Human rights organisation Amnesty UK held a dramatic protest on Brighton beach this morning, highlighting the deaths of 900 people whose ship capsized as they tried to reach European shores.
In a striking reminder of the deaths at sea, 200 body bags were arranged in lines across the beach.
Some of the body bags were filled with balloons and pebbles, while others were occupied by Amnesty volunteers.
Since EU migrant search and rescue missions were scaled back, the number of migrants dying at sea has risen dramatically.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has predicted that up to 30,000 people could die this year trying to reach Europe by boat.
Emergency EU talks are taking place tomorrow in an attempt to find ways of stemming the flow of migrants and stopping the deaths.
In response to the crisis, Amnesty has launched a campaign called ‘Don’t Let Them Drown.’
They’re calling on the UK government to ‘stop the spiralling death toll’ and ‘strengthen search and rescue operations […] through a joint effort involving all EU member states.’
Over 20,000 people have signed the petition so far.
Amnesty’s UK director, Kate Allen, said:
Until now, the British government’s response has been shameful but finally foreign ministers seem to be waking up to the need to act. EU governments must now urgently turn their rhetoric into action to stop more people drowning on their way to Europe.