• Twenty-seven migrants died on Wednesday in the sinking of their boat in an attempt to reach Great Britain.

  • The government immediately called into question the responsibility of the smugglers and announced measures to fight against these mafia networks.

  • Humanitarian workers and associations denounce the result of a repressive migration policy.

Wednesday afternoon, off Calais, in the middle of the North Sea, 27 exiles perished in the sinking of their makeshift boat while trying to reach the British "Eldorado".

An unprecedented human tragedy in the region, the inevitability of which was inevitable by associations of aid to migrants, rescuers at sea and even certain politicians.

If Emmanuel Macron affirms that "France will not let the Channel become a cemetery", the humanitarians, them, hope that the rulers will finally listen to them.

Manon Fillonneau, migration advocacy officer at Amnesty International France, answered questions from

20 Minutes


Isn't fighting against smugglers in vain given the sums at stake?

The strengthening of the fight against smugglers is announced with each new tragedy.

However, there have been more than 340 deaths since 1999 at this Franco-British border.

At least 30 people have died on the Franco-Italian border since 2015, and 6 on the Franco-Spanish border just in 2021. Successive policies announcing the fight against smugglers have not changed anything.

It is above all 30 years of ever more secure policies in France and in the United Kingdom which are highlighted by this tragedy.

Why do the exiles continue to want to go to Britain?

The exiled people who are on the northern coast have left everything in their country of origin, often in pain. Some want to join relatives in Great Britain, and are at the last stage of an already extremely dangerous long journey, through Libya, the Mediterranean, on the roads of the Balkans, in the Alpine massifs. France could be, for some of them, a final destination, but the treatments that are reserved for people exiled here discourage more than one: forced evictions from their makeshift shelters without a proposal for rehousing, police brutality, prohibition of food distribution and harassment of associations helping exiles in Calais. Also, some people cannot even apply for asylum in France,because the unjust Dublin regulation requires that they do it in the first country through which they entered Europe.

What should be done to avoid a new tragedy?

First of all, we need legal and secure migration routes to England, and therefore start real negotiations with the United Kingdom on this plan.

The Dublin regulation needs to be thoroughly revised to allow for a better distribution of asylum applications in Europe.

Exiles on the North Coast must be allowed to apply for asylum in France if they wish, and they must be able to have the necessary information and the possibility to do so from Calais.

As long as there are attempts at dangerous passages for lack of anything better, the priority must be to save those in danger at sea.


Shipwreck of migrants: UK and France promise to step up joint efforts


Shipwreck of migrants: Gérald Darmanin announces the arrest of a fifth suspect smuggler

  • Immigration

  • Shipwreck

  • Amnesty international

  • Migrants

  • Society

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