Children and a pregnant woman are among the newest "small boat" arrivals in the UK
Children and a pregnant woman are among the newest

Dungeness: Despite the risky Channel crossing from France, which claimed at least six lives over the weekend, dozens of migrants, many of them children and a pregnant woman, arrived in small boats on England's south coast on Wednesday.

An AFP photographer saw that when entering British waters, at least 100 people were intercepted by UK Border Force patrol vessels and brought to the port of Dover.

The same photographer noted that dozens more attempted to cross the English Channel in small boats and were later brought ashore on lifeboats at Dungeness, a headland about 25 miles (40 kilometres) to the west.

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The arrivals followed the early-morning Saturday sinking of an inflatable boat in the English Channel, which claimed the lives of six Afghan men and necessitated the rescue of dozens more.

While placing the blame on criminal gangs for facilitating the crossings, both Britain and France have come under fire from rights organisations for their approaches to the problem.

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Particularly the UK government has come under fire for recently preventing newcomers from requesting asylum and pursuing plans to deport them right away to Rwanda. Both plans are on hold while a court case challenging the migrants' relocation to east Africa is being heard.

Additionally, they have come under fire for their plans to house up to 500 migrants in a barge off the coast of southwest England and other similar locations.

Since Britain started publicly tracking the arrivals in 2018, more than 100,000 migrants have crossed the Channel on small boats from France to southeast England, according to figures released last Friday.

Numerous previous capsizes and dozens of migrants drowning in the water over the past ten years demonstrate how dangerous the route across one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world can be.

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More than 130,000 asylum seekers were still waiting for their applications to be processed at the end of March as a result of the years of immigration to Britain.

According to a spokesman for the interior ministry, the "unacceptable number of people risking their lives by making these dangerous crossings" is putting "unprecedented strain" on the British asylum system. Stopping the boats is our top priority, he added.

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