'No one should die like this' - Suffolk charity responds to refugee crisis

Suffolk Refugee Support advice service

Suffolk Refugee Support offer a range of support to local refugees and asylum seekers. - Credit: Suffolk Refugee Support

A Suffolk charity working to help refugees has called for more "safe, legal routes" to be established to help people fleeing conflict and oppression.

The call from Suffolk Refugee Support for urgent action came after 27 people lost their lives attempting to cross the English Channel on Wednesday when their boat capsized.

The latest tragedy comes with record-breaking numbers of people attempting the dangerous journey from France to the UK in order to seek asylum. 

Suffolk Refugee Support has responded, and said: "We are heartbroken at the tragic and avoidable deaths of 27 people in the English Channel.

"So many of the people we have worked with over the last 22 years have been forced to undertake perilous journeys to reach safety, and today they are our friends, colleagues and community leaders, so we feel this tragedy very personally.

"No one risks their life in this way unless they feel they have no other option, and no one should ever die like this.

"We need further safe, legal routes to be established immediately for those in need of protection before more lives are lost." 

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While the situation in the UK is gravely concerning, the charity feels the overall scale of the problem is something that clearly needs to be considered.

Suffolk Refugee Support added: "It is also important to point out that the UK saw around 30,000 asylum applications last year - France received nearly three times as many - so only a tiny fraction of the world's 80 million displaced people attempt to reach the UK, often for family or language reasons.

"A clear majority of those who do cross the Channel on small boats are found to be in genuine need of protection."

Suffolk Refugee Support has pledged to continue to work with refugees and asylum seekers from around the world to help rebuild the lives of those who have been the victims of conflict, oppression and violence, however they arrive and whatever their needs.

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