UK truck tragedy of Vietnamese migrants
In October, 39 people (eight women and 31 males, including two teenagers aged 15) died frozen in the back of a lorry in Essex, Southern England, trying to start a new life in Europe. The trailer had been shipped from Belgium to the UK, and it is believed they paid traffickers for their clandestine journey to England. Some of the migrants usually wait for months in camps in northern France before travelling by truck.
16 of 39 bodies arrived back to Vietnam on November 27th. There are still 23 bodies that were not brought back because the families could not afford the expenses. Most of the families took tens of thousands of dollars in debt to help their relatives to travel to Europe. Repatriation of each body cost each family more than 2,200 euros, according to the BBC.
Two of the victims were only 15 years old. One of the teenagers flew from Hanoi to Russia in August to work in a nail salon, according to Reuters. A 26-year-old Vietnamese woman sent a text message to her mother before dying, according to Al Jazeera: “I’m sorry, Mom. My path to abroad doesn’t succeed. Mom, I love you so much! I’m dying bcoz I can’t breathe.” The New York Times estimates that about 18,000 Vietnamese pay smugglers for the risky hidden journey to Europe every year.