Laura Kyrke-Smith, Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee UK, says: 

“Last night precious lives were lost in the Channel, reminding us once more of the human cost of this government’s failure to create a safe and effective asylum system. 

The UK government has time and time again assured the public that “safe routes” exist for those in need, and that the threat of deportation to Rwanda will deter people from risking their lives. Yet desperate people continue to make dangerous journeys across the Channel to reach safety in the UK, because they have no other choice. 

Today’s latest irregular migration statistics reveal that, despite repeated promises, Afghans continue to make up the largest nationality of individuals crossing the Channel. It is inexcusable that the government has failed to deliver the promise of safe routes for these refugees to get here, especially when we know that 98% of Afghan asylum claims will be granted.

These entirely preventable deaths won’t stop until the rhetoric of safe routes is matched by reality.”