Distressing image of drowned Syrian boy sparks outcry over failure to tackle migrant crisis

Clothes can be seen washed up on the shore in Bodrum where the little boy was found Credit: APTN

A distressing image of a dead Syrian child lying face down in the sand after his tiny body was washed ashore has sparked international outcry over the failure to find a solution to the migrant crisis.

Warning: Tom Bradby's video report contains distressing images

The picture shows the young boy - dressed in a red T-shirt and shorts - lying motionless on Bodrum beach in Turkey.

Another image shows a sombre Turkish rescue worker carrying the child off the beach.

The toddler was named by Turkish media as three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who was from the war-torn Syrian town of Kobani.

He reportedly died alongside his five-year-old brother who had been travelling in the same boat.

The boys are believed to be two of 11 Syrian refugees who died after trying to cross the Mediterranean on two boats bound for the Greek island of Kos.

The image served as a stark reminder of the scale of the crisis and only increased pressure on European leaders to offer a solution.

Signatures to a "No more drownings - immediate sanctuary for those fleeing from war" petition jumped by nearly 50,000.

People also used the hashtag #kiyiyavuraninsanlik - meaning humanity washed ashore - to share the shocking image.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Britain's most senior Roman Catholic clergyman, told ITV News that the harrowing pictures showed Britain needed to be more "generous" to desperate migrants trying to reach Europe.

He said he had received numerous letters telling him that it was "a disgrace that we were letting people die and seeing bodies on the beaches when together Europe is such a wealthy place".

Cardinal Nichols speaking to Chris Ship. Credit: ITV News

Yvette Cooper, a contender for the Labour leadership, said the picture highlighted the fact that "Britain needs to act" and could not keep "turning our backs" on the escalating migrant crisis.

Read more: What we know about the Syrian boy found on a beach