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UNHCR shocked, outraged at Dover deaths

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UNHCR shocked, outraged at Dover deaths

19 June 2000

UNHCR is deeply shocked and saddened by the deaths of 58 people whose bodies were found crammed in the back of a truck at Dover, England today.

Although few details have yet emerged on this tragedy, initial media reports note that Dover has often been used as a route for smuggling people into Britain.

The horrific consequences of human trafficking are being seen not only in Europe, but worldwide. This is a sad reflection of a variety of factors, including poverty, tightened migration policies, violent conflicts and abuse of human rights.

Assistant High Commissioner Søren Jessen-Petersen said the international community must do more to stop this callous, cynical and often deadly exploitation of the weak and powerless, whether they be migrants or those fleeing persecution and war. Jessen-Petersen noted that many recognized refugees in Europe had been obliged to use traffickers.

"We at UNHCR are saddened, horrified and outraged by what we are now seeing all too often in ports and entry points and along isolated trafficking routes around the world," Jessen-Petersen said. "This latest tragedy underscores the urgent necessity - and international responsibility - for finding better ways of managing the global movement of people so they no longer fall prey to those who thrive and profit on human misery and abuse."