The first principle of a civilised country’s asylum policy is that vulnerable people have the right to be heard
A few days ago, the Guardian published the findings of an investigation by its reporters into a new, tragic category of disappeared person. Across Europe – in Lampedusa, on the Polish border, in northern France and elsewhere – more than 1,000 anonymous graves now signal the final resting place of migrants who lost everything in the search for a better life, including their identity.
Close to Calais, the graves are marked simply “X”. In Croatia and Poland, plaques state “NN” – Latin for name unknown. In border regions across the continent, over 2,000 unidentified bodies pile up in shipping containers or hospital morgues. Meagre possessions – a Manchester United souvenir badge or a pair of hairdressing scissors – testify to the passions and hopes of the individual who lost their lives. Thousands of miles away, relatives living in some of the poorest, most troubled parts of the world suffer in ignorance of their loved ones’ fate.