Sand graves symbolising Europe’s failing migration policy

Hundreds of ‘sand graves’ have been placed on the Belgian beach of Zeebrugge by a Belgian NGO, Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen. The symbolic action by this organisation symbolising a migrant who lost his or her life in the Mediterranean Sea in the first quarter of 2021.

Totally 621 sand sculptures with human dimensions of babies, children and adults have been erected on the beach.

“With this action, we want to create a shock effect and make the human toll of the failing migration policy more tangible,” Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen’s spokesperson Charlotte Vandycke said in a press release.

On the towels placed over the sand graves, the words “Searching for a place for your towel? 621 people drowned searching for a place to live” are imprinted.

“The cornerstone of any asylum and migration policy is the right to seek asylum. With the lack of sufficient legal entry routes, tougher external borders and a more difficult right to asylum, the emphasis is now on holding people back,” she said.

The organisation has argued that this is not a humane solution and instead pushes people into the hands of people smugglers.

“We want to wake up Belgian politics and the European Union and show them that their approach does not work,” Vandycke said.

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