Kent

Channel migrants: Two children among 16 people in boat

Border Force cutter Image copyright Leon Neal/Getty Images

Two children were among 16 migrants intercepted crossing the Channel in a small boat.

A Border Force cutter was deployed in the early hours after being alerted by French authorities to a vessel travelling towards the Kent coast.

The 12 men, two women and two children found on board are believed to be Iranian and Iraqi, the Home Office said.

They were brought to Dover and will be interviewed by immigration officials.

At least 538 people, including about 40 children, have crossed the Channel in small boats since 3 November 2018.

The Home Office said: "Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children."

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

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