‘Not Migrants, Humans’ – David Lammy’s 3 Words Make People Think Twice About The Migration Crisis

The news that 27 people died while trying to cross the Channel on Wednesday has rocked the UK.

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.

Reports that 27 people died while crossing the dangerous waterway of the English Channel in a dingy have made the front pages across the UK on Thursday.

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”:

While not every publication uses the word “migrants” in its coverage of Wednesday’s catastrophe, there is a clear trend for people seeking asylum in the UK to be described in such a way, especially as the numbers of people arriving via the Channel has crept up over the last year.