the fear he felt and our hearts go out to his family.
“These young boys in Calais are our Friends. They are fun to be with despite the horrors they have been through. Some are cheeky, some are smart, some like Football, some like books. None deserve to be here and none deserve to die alone in the sea.
“This young boy’s death starkly demonstrates the total failure of our government to do anything to help these children who are in such desperate straits. Their failure to implement the Dubs amendment; their failure to negotiate for family reunion; their failure to do anything for the people here who are simply asking for our help.
“Things need to change. We need a way for people’s asylum claims to be fairly heard without them having to risk their lives. We need this before someone else dies.”
Labour shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said the government’s response to the situation in the Channel has been “lacking in compassion and competence”.
“Ministers urgently need to step up work with international partners to find a humanitarian solution to this crisis, which is costing lives,” he added.
Charity worker Bridget Chapman, of the Kent Refugee Action Network, said: “This death was completely avoidable. Along with many other migrant and refugee organisations we have been calling for safe passage for some time now.
“Meanwhile the government’s response has been both chaotic and callous, and utterly against the proud British tradition of offering refuge to those in need.
“The government needs to step up to its humanitarian responsibility immediately and ensure safe and legal passage so that we avoid any more unnecessary deaths.”Related... Refugee Resettlement Scheme Still Closed Despite Record Channel Crossings Lone Children Who Cross The Channel Are Being Held In A Border Force Processing Centre Priti Patel Says Migrants Crossing The Channel Fear They Will Be 'Tortured' In France
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