Last Wednesday, British authorities discovered the bodies of 39 people in the cargo section of a refrigerated truck in Essex, England. The deceased - would-be migrants, were apparently smuggled into the United Kingdom (UK) via Belgium from Southeast Asia. Their tragic deaths are a stark reality of the lengths and breaths oppressed people would risk in pursuit of opportunity.
While full identification of the departed souls might prove difficult to ascertain since media reports first suggested they were all Chinese, yet recent revelations have named some of the dead as Vietnamese, whatever their nationalities, 39-people have died horribly, perhaps by asphyxiation, in the back of truck in the pursuit for opportunity.
This group of dreamers for a better life and opportunity have sadly joined thousands of other wish-seekers who have drowned or otherwise killed, in recent years, in quests for refuge from conflict and from economic hardship in their respective lands.
Many Syrians, including too many children, have died on the Mediterranean Sea fleeing conflict and seeking solace in Europe. Afghans, Iraqis and Yemenis have also perished in pursuits of opportunity and away from conflict. North Africans too have perished or enslaved in their search for better lives.
While conditions causing the ongoing saga to finding refuge are all man-made, what will happen when greater events of nature force more people to flee their homes? If the peril of the Essex 39 and of many others are any indications of a scale of risk and associated death in finding refuge, then Climate Change will bring even greater risks and tragedies.