Who is to blame for migrant deaths?

They are no accident

When migrants die in their effort to cross the policed borders of a country, governments tend to blame the smugglers that enabled them. Others might blame the migrants themselves for taking extremely high risks. But the real moral responsibility lies with the governments, argues Kieran Oberman.


On Wednesday 24 November 2021, 27 migrants died trying to cross the Channel from France the UK. Most were Iranian Kurds. Among the group was one pregnant woman and three children. It was the worst disaster in the Channel to date. Around the world, such tragedies are all too common. On the US-Mexico border, migrants often collapse from heat and exhaustion. In the Mediterranean region, drownings are so common that it has become the world’s deadliest frontier. In the last 5 years alone, over 10,000 migrants have drowned trying to reach Europe’s southern coast.

Who is to blame for such tragedies? Governments tend to blame the smugglers that transport migrants ac

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