The number of migrants rescued by France in the English Channel will triple by 2021

The number of migrants rescued off France’s northern coast will triple in 2021, when a record number of attempts to cross the English Channel into Britain was recorded, French authorities said Monday.

“The number of people stranded off the coast of Calais and brought in is 1,002 in 2021,” an annual increase of 194% (341 in 2020), the French Office of Immigration and Integration (Ofii) told AFP.

In late November, 27 migrants trying to reach British shores lost their lives in the route’s deadliest shipwreck, sparking a wave of anger and escalating tensions between London and Paris over immigration issues.

In addition, 31,031 people living in makeshift camps on France’s north coast waiting to reach the UK are served by French admissions facilities in 2021, an increase of 239% compared to 2020 (9,172), according to Ofii.

Among these migrants, the number of families or “vulnerable” persons doubled, from 1,158 to 2,273. In total, according to the agency, 9,779 places were proposed in 2021, mostly in the Altos de Francia region (98%, north), and 6,950 people were welcomed.

Migrant aid associations in the region often accuse authorities of obstructive policies on the coast, such as near-daily demolition of camps or, they argue, “inhumane” treatment of migrants.

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