Daily Mail slammed for article suggesting refugees and asylum seekers risk their lives for mobile phones and cash

At least 27 people died trying to cross the Channel this week


The MailOnline has been slammed for writing an article detailing how it’s “no wonder” that refugees and asylum seekers “risk their lives” to get to the UK.

The piece, which was published on November 26, shares how refugees may get “£40 a week cash” and “free mobiles” if they come to the UK.

But the article has been highly criticised given the dangerous journey asylum seekers make, only because they have no choice due to the dangers in their own countries. 

The danger that these journeys hold is clear given the devastating news this week that at least 27 people died in the English Channel after their boat sank.

It is thought the inflatable dinghy they were on collided with a container ship, causing the dinghy to capsize.

Bodies were washed up after the disaster, including a child’s, and the first person who died has been named as Mariam Nouri Hamadameen, a 21 year old Kurdish woman from northern Iraq. 

The International Organisation for Migration has named the disaster the biggest loss of life in the Channel.

The tragedy has led to increased calls for the UK government to create more safe and open routes to the UK for refugees and asylum seekers.

And people have taken to Twitter to slam analysis of this published in the MailOnline.

One person said: “Contrary to what the Daily Mail publishes, there is no migrant crisis in the UK.

“The 29 migrants that have died were human beings trying for a better life.”

Another tweeted: “The thing they bang on about most when you start out in journalism is that you write *for the reader*. 

“Personally I’ve always suspected we also affect how people think, but either way: this was written because it reflects who and what we are on this nasty little island.”

Someone else tweeted: “If anyone is keeping track, £40 plus accommodation is worth risking death for and £82,000 plus accommodation plus expenses is f****** peanuts.”

The Mail’s article seems to assume that refugees are desperate to leave their home countries, but that’s untrue.

We do not yet know where the boat that sank came from, but those in the boat were likely to only have been fleeing their home countries because of the danger, abuse and persecution they face there.

The Refugee Council has recently released analysis detailing that 91 percent of people arriving come from just 10 countries in the world, where human rights abuses and violations are particularly severe.

These include Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea and Yemen.

Yet the Mail’s headline seems to suggest that these people are risking their lives – actually risking their lives – for a mobile phone and a bit of money.

Lucy Skoulding is a journalist and human rights masters student. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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