Vancouver dramatization demands safe passage for refugees

A dramatization of a refugee boat landing drew a small crowd to Vancouver's Sunset Beach this afternoon in a display demonstrating the difficult journey asylum seekers face in starting a new life.

The United Nations says 410 people have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean this year

A small group steers a dinghy onto the shore near Sunset Beach in an effort to raise awareness of the dangerous journeys refugees take. (CBC)

A dramatized boat landing drew a small crowd to Vancouver's Sunset Beach this afternoon in a display demonstrating the difficult journey thousands of refugees take before starting a new life. 

A dozen people in life jackets, including a young boy, guided a small dinghy onto the shoreline to a waiting crowd.

Those there held signs expressing solidarity with the tens of thousands who have embarked on the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean.

Similar scenes unfolded in more than 120 cities worldwide as part of the Safe Passage event.

It aims to convince governments to offer safe transportation to those seeking asylum in Europe. 

"This is a giant humanitarian effort that we all need to step up for," said Vancouver Safe Passage organizer Erian Baxter. "Smugglers are getting a rubber raft and putting way too many people in it and pointing to one person and saying you're the captain and shoving them out to the ocean. and they're dying at sea."

The event in Vancouver was the only one in a Canadian city. 

The United Nations says more than 80-thousand refugees and migrants have taken the journey across the Mediterranean so far this year. It says 410 have died in the process.

Canadian Press


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