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In 2022, more than 45,000 migrants crossed English Channel to reach UK from Europe

LondonEdited By: PrishaUpdated: Jan 01, 2023, 09:27 PM IST
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Photograph:(AFP)

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In total, 45,756 citizens crossed the dangerous and one of the busiest shipping lanes in a small boat, in comparison to 28,526 in 2021.

In 2022, more than 45,000 migrants were reported to have crossed the English Channel from mainland Europe to the UK, breaking the record of the previous year with more than 17,000, as per the government figures published on Sunday. In total, 45,756 citizens crossed the dangerous and one of the busiest shipping lanes in a small boat, in comparison to 28,526 in 2021.

Last month, four people lost their lives after their small boat full of migrants capsized in the English Channel's freezing temperatures. 

Around 43 people were saved from the frigid waters by a fishing boat. Just a year before this incident took place, 27 people lost their lives in drowning after their dinghy capsized. 

2022 also broke the record for the highest crossing by migrants in a single day, as 1,295 migrants made it to the UK on August 22.

For the Conservative government, this is a huge political issue in the wake of promises made by them on decreasing illegal immigration and getting hold of smuggling gangs that make these crossings possible.

Recently the Rwanda asylum plan of the government, which is aimed at solving the issue of migrants crossing the English Channel, was ruled legal by the High Court. 

Rwanda asylum plan

According to the government's Rwanda asylum plan, some asylum seekers, who have entered the UK illegally, will be sent on a one-way ticket to Rwanda, where they can claim asylum.

The asylum seekers may get refugee status in Rwanda. In case they fail to get refugee status, they can apply for staying in Rwanda on other grounds or can seek asylum in some other "safe third country". 

The government said that this will stop people from entering the UK through "illegal, dangerous or unnecessary methods", like small boats or dinghies which cross the English Channel. 

(With inputs from agencies)