Bishop Paul McAleenan, lead Bishop for migration and asylum, has issued a statement on behalf of the Bishop's Conference of England and Wales following the discovery on 23rd October of the deaths of 39 people who were trafficked into the UK:
'We are praying for the thirty-nine women and men who died, for their families, and for all those across the world who have lost their lives while trying to reach a better future. This tragedy underscores the urgent need to redouble our efforts in establishing safe passages and combatting criminals who exploit desperate people.'
Echoing Bishop Paul's words, Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, Chair of the Justice and Peace Commission for the Diocese of Westminster added: 'The discovery in Purfleet of the thirty-nine women and men who died in desperate attempts to reach a better future in our country is shocking and disturbing. Our hearts and prayers go out to their families and friends and for all those who have lost their lives in similar tragedies.
'This terrible event highlights the urgent need to establish safe passages and to combat the evil of those who exploit desperate people. In addition to this the forcible removal earlier this week of over a hundred people and their belongings from one camp in Calais is just one more example of the pressures that migrants face in an increasingly hostile environment which is an affront to any civilised understanding of human dignity.'