218,000 of refugees crossed the Mediterranean Sea last month alone, according to the United Nations. It’s the same number as in the whole of 2014. Europe is facing the most important influx of refugees since World War II. They are coming not just from Syria but also Afghanistan or Iran. Greece is by far the main destination of arrival, followed by Italy. Refugees fleeing from war and instability in the Middle East have created a major European crisis. Many of them are fleeing persecution, poverty, ethnic and religious strife but these problems are often symptoms of more profound changes.
The more the number of migrants is increasing the more barriers are rising. To counteract this process, countries such as Austria and Hungary are erecting fences in order to stem the important flow of migrants. The Hungarian government has recently proposed harsh measures against migration, including three-year prison sentences for crossing the border illegally. An approach that has been widely criticized by other EU members. The important number of crossings has had serious consequences, with an impressive numbers of deaths piling up each passing day. Despite the coming of winter, the number of people making the journey does not appear to be slowing down. On the contrary, 700 adults and children in all passed out because of hypothermia. Although, many parents aren’t very well prepared, this is why they are resorted to wrap their children in rubbish bags to try to keep them dry. “Better to die quickly there, than slowly in Iraq,” said an Iraqi migrant. Thousands of refugees are now flooding across borders in southeastern Europe on foot, bus and train. Some of them will risk their lives trying to make their way to Germany, Sweden and other northern European countries in hope for a better future.
Here migrants coming to Europe. They are holding children in their arms.
NFAOUI YASSIN, IEJ3F, Group 1