Representatives of human rights groups, unions and political organisations on Thursday read out the names of 36,570 persons who died trying to reach Europe, at a ceremony held in four locations in Brussels.
The ceremony was organised on the occasion of World Refugee Day to “give back their dignity” to the migrants.
The public reading began at 8 a.m. and continued into the afternoon. It was done simultaneously at the European Parliament (Station Europe), the Stock Exchange, Carrefour d’Europe (Central Station) and Madou. The readers called out the names, region of origin, date, and cause of death of each of the 36,570 persons who lost their lives “trying to reach fortress Europe”.
The list was compiled by United for Intercultural Action, the European network against nationalism, racism, and fascism, and for support for migrants and refugees.
“The idea is to make the invisible, visible, to give existence to the men, women, and children whose existence the European Union denies to the extent of not keeping any statistics on them, whereas it loves statistics of all types on its own citizens,” explained Agir pour la Paix, which took part in the action.
"Since 1995 and the creation of the Schengen space, legal means of access to the European territory have become increasingly restricted, leaving migrants no choice other than the most dangerous routes,” it added.
The Brussels Times