“What are we waiting for? Our children are being washed up on our beaches”


The body of a teenage boy has been found on a beach in Sangatte, Northern France. It is has been reported he was one of two boys attempting to cross the Channel in a dinghy. The other boy was rescued at sea.

The Bishop of Dover, The Right Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin said: "Today we mourn the death of a young boy, found washed up on the beach in Northern France. A teenager just like any other – one with hopes and dreams, a need for safety and security. My heart is so full of sadness for his family and I send them my love and my prayers. 

“People who try to cross the Channel seeking safety and security are not criminals – they are human beings like you and I. Human beings who should be afforded the dignity and respect and rights that so many of us take for granted. It is a travesty that this young man will never see his hoped-for future, that his family has been deprived of seeing him grow up. 

“We cannot let his death pass by unremarked. This appalling tragedy should be a wake up call to all of us – we must open our hearts and minds, we must take action to protect those who are desperate enough to risk their lives to land on our shores. We must challenge and condemn systems and practices and people who are driven by greed to exploit people like this young man, with no regard for the consequences. 

“The long-term challenges have got to be addressed. What are we waiting for? Our children are being washed up on our beaches. How much worse does this have to get before we take definitive action to save lives and protect the dignity of people who have been pushed to take such desperate measures? They are part of our human family - our brothers, our sisters, our children. We need to take action now. We need to ask why people are fleeing their homes. We need to ask what we can do. We cannot stand by any longer while their bodies wash up on the shores.”

For more information, contact Anna Drew or Nadine Miller:
Anna Drew: adrew@diocant.org / 07753454586
Nadine Miller: nmiller@diocant.org / 07850 774620