Escape

Alessio Paduano

2010 - Ongoing

Italy; Serbia; Turkey; Greece; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Hungary

Every day thousands of people from North Africa and the Middle East fleeing from war and hunger and try to reach Europe in search of a better future. This can probably be considered the most significant humanitarian exodus after the Second World War.

Migrants coming from Africa try to reach Europe crossing the sea. The United Nations estimates that 95.637 migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea to enter Europe in 2021. The journey across the sea remains extremely dangerous: 1.313 deaths were reported this year.

Other populations such as Syria, Pakistan or Afghanistan in many cases try to reach Europe by land. The scale of the crisis has put huge pressures on some destination countries, in particularly Italy, Greece and Balkans. Traveling by land is also very difficult for migrants, who are forced to sleep outdoors, or in makeshift shelters without water, food, electricity and running water. Children are the ones who suffer from this condition most of all. During the winter, many frostbite deaths were reported by humanitarian organizations operating in the field. Another danger is represented by the possibility of being intercepted by the border police, who according to the testimonies of some migrants, often use violence against those who try to cross the border.

The European Union so far has not enabled any concrete program to resolve this situation.

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  • Afghan refugees walk in a valley outside the city of Van, Turkey on October 23, 2021. Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, thousands of people have been leaving the country and many of them have tried to get to Turkey via Iran.

  • Migrants are seen near the Serbian border with Hungary in Rozske, Hungary on September 15, 2015.

  • Members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms rescue Josepha, an African migrant from Cameroon, while the body of a woman lies on a piece of drift wood about 85 miles off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean sea on July 17, 2018.

  • Migrants wait to disembark from the Aquarius rescue ship run by NGO S.O.S. Mediterranee and Medecins Sans Frontieres at Salerno harbour, Southern Italy on May 26 2017.

  • A migrant tries to board a boat of the German NGO Sea-Watch in the Mediterranean Sea on November 6, 2017. During a shipwreck, five people died, including a newborn child.

  • Migrants sleep on the street near the Serbian border with Hungary in Horgos, Serbia on September 15, 2015.

  • A man sits in front of a line of Greek police in riot gear at the Idomeni camp in Greece on March 21, 2016.

  • Police guard helps a baby to get the train heading for Zagreb as migrants desperately try to continue their journey in the north of Europe despite moves by Slovenia and Hungary to hold them back in Tovarnik, Croatia on September 20, 2015.

  • Abdul, 40 years old (left) from Takhar province, Afghanistan is seen with his children Fazel, 9 years old (center) and Mohammad, 2 years old (right) inside the house where they live in Van, Turkey on October 25, 2021. Abdul arrived in Turkey for about two months paying 7200 dollars for the entire family. Fazel was injured a year and two months ago in Afghanistan. He was in a mosque for a religion class and when the clashes began between the Taliban and the national army all the children started to flee. When Fazel got home, a mortar shell exploded near his home, which was twenty meters away from a Nantional Army base. The mortar strike caused Fazel to lose part of his arm and caused permanent damage to his eyesight.

  • A general view of the cemetery for unidentified migrants who have died crossing from Iran to Turkey in Van, Turkey on October 24, 2021. The cemetery has existed since the end of 2009 and hosts more than 500 dead. About 30% are children.

  • Afghan refugees are seen in a valley outside the city of Van, Turkey on October 25, 2021. They often sleep outdoors and sometimes use tunnel for temporary shelter on their way to Van or other Turkish cities.

  • A migrant crosses the snow-covered fields near an abandoned factory in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 26, 2021. Lots of migrants avoid staying inside the Bosnian official refugee camps because of the hard conditions in which they are forced to live and also because the people hosted in the official camps cannot go out freely.

  • Migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan watch a football match on a smartphone inside an abandoned building in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 21, 2021. Lots of migrants avoid staying inside the Bosnian official refugee camps because of the hard conditions in which they are forced to live and also because the people hosted in the official camps cannot go out freely.

  • A migrant from Afghanistan shows the scars that according to his testimony, would have been caused by the violence of the Croatian police, while several months ago he tried to cross the border in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 22, 2021.

  • Refugees shower outside an abandoned warehouse where they took refuge in Belgrade, Serbia on February 4, 2017. Hundreds of migrants have been sleeping in freezing conditions in central Belgrade looking for ways to cross the heavily guarded EU borders.

  • A migrant rests inside an abandoned warehouse where he and other migrants took refuge in Belgrade, Serbia on February 5, 2017. Hundreds of migrants have been sleeping in freezing conditions in central Belgrade looking for ways to cross the heavily guarded EU borders.

  • Migrants behind the gates that separates Serbia from Hungary in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. Hungary’s border with Serbia has become a major crossing point into the European Union, with more than 160,000 access Hungary so far this year.

  • Erfanullah, 17 years old (left) and Rahmatullah, 18 years old (right) from Kabul, Afghanistan rest near a gas station as they wait for a smuggler to continue their journey to Istanbul in Bitlis, Turkey on October 22, 2021. Erfanullah and Rahmatullah have been in Turkey for a month and a half and have paid a thousand dollars each for their trip.

  • A man holds a syrian girl in front of the the Hungarian anti-riot police at the Serbian border with Hungary in Horgos, Serbia on September 16, 2015. Hungary’s border with Serbia has become a major crossing point into the European Union, with more than 160,000 access Hungary so far this year.

  • A vest is seen on the barbed wire of the border fence at the Idomeni refugee camp on the Greek Macedonian border in Idomeni, Greece on March 16, 2016.


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