In 2015, Europe faced its largest migration crisis since World War II. The vast majority migrants came from war-torn Syria and Iraq. Others, such as Iranians and Afghans, fled their countries to escape religious persecution and possible death. Many of them took their chances aboard unseaworthy boats and dinghies in their desperate attempt to reach Europe by sea, hoping for a better life. It is a long process to determine if they qualify for refugee status and can be resettled.
The journey is long, tedious and plagued with uncertainty every step of the way. Thousands have died during the perilous sea crossings. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than one million migrants flowed into Europe last year, sparking a crisis as countries struggled to cope with the influx. This past March, European leaders agreed to close a migration route through the Balkans, triggering border closures in several countries and leaving more than 14,000 people stranded along Greece's border with Macedonia.
Their stories are told through pain, suffering and loss, often just through their faces, rather than their voices.