Laura Kyrke-Smith, International Rescue Committee UK Executive Director said,

"All our thoughts are with the people who lost their lives in the Channel early this morning, and with their families. It is a tragedy caused by the fact that there is no safe way to apply for asylum from outside the UK, more than a year on from a similarly devastating incident in November 2021.  

The majority of people crossing the Channel are from the world’s crisis zones. They put their lives at risk because they feel they have no choice. The UK Government has prioritized ineffective deterrence at the expense of humane, compassionate, and effective options for those who need our protection, and last night’s victims have paid for it with their lives.

We urge the Government to urgently establish safe routes for asylum seekers, coordinating with European partners, and ensuring that protection is given based on the needs of each person, not on their mode of arrival. Until they do so, they risk further preventable and unacceptable deaths."