Nearly 600 migrants have crossed the English Channel to the UK since the start of the year.

Crossings of the English Channel from the French coast have not ceased despite the winter. As January comes to a close, almost 600 people have arrived in the UK. Seeking to curb arrivals, the British government will ban videos promoting illegal crossings on social media.

Crossings of the English Channel resume as the weather calms down, despite sub-zero temperatures. Four hundred and forty-two migrants arrived in the UK on Sunday, January 22, the British Ministry of Defense has confirmed.

A total of 10 ships were intercepted by the British Coast Guard early Sunday in the Strait of Dover, while temperatures hovered around minus 5°C in southern England. Among those rescued was a baby. The immigrants may have set sail from Gravelines, near Dunkirk, in northern France.

According to official figures, 592 migrants have crossed the English Channel since the beginning of the year. Crossings carried out in waves, concentrating on less windy days, despite particularly dangerous seas at this time of year.

Thus, on January 17, 106 people made the perilous journey to the British coast. On January 2, 44 migrants arrived in the UK by boat.

>> To read: “Either you freeze to death in the camp, or you drown in the sea”: despite a new shipwreck in the Canal, the migrants decided to leave

New arrivals for the month of January could be added to this report. Several groups of migrants wearing life jackets, some wrapped in blankets, were brought to Dover, Kent, on a British Border Force Coast Guard boat on Wednesday, January 25, reports British outlet Sky news. According to multiple sources, Sky News estimates that around 500 people crossed the English Channel that day, which has yet to be confirmed by UK authorities.

At the same time last year, 1,339 people made the trip during the month of January 2022.

Towards a ban on videos that promote crossings

Last year saw a record number of crossings with 45,756 people reaching UK shores, an increase of more than 60% on 2021.

The British government, which seeks to stop these arrivals, has implemented several measures in this regard. The last points to videos showing migrants crossing the Channel illegally ‘in a positive light’. In the crosshairs of the British, clips circulate on social networks that the executive describes as “helping and abetting the violation of immigration laws.” The idea is, according to the Secretary of State for Culture Michelle Donelan, “to better fight illegal immigration promoted by organized gangs.”

>> To read: London accuses social media of making Channel crossings “glamorous”

For this reason, the government announced on January 17 that it would broaden the scope of an online safety bill to ban these types of videos. “Tech companies will need to take proactive steps to prevent smugglers from operating on social media and removing content that seeks to aid, encourage or induce people to commit an existing immigration offence,” the UK Home Office said.

Under this bill, affected digital companies and their managers face up to 18 million pounds sterling (20 million euros) or a prison sentence in case of infringement. The amendment and the bill must now be tabled for the agreement of British MPs.

Dennis Alvarado

"Total social media fan. Travel maven. Evil coffee nerd. Extreme zombie specialist. Wannabe baconaholic. Organizer."

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