David Lammy has perceptively pointed out one of the major flaws in the way the UK discusses the influx of people trying to reach British shores across the Channel.
A child and a pregnant woman were among those who died. The exact cause of death remains unclear, but it’s thought their boat sunk in French waters while they were trying to reach the UK.
But, as the Labour MP and shadow justice secretary pointed out, the discussion around the tragedy refers to those people as migrants.
He tweeted: “Not migrants. Humans.”
Lammy is not alone in his attempts to dismantle this phrasing.
TV presenter Adil Ray also tweeted: “This is not a migrant crisis, this is a refugee crisis. It’s time we owned it.”
Director of international campaigns For Reporters Without Borders Rebecca Vincent echoed this sentiment. She tweeted: ”‘Migrants’ are people. Refugees are people. These are all precious human lives.
“I’m so ashamed and disgusted by this unabashed dehumanisation and othering of those we should be offering safe refuge.”
Liverpool Echo’s Liam Thorp also wrote: “They are people – mums, dads, sons, daughters – people with hopes, dreams, ambitions, love.
“They are not migrants or statistics or political footballs.
“They are people, human beings – the same as you and me.”
Here are some examples of Thursday’s headlines which refer to those who tried to reach the UK as “migrants”: