An Afghan migrant documents the perils and solidarity of crossing the English Channel

A migrant trying to cross the English Channel to enter the UK has documented his efforts in three videos he shared online.

The first video placed on TikTok was called “I’m in the UK”. It shows a boat full of young men making the dangerous crossing before they are apparently picked up by a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) rescue vessel.

It was reportedly filmed over the past four days as the UK faced a surge in crossings and the government pushed through a plan to send migrants across the Channel to Rwanda.

The bearded migrant says on TikTok that he is from Afghanistan and his first video was overlaid with two sobbing emojis.

The first video shows a group of about 30 young men, most wearing red life jackets, in a canoe.

They sit huddled along the side of the boat as it skims the water while others lie on the small boat’s center footrest.

A few of them are also smiling and waving at the camera in their windbreakers and hoodies.

His account has since posted two more videos, one of which shows their apparent RNLI rescue.

More than 6,000 people have entered the UK this year via the English Channel and often picked up by rescue vessels patrolling the waters.

They often board unseaworthy vessels on one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Last week, the UK announced its plan for Rwanda, which it presents as a deterrent to migrants and an attempt to weed out human traffickers involved in the crossing crisis.

Under the new proposals, asylum seekers trying to enter the UK via the Channel route from France will be flown to Rwanda in Africa on a one-way ticket.

There will be no cap on the number of submissions to Rwanda and successful applicants will “build a new life in this dynamic country”, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

“Rwanda will have the capacity to relocate tens of thousands of people in the years to come,” he said at a launch event in Kent, southeast England.

The program, which does not yet have the force of law, has been criticized by the UN, Christian leaders and refugee groups.

On Wednesday, Denmark revealed it was also in talks with Rwanda to transfer asylum seekers there.

Updated: April 21, 2022, 12:12 p.m.

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