Among those who continued to make dangerous journeys across the Channel today were babies, just a day after the body of a Kurdish boy was discovered in Norway.
Photos taken this morning in Kent show more than 20 migrants, including young children dressed in life jackets, aboard a boat bound for the coast of Dover.
Figures from seniors at Kent County Council have warned services are currently at a ‘breaking point’ after more than 1,000 people made the 21-mile crossing in the past week.
A Border Force unit has gathered several more young people this morning, just a day after the dangerous nature of migrant crossings was exposed when a one-year-old boy was identified after his body washed ashore on the Norwegian coast.
The remains of Artin Iran-Nejad – an 18-month-old Iranian Kurdish boy – were found near the coasts of Karmoy, some 900 miles from where he drowned near Dunkirk last October.
More than 20 migrants, including women and babies, were picked up in Dover this morning by a British Border Force vessel
Pictured is a young boy clinging to a woman before arriving in Dover, Kent this morning
Pictured is a UK Border Force boat gathering a group of more than 20 migrants who made the 21-mile journey across the English Channel today
The group of migrants were photographed this morning aboard an official Border Force vessel in Dover, Kent, after an extremely busy week crossing the Channel.
Migrant children wrapped in life jackets arrived in the UK on Monday after crossing the Channel as local children’s services warn they are at a breaking point.
This year, some 250 minors have made the perilous journey across the Channel so far, including 50 over the recent Bank Holiday weekend.
Meanwhile, migrants continued to risk their lives sailing across the Channel today, with 1,000 arriving alone last week and more than 4,500 crossing since the start of the year.
The annual total is expected to exceed the 8,400 who made the trip in 2020.
Border police escort child migrants ashore in Dover amid new wave of migration that has seen more than 1,000 people make the crossing in the past week
The group of masked migrants confers with a member of the UK Border Force as they prepare to enter the country
To underline the dangers of the journey, Norwegian researchers revealed yesterday that the body of Artin Iran-Nejad – an 18-month-old Iranian Kurdish boy – was found near their shores about 900 miles from where he drowned last October. near Dunkirk.
Four members of Artin’s family – including father Rasoul, mother Shiva, both 35, sister Anita, nine, and brother Armin, six – were confirmed dead after the small boat they were attempting to cross capsized near the French coast in rough seas, but the toddler’s body was never found.
Yesterday Norwegian investigators revealed that his remains had washed ashore near Karmoy, in the southwest of the country on January 1, but they had only been able to identify him this week.
Artin’s tragic journey had begun in Iran on August 7 last year after his parents ‘sold everything’ and allegedly paid smugglers £21,000 in hopes of building a better life for themselves in the UK.
Their exact reasons for leaving Iran were not made clear by relatives speaking at the time, but Kurds are an often persecuted minority in Iran.
The family is believed to have gone on to Turkey, before catching a ferry to Italy and then driving in trucks into France, where they arrived nearly a month before the tragic sinking.
They then made three attempts to cross over to the United Kingdom, where they would have family. Two attempts on the train failed, before their third, doomed attempt on a boat.
Artin and his relatives were crammed into the tour boat with as many as 23 others – despite it only being designed to carry 18.
The family is said to have been placed in a cabin below deck, meaning they were trapped when the boat capsized in rough seas on Oct. 27.
Artin Iran-Nejad, 15 months old, was reported missing after a boat with his family capsized across the Channel near France last year. His remains have now been identified by researchers in Norway, who say his body washed ashore on January 1.
Norwegian researchers have released images of what Artin was wearing when his body was found in the ocean near Karmoy, in the southwest of the country, on New Year’s Day (pictured, his jacket can be seen from the front)
Mr Iran-Nejad (left) and his wife, Shiva, (far right) with two rescuers (center) in a French migrant camp. The children can be seen from left to right: Artin, Anita and Armin
DNA testing then confirmed that the body and boy were one and the same.
His next of kin have been notified and his body is expected to be flown back to Iran for burial.
The news comes as the Kent County Council would weigh up the decision to launch a judicial review to try to force Home Secretary Priti Patel to disperse newly arrived babies across the country after arrival.
The authority said it may no longer be able to accept new unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) within days – a situation that happened in August 2020.
A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: ‘We recognize the long-standing role Kent County Council has played in supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and are extremely grateful for their contribution.
“We continue to encourage more areas to join the National Transfer Scheme and do their part.”