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    Trucks are stuck in a traffic jam on a highway leading to the Channel tunnel, northern France, Calais, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015.

    200 People a Week Smuggled Into UK as Gov't Fails to Deliver on Promises

    © AP Photo / Michel Spingler
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)
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    People smuggling is on the increase, with 200 people being smuggled into the UK each week from the Calais "Jungle" camp. This is approximately 10,000 people a year, according to French police and security sources.

    The number of "lorry drops" has also increased, authorities had said. A lorry drop refers to when migrants hide in the back of a truck or vehicle, which is carrying drugs, and then jump off after reaching the UK.

    The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd who was in Paris this week met with her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, and both vowed to try and improve the situation in Calais. Rudd also rejected plans by the French to change the boarder deal between Britain and France, which would have allowed migrants and refugees to lodge asylum claims while on French soil. 

    NGOs however, say that more can and should be done.

    Steve Symonds, Amnesty International UK's Refugee Program Director, said that people are being smuggled and forced into dangerous situations whilst UK and French politicians neglect to discuss how to keep refugees and migrants safe.

    "Rather than providing the safe and legal routes that more refugees need to escape violence, child labor, sexual exploitation and destitution, the UK is more concerned with putting up real and metaphorical fences to keep people out. Tragically, those who continue to profit are the very smugglers that governments — including the UK — say they are most anxious to shut down," Mr. Symonds told Sputnik.

    "The UK and French authorities have failed to deliver on their shared responsibility for refugees and migrants in Calais for years now and this latest exchange of words is a stark reminder of their failure to live up to their responsibilities."

    Numbers Keep Rising

    ​The latest figures on people smuggling, provided by the French police, show a significant surge compared to official data.

    The figures reveal that the number of those who came to the UK illegally has doubled over the last year, reaching a staggering 6,400, according to a report released by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration in July (2016).

    A migrant stands between two trailers of a lorry as he attempts to cross the English Channel, in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, June 24, 2015.
    © AP Photo / Thibault Camus
    A migrant stands between two trailers of a lorry as he attempts to cross the English Channel, in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, June 24, 2015.

    However, French police say that the real picture could show a much higher number of people arriving in Britain undetected. Amnesty International believes that providing safe passage should be the UK's key concern.

    "Everyone has the right to seek protection abroad, but getting to Europe safely and legally is impossible for most of those who need to," Mr. Symonds told Sputnik.

    "Meanwhile, pregnant women and unaccompanied children are among those living in horrific conditions prone to violence, while people continue to risk their lives by jumping on moving trains or lorries — stowed away in the back or even underneath them."

    So why is the UK so attractive to refugees?

    According to Bernard Cazeneuve, the UK offers migrants and refugees employment, and whilst they do not have to show ID cards, many employers are happy to underpay them and provide them with work.

    The situation in Calais however, is reaching desperate proportions. The population at the "Jungle" migrant camp has increased to almost 7,000 people, according to official figures provided by the prefecture of Pas-de-Calais.

    "As a first step, the UK and French authorities must immediately work together to make sure that dozens of unaccompanied children in the Calais camps are reunited with their families in the UK as soon as possible," Mr. Symonds told Sputnik.

    Topic:
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

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    Tags:
    'Jungle' refugee camp, illegal, safety, lorry, migrant crisis, smugglers, smuggler, humanitarian crisis, refugees, Amnesty International, Calais, Europe, United Kingdom, France
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