Riot police patrol the borders, bodies of drowned children wash up on holiday beaches, a humanitarian disaster unfolds in refugee settlements: this is the European Union today. But how did a bloc that was founded on the values of human rights and dignity for all reach this point? And what was driving more than a million desperate people to risk their lives on the Mediterranean in the hope of finding sanctuary? Charlotte McDonald-Gibson has spent years reporting on every aspect of Europe's refugee crisis, and Cast Away offers a vivid glimpse into the personal dilemmas, pressures, choices and hopes that lie beneath the headlines. Here, we meet five people forced from their homelands, including Nart, a Syrian lawyer who becomes an underground activist fighting the Assad regime until the risk of imprisonment and torture becomes too great. Sina is newly married and heavily pregnant when she finds herself travelling alone across three continents to escape the Eritrean dictatorship. And Hanan watches in horror as the safe world she built for her four children in Damascus collapses, and she has to entrust their lives to people smugglers.
While the politicians wrangle over responsibility, and the media talk in statistics, Cast Away brings to life the human consequences of the most urgent issue of our time.