Afghan migrant documents perils and solidarity involved in crossing English Channel

The first of three short films placed on TikTok was called ‘I am in UK'

The video posted to TikTok appears to show migrants crossing the English Channel. TikTok
Powered by automated translation

A migrant attempting to cross the English Channel to enter the UK has documented his efforts in three videos he shared online.

The first video placed on TikTok was called ‘I am in UK’. It shows a boat full of young men making the dangerous crossing before they are apparently picked up by a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) rescue vessel.

It was purportedly filmed in the past four days while the UK has been dealing with a spike in sailings and the government is pushing through a plan to send Channel-crossing migrants to Rwanda.

The bearded migrant says on TikTok he is from Afghanistan and his first video was superimposed with two sobbing emojis.

The first video shows a group of about 30 young men, most of their wearing red life jackets, in a dinghy.

They are sat crowded along the side of the boat as it skims the water as others lie down in the central footrest of the small boat.

A few of them also smile and wave at the camera from beneath their windcheaters and hoodies.

His account has since posted two more videos, one of those showing their apparent RNLI rescue.

More than 6,000 people have entered the UK this year via the English Channel and often picked up by rescue vessels patrolling the waters.

They often set sail in unseaworthy vessels across one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Last week, the UK announced its Rwanda plan, which it promotes as a disincentive to the migrants and an attempt to remove the human traffickers involved in the crossing crisis.

Under the new proposals, asylum seekers who try to enter the UK through the English Channel route from France will be flown to Rwanda in Africa on a one-way ticket.

The number sent to Rwanda will not be capped and successful claimants would “build a new life in that dynamic country”, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

“Rwanda will have the capacity to rehouse tens of thousands of people in the years ahead,” he said at a launch event in Kent, south-east England.

The scheme, not yet law, has been criticised by the UN, Christian leaders and refugee groups.

On Wednesday, Denmark revealed it was also in talks with Rwanda to transfer asylum seekers there.

Updated: June 20, 2023, 10:46 AM