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  1. ITV Report

'Graveyard of life jackets' marks migration crisis ahead of UN summit

Activists have laid out a 'graveyard of life jackets' in Parliament Square Credit: PA

Activists have laid out a haunting 'graveyard of life jackets' in London's Parliament Square ahead of the UN Migration Summit.

Thousands of life jackets were laid out on the grass around the statue of Winston Churchill overlooking parliament on Monday.

The 2,500 life jackets were worn by migrants making the treacherous crossing over the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece.

  • Syrian refugee Ahmed speaks to ITV News about his experience:

Some of the jackets on display were badly made by people smugglers who profit from arranging for desperate people to make the often dangerous trip and are constructed from non-buoyant materials.

Almost 300,000 people have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year Credit: PA

The actress Juliet Stevenson, a high-profile campaigner on refugee rights, told ITV News she wanted the government to come under pressure to do more for refugees.

"I want to be part of a country that was there when a crisis happened and can proudly say 'we did out bit to help'," she said.

  • ITV News reporter Sally Lockwood speaks to Juliet Stevenson:

The UN summit, which takes place in New York, has been described as a "watershed moment" in addressing the unprecedented mass movement of people across the world.

World leader are expected to commit to changing the international regime on refugees and migrants.

The life jackets have been laid out on the grass overlooking parliament Credit: ITV News

Almost 300,000 people - made up of migrants and refugees - have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year.

The majority of those attempting often deadly crossings in crowded boats do so in a desperate attempt to get away from war or persecution in their native countries, the UNHCR said.

The 2,500 life jackets were worn by migrants making the treacherous crossing over the Agean Sea Credit: ITV News

But migration remains a thorny political issue.

The UK has committed to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees from camps near to Syria over a five-year period, but faces calls to do more.