It’s a chilly June day in “The Jungle,” a camp in Calais, France, where, at that time, approximately 3,000 refugees and migrants from different parts of the world were living.
The area of the camp occupied by Eritrean refugees looks like a war zone, consisting of debris and partly burned structures, the result of a fight that had erupted a week earlier between different migrant groups.
Yonas, an Eritrean refugee, is hoping to one day cross over to the UK. Like many, he fled Eritrea for Sudan, where he lived in a refugee camp for four years. Due to a difficult life and a constant feeling of insecurity, he decided to embark on the perilous journey to Europe, during which he witnessed unthinkable hardships affecting children and adults alike.
“I myself, as a man, couldn’t endure the journey,” he says. “I plead with parents not to take this journey with children, children cannot tolerate the suffocation and the hardships of the journey. To the smugglers, I would like to say that it is immoral to make money trading with children’s lives.”
Listen to Yonas’ account of his journey from Sudan.