People from impoverished and war-torn countries in Africa, the Middle East and central and south Asia, continue to flee their homes in huge numbers, making perilous journeys to Europe, hoping for security, opportunity, and a new home. The United Nations estimates that 60,000 migrants have already made the journey across the Mediterranean Sea this year, landing in southern Europe, while another 1,800 attempted the crossing, but did not survive. After making deals with traffickers and traveling overland to Turkey or the near-anarchy of Libya, suffering at the hands of smugglers, dodging war zones and government checkpoints, these people are crammed onto tiny or antiquated vessels, and launched into the Mediterranean. Often, distress calls are sounded soon after, and they then rely on European rescue vessels to pick them up, gambling that they will be reached before their boat capsizes. The European Commission is now proposing EU member nations take in the rising wave of migrants based on a quota scheme, while other proposals include conducting search-and-destroy operations against empty Libyan smuggling boats. [34 photos total]

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1
Greek army Sgt. Antonis Deligiorgis, standing at left, rescues migrant Wegasi Nebiat from Eritrea, front left, from the Aegean sea, on the island of Rhodes, Greece, on April 20, 2015. Deligiorgis was awarded the Cross of Excellency by Defense Minister Panos Kammenos at an Athens ceremony on April 27, 2015, for his role in rescuing passengers from a ship carrying migrants from Turkey that sank after crashing into rocks. (Argiris Mantikos / AP) #
2
Migrants crowd an inflatable dinghy as rescue vessel "Denaro" of the Italian Coast Guard approaches them, off the Libyan coast, on April 22, 2015. (Alessandro Di Meo / AP) #
3
A rescuer, right, cradles a child in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy,on April 20, 2015, after about 100 migrants, including 28 children, were rescued by a merchant vessel in the Sicilian Strait. (Alessandra Tarantino / AP) #
4
People carry the body of a dead migrant from a merchant ship as they arrive in the Sicilian harbor of Catania, southern Italy, on May 5, 2015. Around forty migrants died in the Mediterranean the day before, according to survivors of the journey who arrived on the southern Italian island of Sicily on Tuesday, local Save the Children spokeswoman Giovanna Di Benedetto said. (Antonio Parrinello / Reuters) #
5
Migrants disembark from the Italian navy ship Vega in the Sicilian harbor of Augusta, southern Italy, on May 4, 2015. (Antonio Parrinello / Reuters) #
6
An Italian forensic police officer holds a numbered tag as he identifies a man who disembarked from the Italian Coast Guard ship “Fiorillo” at the Catania harbor, Sicily, southern Italy, on April 24, 2015. (Alessandra Tarantino / AP) #
7
A Spanish Civil Guard officer (left) throws a sandwich to an African migrant sitting at the top of a border fence during an attempt to cross into Spanish territories, between Morocco and Spain's north African enclave of Melilla on February 10, 2015. Of the nearly 400 migrants who participated in the attempt, 40 migrants managed to cross the border into Spain, and were held at CETI, a short-stay immigrant center, according to local authorities. (Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda / Reuters) #
8
A migrant and her son leave the immigration center through a fence on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on February 19, 2015. (Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters) #
9
West African migrants warm themselves by a fire near Gradsko, Macedonia, on March 6, 2015. (Dalton Bennett / AP) #
10
A Sudanese migrant climbs through a gate at a deserted textile factory in the western Greek town of Patras on April 28, 2015. Afghan, Iranian and Sudanese migrants, living precariously in abandoned factories in Patras, southwest Greece, try to stow away on nearby ferries to Italy as they seek a better life in Europe beyond crisis-hit Greece. (Yannis Behrakis / Reuters) #
11
An Afghan migrant is sits inside a wood factory across the street from the ferry terminal in the Greek town of Patras on April 28, 2015. (Yannis Behrakis / Reuters) #
12
A Sudanese migrant prays at an abandoned factory in the western Greek town of Patras on May 4, 2015. (Yannis Behrakis / Reuters) #
13
26-year-old Azam from South Sudan stands on rail tracks after failing to flee to Italy in the Patras, Greece, on April 28, 2015. (Yannis Behrakis / Reuters) #
14
A man looks at a ferry departing from the Greek town of Patras on May 4, 2015. Afghan, Iranian and Sudanese migrants, living precariously in abandoned factories in Patras, southwest Greece, try to stow away on nearby ferries to Italy as they seek a better life in Europe beyond crisis-hit Greece. (Yannis Behrakis / Reuters) #
15
An African migrant tries to jump a fence into a ferry terminal in Patras, Greece, on April 28, 2015. (Yannis Behrakis / Reuters) #
16
An African migrant tries to sneak under a truck, which briefly stopped at a traffic light, attempting to enter the ferry terminal in Patras, Greece, on April 28, 2015. (Yannis Behrakis / Reuters) #
17
A French police officer, right, chases migrants on the motorway leading to the ferry port to cross the English Channel, in Calais, northern France, on April 28, 2015. Each night, the Calais migrants try to slip unnoticed onto trucks crossing the channel on ferries or through the Eurotunnel beneath the channel. In a cat-and-mouse game with police, they dart across highways and pray for traffic jams, when it’s easier to sneak onto slow-moving trucks. (Francois Mori / AP) #
18
Eritrean Abrham Russon, 31, poses with his back to the camera so he will not be recognized, during an interview with The Associated Press in Milan, Italy, on April 23, 2015. (Antonio Calanni / AP) #
19
A group of migrants walk on the railroad tracks on May 4, 2015, near the town of Veles, in central Macedonia. (Robert Atanasovski / AFP / Getty Images) #
20
Media and police inspect at the scene where fourteen migrants were hit by a train, near Veles, Macedonia, on April 24, 2015. Fourteen migrants were hit by a train and killed as they walked through a canyon along an increasingly well-trodden Balkan route for migrants trying to reach western Europe. (Ognen Teofilovski / Reuters) #
21
Media representatives stand by a collective grave where the bodies of the fourteen migrants killed by an express train, are set in to be buried by Muslim custom at a cemetery near Veles, Macedonia, on April 26, 2015. The migrants, believed to be from Afghanistan and Somalia who were heading north toward the European Union were killed by an express train as they walked along tracks at night. As they did not have identification documents, they were all set in a collective grave and buried by Muslim custom. (Boris Grdanoski / AP) #
22
A Libyan Navy boat carries migrants back to the coastal city of Misrata, Libya, on May 3, 2015. Nearly 5,800 migrants were plucked from boats off the coast of Libya and 10 bodies were recovered in less than 48 hours, Italy's coast guard said, in one of the biggest rescue operations this year. Libyan state news agency Lana said on Sunday authorities there detained 500 migrants in five boats off Tripoli and a further 480 migrants - from Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia were caught in a farm near the central town of Jufra, and another 170 were detained nearby. (Ismail Zetouni / Reuters) #
23
A migrant reacts next to others after their boat was sent back by the Libyan navy to the coastal city of Misrata on May 3, 2015. (Ismail Zetouni / Reuters) #
24
Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa sit at a center for illegal migrants in the al-Karem district of the Libyan eastern port city of Misrata on April 15, 2015, after their boat was intercepted by the Libyan coast guard. (Mahmud Turkia / AFP / Getty Images) #
25
A migrant from Eritrea covers his face as he sits near tents as he lives in a makeshift camp under a metro bridge in Paris, France, on April 27, 2015. African migrants, principally from Eritrea and Sudan, sleep rough in some 80 tents and shelters as they make their way from the Mediterranean northwards towards Calais. (Benoit Tessier / Reuters) #
26
Migrants crowd an inflatable dinghy as a launch from the rescue vessel "Denaro" of the Italian Coast Guard approaches them, off the Libyan coast on April 22, 2015. (Alessandro Di Meo / AP) #
27
Migrants wait to disembark from the Italian navy ship Borsini in the Sicilian harbor of Palermo on May 5, 2015. (Guglielmo Mangiapane / Reuters) #
28
Migrants wait to disembark from the Iceland Coast Guard vessel Tyr at the Messina harbor, Sicily, southern Italy, on May 6, 2015. (Antonio Calanni / AP) #
29
A child wears gloves on her feet as she arrives with her mother on the boat "Nos Taurus Genova" at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, on February 16, 2015. (Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters) #
30
Rescued migrants cheer to the photographer after disembarking from the Italian Navy vessel "Bettica" in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, southern Italy, on April 22, 2015. (Carmelo Imbesi / AP) #
31
Personnel in sanitary outfits prepare to carry body bags down from the cargo ship Zeran after docking at the Catania harbor, southern Italy, on May 5, 2015. Five bodies were recovered in the latest Mediterranean rescue and more were feared drowned. (AP) #
32
The word "Dignity?" is spray painted onto a structure at a camp set up by immigrants in Calais, northern France, where over a thousand immigrants live in makeshift shelters, on April 15, 2015. (Philippe Huguen / AFP / Getty Images) #
33
Sudanese immigrants charge their mobile phones at a makeshift electric outlet in the western Greek town of Patras on May 4, 2015. (Yannis Behrakis / Reuters) #
34
Baboucar Lowe, a 17-year-old migrant from Gambia touches his head during an interview with the Associated Press, in Nicolosi, Sicily, on May 6, 2015. Baboucar nearly lost his life when the dinghy he was on deflated within sight of a rescue ship. He recounted the moment when more than 100 people aboard the deflating dinghy tried to climb aboard lines thrown by the Maltese freighter Zeran and dozens fell into the sea, drowning. (Antonio Calanni / AP) #

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