Morecambe remembers the victims of the cockling tragedy 20 years on

The event was organised by the Morecambe charity More Music Credit: ITV News

A plea for "a kinder society" has been made as the 20th anniversary of the Morecambe Bay cockling tragedy was marked.

People gathered to remember the 23 people who drowned after becoming trapped by the tide when they were forced to work by their Chinese gangmaster.

On West End Beach braziers and lanterns were lit and there were musical performances.

It was one of a number of events to commemorate the anniversary.

International flautest Guo Yue performed on the beach Credit: ITV News

Community musician and organiser Peter Moser said: "It's a time to remember those people and think about how we can change things so it doesn't happen again.

"The trafficking will go on.  But it's not just trafficking that puts people into danger.

"We need somehow to make a kinder society, where people care for each other and where there are opportunities to work legally and find ways to contribute to their communities."

Events are taking place to mark the 2004 tragedy Credit: ITV News

Speaking ahead of a service of vigil and remembrance to mark the anniversary, the Rector of Morecambe Parish Church, Rev. Chris Krawiec said: “At times like these it’s important to come together as a community, itself made up of different communities, to acknowledge and remember.

“As we do so we also consider how, 20 years on, trafficking and modern slavery remains huge problem and we continue to call for change and action to bring the scourge of modern slavery to an end.”

The service will include a reading of the names of those who died. People attending will be offered a cockle shell to take away as a permanent reminder of those who died.