Aid organizations and pro-refugee groups laid out 2,500 life jackets to symbolize refugee crossings to Europe in a demonstration outside the British parliament Monday timed to coincide with a United Nations summit in New York on the worldwide migrant crisis.
The orange life jackets, spread out on the lawn of Parliament Square, were actually worn by adults and children travelling from Turkey to Greece, part of a wave of migrants attempting the Mediterranean crossing to get to mainland Europe.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Rescue Committee, Migrant Voice, World Vision, and Doctors Without Borders collaborated on the display, which they called a "life jacket graveyard" to illustrate the risks migrants take.
"We hope this will send a message to the world leaders to call for durable solutions," said Sanj Srikanthan, head of policy and practice at International Rescue Committee.
The UNHCR estimates 6,940 people have drowned or went missing while trying to reach Europe between January 2015 and August 2016.
In New York, leaders of 193 states were gathering for the U.N. General Assembly, which was opening with its first ever summit specifically addressing global movements of refugees and migrants.
Aid organizations have often called on the U.K. to take in more refugees but at the U.N., Prime Minister Theresa May was expected to affirm the right of all countries to control their borders, a government statement said, and would call for "reducing unmanaged population movement" along with measures to help refugees claim asylum in the first safe countries they reach.