Sudanese boy, 16, found dead on French beach after trying to reach UK
London, August 19, 2020 (AltAfrica)-A 16-year-old Sudanese boy has been found dead on a beach near Calais, the popular migrant camp in France after he tried to reach the UK.
Authorities in France announced the news with “immense sadness”, saying the boy was found on the beach of Sangatte, near Calais.
Minister Marlene Schiappa, who is in charge of citizenship in France’s government, said the teenager was found on Wednesday morning.
The boy’s death comes as migrants making the perilous crossing of the English Channel has been a focus of the UK Government amid a record number of journeys.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has pledged to make the route “unviable”, said the death 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,” she added.
This is an upsetting and tragic loss of a young life.— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) August 19, 2020
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
“Working together we are determined to stop them.”
Ms Shiappa also said the death highlighted the need to tackle the smugglers. “Immense sadness: A 16-year-old Sudanese migrant who disappeared in the sea last night was found dead in the beach in Sangatte this morning,” she tweeted.
“This unbearable tragedy moves us even more with (French interior minister) Gérald Darmanin against smugglers who take advantage of the distress of human beings.”
Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, said the teenager’s death is “horrifying but wholly expected”.
Your failure to create a safe and legal route for this young person has directly led to their death. If you had any shame or any conscience, you would consider your position. https://t.co/7tFawYKZit— Bella Sankey (@BellaSankey) August 19, 2020
“It is devastating to learn that a child has now died in the Channel while trying to seek safety in the UK,” she said.
“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.”