Two children, aged six and nine, were among four people who died when their boat sank off the coast of France. How many youngsters have made the perilous crossing this year?
More than 7,400 people have stepped into small boats and navigated one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world to reach the south coast of England in 2020.
At least six people are now thought to have died in that time, including the two children on Tuesday. A third child is missing.
An inspection of a holding facility at the Port of Dover last month found at least 320 children arrived between the start of June and the end of August – about 10% of all those who crossed the Channel at that time.
Another 2,500 people have since reached the UK, but the number of children among them remains unclear.
The Home Office has consistently refused to confirm the number of children among those making the crossing. It claims there are “safeguarding concerns” which prevent it from identifying children and it can be difficult to confirm the ages of adolescents.
Charity Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN), which supports child asylum seekers arriving in the county, said the government “deliberately cloak the numbers of children making the lethal journey across the Channel because they know there would be a public outcry”.