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Asylum system slammed as ‘callous’ after child coming to UK killed by lorry in Calais

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Original article from Kent Live

A 16-year old boy was killed earlier this week in Calais whilst attempting to board a lorry to travel to the UK.

The boy had travelled from Sudan – a former British colony that has been engulfed in civil war for much of it's post-colonial history.

It was reported in The Independent that he was attempting to climb aboard a lorry when he was run over.

Read more: University of Kent debunks claims students made to take 'white privilege' course

This is the latest of a number of high-profile fatalities that have happened on the French-British border, the most recent incident seeing a man drown in the English Channel after a small craft encountered difficulties.


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Philippe Sabatier, Boulogne-sur-Mer's deputy public prosecutor, told The Independent the incident happened at around 5am local time on Tuesday (September 28).

“CCTV footage from the parking area and the testimony of the security guard who witnessed the incident indicated that the driver did not notice the accident and did not stop,” he said.

KentLive has reached out to French authorities and the Home Office for comment on the incident.

The incident has seen heavy criticism lodged by refugee charities, who have slammed the incident as a symptom of the current UK asylum system.

'Desperate people take greater risks'

Clare Moseley, founder of refugee charity and organisation Care4Calais said: "This 16-year-old boy is the latest victim of an unfair and callous asylum system.

"It’s shocking that people who have escaped bloody conflicts in some of the world’s most dangerous countries die unnecessarily while trying to reach safety in the UK.

"Desperate people take greater risks and people with no money to pay smugglers are among the most desperate. Every death at our border is entirely avoidable.

"This government urgently needs to put an end to the Anti-Refugee Bill and create a safe way for people to claim asylum without putting their lives in danger.“

A Home Office spokesperson responded to the criticism, saying: “It’s a tragedy that this boy lost his life in this way and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this devasting [sic] time.

“His death is a reminder of the importance of stopping migrants from leaving the safety of France to come to the UK via dangerous and illegal methods.

“There are safe and legal routes for people to use to come to the UK. In addition to our humanitarian refugee resettlement with UNHCR, we offer work and study routes, as well as family resettlement.

“The Government is determined to tackle illegal migration and the New Plan for Immigration is the only long term solution to fix the broken system, tackle the criminal gangs and prevent more tragedies.”

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants have also commented on the death, calling it "entirely preventable" and calling for action from the UK government.

This year has seen a substantial shift away from asylum seekers attempting to enter the UK via lorry, instead using small boats to cross the channel in hope of being given refugee status.

Despite this shift, there has been no marked rise in the number of asylum seekers coming to the UK in 2021.

Original Article